Friday, November 29, 2013

Keeping Naptime a Quiet Time

This post was inspired by a newspaper clipping that I saw hanging in our school's parent library.

As any preschool teacher would agree, nap or rest time in the classroom is 1-2 hours of desperately needed quiet in the classroom. Not only is it so beneficial for young children to have that time to relax and decompress, it is also a wonderful time for the teacher to lesson plan, organize the classroom, or simply take a quiet and deep breath.

Some of my kids don't always sleep the whole time, or even at all, so I've had to be creative in keeping the room quiet so that the others can rest.

The kids bring books and stuffed animals from our class library to their little cots with them, so they have that to keep them occupied for a little bit of time. I've also developed these "treasure boxes" that the kids just go wild for when I put them out. I've used pencil boxes and an assortment of different toys and materials that have become like little games. I'm always changing the boxes, but here is what I have now just for some ideas.

  This puzzle is a little tough for them, so it keeps them pretty busy when they try to make it.

 I drew a town map and put in cars that I got from the dollar store.

 I found a few sets of magnetic letters at Walmart for pretty cheap. The kids love to put them together and try to sound out the crazy words they create.

 I wrote shape names and numbers on colored popsicle sticks. The kids have to try to put the shapes together. They use the drawn pictures to help out if they get stuck.

 They love this squishy, gooey and creepy crawlies.

 These flashcards are a favorite.

 I actually found this bunny game at Stop and Shop last year for $2. Can't beat it!

 Legos are always a beloved classic. I even find myself playing with them sometimes. 

 These were actually left in the class as a center toy, but that didn't really make sense to me, so I made is a treasure box.

 I found this lego-esque garden set in the clearance section of Walmart.

Good old fashioned playing cards. Don't underestimate simple stuff like this. The kids love to sort them, look at the numbers and letters on them.
I found these little puzzles at the dollar store. They came in a pack of 4 and have different numbers of pieces. anything with animals is always a hit with my kids.

If you have any ideas that you use in your classroom during nap time, please share them in the comments. I am always open to new ideas!

These treasure boxes are also great for partner and small group play! The children can take turns to choose which box they want to play with, and it is a mostly quiet and contained toy, which is great. They are also super easy to switch out and add new things too.

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