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  • 1.  Rest time

    Posted 11-19-2022 05:59 AM
    What should a teacher do if a 3 or 4 year old child doesn’t take naps and won’t stay on their cot and makes loud noises during rest time?

  • 2.  RE: Rest time

    Posted 11-20-2022 12:13 AM
    This is a good question. I have a child of the same age group who told me he is a big boy and do not take nap😂. What did was, i was constantly reminded him about nap time before transition and calmly spoke to him about the importance of resting. It is okay if he doesn't want to sleep. I will suggest you provide him with a book, coloring book or tracing book on his cot to engage him or any manipulative toys he can explore quietly on his cot. Good luck😊

    Sakina Asare
    San Diego CA

  • 3.  RE: Rest time

    Posted 11-20-2022 08:42 AM
    Hi Donna,
    I feel like this question came up every year during my 16 years of teaching! Doing a little excavation to figure why the behavior is happening will help you figure out the best way to respond. First checking in with the child's family to see what sleep and/or rest is like at home can give you the big picture. Home and school don't have to be the same - there is no way it could because there are different people and more people at school. But having the big picture can provide some clues about what might be underneath the behavior. The suggestions Sakina made for providing some manipulative materials that this child can use on their own has worked many times for certain children over the years. You can also create a basket of books that only come out at rest time and are specific to this child's interests. I think this strategy works when sleep is just too vulnerable for the child. I've also considered how strange it must be for children to have to try to fall asleep in a room with 19 other kids, some of whom are their favorite people to play with, which can make it challenging to settle. When this strategy of manipulatives or personalized selection of books doesn't work there might be something else going on. When it's related to sensory processing (I don't know where my body begins and ends when I'm not moving around a lot, or my nervous system is dysregulated because I don't understand what group nap/rest time is, etc.) I've seen successful strategies like offering the child a clean, dry, soft paintbrush that they can use to pretend to paint their skin. We also had a child who would put his own backpack on his head, which we misunderstood at first as an attempt to entertain the other children, but realized he was reducing the amount of visual stimulation for himself. Have you ever seen a body sock? One year I had a child who would crawl fully into one, moving around in his own rest area for about 10 minutes. Sensory activities that children can do on their own give their sensory system what it needs to make the transition to rest time, plus it gives the teachers enough time to help a few children to sleep before providing specialized attention to the child. A personalized social story to narrate what the options are during rest time can be powerful as long as someone can read it to the child as nap time is about to begin. It's stated in the positive and the present and includes the classroom's consistent nap-time cues. Something like, "The shades are down, the sound machine is on. It's rest time (include photos). During rest time I can sit or lie down on my mat. (photo). On my mat I can choose: (list three choices with photos of each activity)."  Another activity which we used only when other options were exhausted was giving the child books on cd to listen to with headphones. This works for a child who has the motor skills to operate the listening device independently, and has the language comprehension skills to make pictures in their mind while listening to words. This also worked to provide the child with something stimulating, yet relaxing while it gave us 10-15 minutes to help some children fall asleep before we provided specialized attention to the child.
    The specialized attention should be intentional scaffolding moving towards a realistic short-term goal. Maybe the first goal is volume modulation (talking in a regular voice would be a reasonable first step rather than being silent), the next goal is staying in one area of the classroom, the next is doing these things with less and less adult facilitation.
    At the same time, it's important to teach the other children, who are actually going to sleep, that they can focus on their own sleep process even though the other child is making noise or moving around. It's a little bit like practicing mindfulness. The child you're helping to sleep might be concerned about the sounds the other child is making and look to you to do something, especially if that is already an established pattern. I had a phrase that I used consistently when that happened, that went, "She's making a sound. I'm helping you fall asleep now and I'll help her next. After you fall asleep." This allowed the child I was helping to relax knowing that I wasn't going to get up until they finished falling asleep. I think it also helped the child I was helping first to build a resilient fall-asleep-in-group-care pattern, since in a room of 20 preschoolers there will often be some amount of sound and movement.
    I hope this is helpful!

    Lauren Stauble
    Boston, MA

  • 4.  RE: Rest time

    Posted 11-20-2022 04:34 PM
    Hello Donna,
    There is always a little one that tries to avoid nap time. I would firstly reserve a calmer area where a teacher can stay with this child. The calm down area can be used as a calm space and already has tool for quiet play, like calming books or squish toys. Setting up a expectation by telling the child that he dont need to sleep but have to calm your body down and be quiet because your peers need/want to sleep, so if the child needs to talk he can use a softer voice. After a while when most of the children are sleeping already I would offer books that is realated to the child interest, like construction or music for example. I had a child that was loud and had difficulty keeping calm, so one teacher would always be with him working on some quiet activity on the calm down area or at a table farther from sleeping children. Drawing , puzzles or soft toys are laways good idea.
    Thank you

    Laura Brice
    Teacher Assistant
    Heas Start
    Makawao HI