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To those who do rest time...


Junior Member
This is my first year teaching full day kindergarten. We are having a 20 minute rest time after a read aloud after lunch. While they are very tired throughout the afternoon, our rest time is not working out as well as I would like. I read aloud a book, we get a drink, we get out our rest-time blankets or towels, we find a spot, and we're supposed to rest as we listen to soft music. And they do rest....sort of. But mostly they wiggle and a couple are just naughty. We have only had 2 days of school so far, but that was the first thing they wanted to know when they came to school this morning, so I know it is on their minds.

The parents are very supportive of having rest time. The kids are certainly exhausted, partly because we have no air conditioning and we're in the middle of a heat wave.

I'm just looking for any tips or tricks or is it normal for it to be hard and will it get better?

Garden Gal

Senior Member
audio books

I often play audio books during rest. The kids listen better than when I just play music. I've also let quiet resters choose a book to take to their rest spot after 10-15 mins. That positive reward can motivate some. However, looking at books works best with music not audio stories. Soemtimes alternating practices helps, audio story one day, music and books the next. I also make sure that the restless bodies are strategically placed and place myself near the most distruptive. I read, work on lesson plans, etc at a student table.


Senior Member
I use story tapes/cd's during rest. I stress that once it starts, no one is to get up or talk. Those that do well get a sticker for their sticker book. I let them bring one small stuffed animal to hold during rest time as well.


Senior Member
I also like to listen to books on CD. I have a GREAT collection of storytelling CDs from Jim Weiss:
"Tell me a Story!", "Sweet Dreams", "Good Night" and "Animal Tales" are good ones for kinders.

I make a map and assign kids where to rest and usually "head to feet" so kids are not face to face with each other. I tell my kids they do not need to sleep but they do need to rest quietly (lay still/no talking) as to not disturb others. Most do fall asleep though. The kids take restroom breaks before laying down so no one should be getting up.

One thing my kinders like is the "Star Rester" list. At the beg of rest time, I write everyone's name on the whiteboard. If they are talking/being disruptive I give them a small check and if they continue talking, I erase their name BUT tell them they can earn it back. At the end of rest time, I read off the names that are still on the board and that serves as the reward.


Junior Member
Thank You, AddieJ!

We listened to Rapunzel from Jim Weiss that I was able to download from itunes. It was awesome. In searching on itunes, I found some free stories from other people that I will try out as well. Most of the titles you recommended were not available off itunes, so I'll wait for those, but Rapunzel was very well done, and the best rest time we've had yet.

I also tried your Star Rester idea, and it calmed one of my little guys right down. He was so happy to see his name still on the list. I don't see a lot of self control from him yet, so I was glad to see that he could do it when he had a reason to. I wish I could help that reason be a little more intrinsic, but sometimes I just have to take what I can get, I guess.


momma 2


I like the idea of just writing the names on the board and seeing who makes it all the way thru rest time. So simple! I'm going to give that a try.

Also, I'm wondering how 20 minutes can be much of a rest time. We have an hour. That give even the wiggle worms enough time to settle down. And once they do, they fall asleep. They really ARE tired after a full morning. I usually have to wake them up.

I don't often play a story, but I do play a variety of soft music. And I do mean variety! One class had a particularly interesting response to a Beatles cd. I guess it sounded so foriegn to them, they either gently moved to the music, or just got real still and listened. They were so interested in hearing the music that nobody fooled around! When rest was over, I asked them what they thought of that days music and they said "fun!". good way to describe it I thought. B.B. King and other blues music also tames the savage beast.


Senior Member
Yea for self control! I'm in the same boat about wishing it could be an "intrinsic" thing but your guy did feel good about seeing his name so that's maybe a good start to something he decides to do on his own, even without the list!

I have some good jazz I'll have to play at rest time and try it out! My own kids at home enjoy listening to Cuban lullabies at bedtime - very soothing ;)


New Member
movie rest time

I have 33 kinders and each day after lunch we have a "quiet time" where we watch an education movie (usually 30 min). The kids love this and some lay on the floor and watch and some sit at their table. They are able to rest their bodies and minds but are still entertained!