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Rest time for Pre-K

  • 1.  Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 19 days ago
    Looking for ideas to support children who no longer nap during rest time. Our licensing requires we provide min 1 hour to max 2 hour rest time daily, and in our pre-K rooms we have combinations of children who still physically need the nap and children who have outgrown. We've tried individual quiet activities on cots for those not sleeping, but looking for additional ideas/suggestions. Staffing and building spacing make it challenging to simply remove those who don't sleep each day. Thanks in advance for any ideas you've found to work :)

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    Erin Geiger
    Doctoral Candidate/Assistant Director GMU CDC
    George Mason University
    Fairfax VA
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  • 2.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi Erin,
    I sympathize with your challenge - it is pretty universal I think!

    We created "Sorting Boxes" with different sorting activities, We changed the items in the boxes frequently: there would be objects with different textures, or sizes, or shapes, etc. Children were asked to sort them in their own way according to their own sorting principles.  We also had headphones with soothing music or stories, depending on the reason for the child's restlessness. Some children liked to color in or draw. Activities were always solitary and quiet. We tried to keep the children who did not sleep in an area where they were apart from the others, so they wouldn't disturb them.

    I hope this helps!
    Good luck
    Sue Hepker

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    Sue Hepker
    Jacksonville FL
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  • 3.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 7 days ago
    Great ideas Sue, thanks! How do you separate the sleepers from the non-sleepers - we've tried a few ideas but I'd love to hear what has worked for you.
    Erin

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    Erin Geiger
    Doctoral Candidate/Assistant Director GMU CDC
    George Mason University
    Fairfax VA
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  • 4.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 16 days ago
    I have had good luck with a special cabinet with different activities for the no longer nappers. I think it's not appropriate to make young children sit on a mat when not sleeping. I invite the child to a table a distance away from the sleepers and the child can pick a puzzle or other activity from the cupboard.

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    Susan Smith
    Director
    Heart and Hands Montessori
    Lafayette CO
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  • 5.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 7 days ago
    Thanks Susan, we've been trying the table recently as well. I love the idea of a special cabinet.
    Erin

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    Erin Geiger
    Doctoral Candidate/Assistant Director GMU CDC
    George Mason University
    Fairfax VA
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  • 6.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hello Erin,
    For a good naptime experience, I create an atmosphere that is very calming, with just the right music and right volume. Not too loud or it just makes the children who are up to get loud. They can earn the right to be up if permissible but they have to agree to play quietly to quiet music.  While at the table dim lighting helps to keep things calm while up.  I call it table time.  Preplanned containers are available to children during this time.  Table time activities should be made for one child to play with at a time which means there have to be enough different activity containers that every child will be kept quietly busy.  The individualized curriculum arranged in individual containers of sorts can be placed on shelves so children can choose what they want to play with.  Some table time activities can be adapted to be played with at the child's resting cot/mat if they need.

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    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
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  • 7.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 7 days ago
    Thanks Melanie - great ideas!
    Erin

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    Erin Geiger
    Doctoral Candidate/Assistant Director GMU CDC
    George Mason University
    Fairfax VA
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  • 8.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 15 days ago
    Erin- we created nap bags. Each bag has a book inside and we add figurines or supplies that mirror the story. It provides a fun, imaginary play scenario for the children.

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    Pamela McCullough
    Director
    GSCC
    Holland PA
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  • 9.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Pamela, I love this literacy connection! We'll certainly look at adding this.
    Erin

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    Erin Geiger
    Doctoral Candidate/Assistant Director GMU CDC
    George Mason University
    Fairfax VA
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  • 10.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hello All,
    I have a passion for Rest Time, and believe it deserves a place in the lesson planing as much as any other part of the day. I never used the word nap, as nap creates fear in the hearts of children. They wonder what you are doing when they have to nap. Rest was promoted as a healthy habit for everyone, A time to disengage the muscles and engage the senses.  For my classroom of Geoducks it began when they crossed the carpet/vinyl line after lunch to find I had laid out their rest things with an activity on their mat. A one piece activity that is kept only for this time of day. The lights on the carpet side of the room are off, and it is a time for whisper voices. I set the tone by moving slower than I normally did, and whispering myself. When all were there, I collected the activity, and we did a yoga position or a meditation together, then I went to each child asking if they wanted to be covered and wished them a peaceful rest. We sang or sang and signed a lullaby together, snuggled down and had a story on tape or read a chapter in a book. Sleep was a choice, rest was not. After a period of time, those awake went to quiet activities at the tables being respectful of those who slept. All but 2 or 3 of my 20 Geoducks slept and many days everyone did. If they trust the environment and feel safe, they usually will relax enough to allow themselves to fall asleep. Quiet table activities are things that can be used by one child and not make noise when it hits the table. Rest time is a time of day like no other.

    Donna Simon
    Early Childhood Program Specialist 3
    Assistant Director
    Campus Children's Center
    The Evergreen State College
    Olympia, Washington

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    Donna Simon
    Olympia WA
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  • 11.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Donna, this is a great reframing of this time of day, and beautifully expresses what we are trying to create in our classrooms. Our children are actively involved in setting up their spaces for resting so it is not currently possible for them to enter the calm environment, however I believe we can update our practices to better support this shift. What types of 1 piece activities have you found to be quiet yet engaging with your Geoducks?
    Erin

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    Erin Geiger
    Doctoral Candidate/Assistant Director GMU CDC
    George Mason University
    Fairfax VA
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  • 12.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 7 days ago
    Thanks, Erin, for the inquiry. I am new to this forum and not sure if I should have responded to you or to the forum. The rest mat activities that I use in the beginning of the year are just one piece for ease in collecting when its time rather than pieces getting lost in blanket folds, etc. Books without words, lacing cards with one end of the lace tied to the card, clip board with pencil, ball maze, hidden object pictures, gloves to practice putting on and taking off, pin wheels to blow, geo-board with one lg band or rubber band, view master, etch-a-sketch, kaleidoscope,....anything that can be used by one person. I keep my eyes out all the time for things that would make great activities for this time of the day.

    Donna Simon
    ECPS 3
    Assistant Director
    Campus Children's Center
    The Evergreen State College

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    Donna Simon
    Olympia WA
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  • 13.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 6 days ago
    Yes Donna Yes! There is many sources of brain research that tells us , to be at our optimum learning we must have a calm to our brain. Well- being requires it. It also teaches self-regulation, sensory awareness and so many other things. Now days are kiddos are getting hardwired to full "on" mode with the technology and totally scheduled play. Children today are expecting to be entertained every minute. The disconnect to humans is worrisome. I love how you clearly set the expectation of rest is not an option. With the growth of violence and mental health issues in our society I believe it is critical to teach self-awareness. So happy you do what you do.

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    Pamela Sharrow
    Midland Public Schools
    Midland MI
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  • 14.  RE: Rest time for Pre-K

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hi Donna,

    I love your idea of intentionally planning the rest time part of your children's  day!  What an awesome experience you are giving them!

    Cynthia Mendez
    Early Childhood Specialist
    Smith Brown, RCMA
    Arcadia, Florida

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    Cynthia Mendez
    Early Childhood Specialist
    Smith Brown RCMA
    Arcadia FL
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