• Welcome! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Nap Time


Junior Member
Any suggestions for a smooth-running nap time? I have full day Kindergarteners that are supposed to nap for 45min-1 hour. We have limited space in our classroom, and about half of my students actually sleep while the rest cannot lay still. I know they are young and full of energy, but...does anyone know something I don't? Thanks!



I am not sure if you will like this idea, but I had a similar problem. Only a few of my students would actually fall asleep and lay still, the rest of my class had a huge problem staying quiet and still. One day the class had been good all day, so I let them watch tv during nap. This helped keep the restless ones still and calm. If they start moving around or talking, the tv goes off and they have to earn it back.

I also started giving out tickets for those who were quiet enough to make me "think they are asleep." They can redeem the tickets every other week for small prizes.


Junior Member

I love this question and suggestion...I too have naptime for full day Kindergarten and it is a pain...my most corrective time.

Today I started a new procedure, we have a marble reward jar, so I decided instead of them turning their card, each time I got on to them they'd pull a marble out of the jar. The jar is about a week away from being filled. I'm not to sure the situation got any better, but I did have 3 children that did not miss recess time. So it rivals the ticket system.


nap time

I am so glad to hear that other teachers have this problem. Today I had most of the kids sitting out for recess because they were playing on their mat. It makes the afternoons miserable. I am considering bringing in a television and having them watch educational videos. Our nap time is only thirty minutes. We have an all day program. Some of them get very tired in the afternoon, but they rarely fall asleep.


Junior Member
this might be the answer

I had told my students to make me "think they are sleeping" and they would get a star on their reward chart. Well almost all of them ended up falling asleep, I think, because of how still they were lying. Thank you for that suggestion!



My little guys also had the wiggles. The first rule I set up was, hands and feet on the mat at all times. Instead of t.v., I would suggest some ideas that have been successful for me.

Read a chapter book with short chapters. (A Cricket in Times Square)
(James and the Giant Peach) etc. These two were hits. Most students had never had a chapter book read to them before. I told the students to close their eyes, and see the pictures in their minds. Each chapter took about 5 minutes for me to read aloud. All were quiet, this calmed everyone down, and those that needed sleep did so. After wakeup time, the kids would talk together about the book.Every day, they would come in and tell me what chapter we were reading today. Great feedback from the parents, too!

Very calming lullabies or classical music. Mine liked a multicultural lullaby c.d. I got at Barnes and Noble. Play very softly. I use a variety.

I know this sounds very New Agey, but I found a great kids meditation book. They close their eyes, and I read the scenario. They picture it. EXample - You are walking next to a beautiful stream. You reach down and touch the water with your fingertips. The sun is warm on your back.... It is a very kid appropriate book. Unfortunately, I lent to another teacher, and never got it back. She has since moved away. Ask or look up at B and N bookstore. Very calming!

Keep the rules simple: Mats out. Heads Down. Quiet lips, and hands and feet. Eyes closed. If done in 5 minutes, Then book or music, etc. If not done, no book or music. Those misbehaving will get peer pressure to behave, because anything is better than deadly silence to them!

When it's time to wake them up, always say the same thing. I always say, "Rise and Shine!" Most hear that and pop up out of sleep. Some are deep sleepers and I have their neighbor gently pat them on the upper back and repeat "rise and shine".

Hope these hints help you. I think the hardest part about naptime for me was keeping Myself awake!


Junior Member
Kindergarten Naps

First I call it Recharge Time and they think that is more grown up than nap time. I play story tapes so I get to recharge a little too. They love it. An old Sesame Street Fairy Tales is a favorite.

I also only make them lay down for 10 to 15 minutes then they are allowed to do quiet activities like art things, puzzles, and books (just to look at and to listen to on tape).

This is an artsy group and they have done a wonderful job being quiet during this time.


why try to rest so long?

I used to teach in a kindergarten where the children had to rest for 30-45 minutes, and it was a nightmare of wiggles and challenging behavior. I am not required to have nap time now, but I do have 15 minutes of quiet rest time. I play meditation/relaxation music, and the children just put their heads on their tables. I really don't think most kindergartners need an hour rest, especially when so many teachers report these struggles. I know they go home pretty tired, especially at the beginning of the year, but I think if we give them a variety of activities and time to move during the day, they will be happier than with enforced "naps".


Full Member
Naptime assistance

I use a variety of things throughout the year. The first part of the year practically everyone sleeps, for those that don't, they must rest quietly. I offer great rester certificates at the end of rest time. I have played lullabies, Norah Jones and Kenny G, and Norah is always a big hit. I have delivered a book or two to the restless ones, while the others are sleeping as well. This time of year I start to wean them from naptime to get ready for first grade. They get to watch a Disney classic which will last a couple of rest times, and it still allows me the time I need to address daily folders, etc.