There have been a few questions asked about nap-time and if students should be required to sleep. The answer to this is no. Students do not have to sleep during nap time. They only need to rest.
From my experience, the following times below are typical for each age group. Students should not nap any longer than 3 hours and no later than 3:00 pm. Many parents have told me that it interferes with their bedtime schedules when their child sleeps past 3:00 pm. However, based on State Rules and Regulations, students must not be woken up; they must be allowed to wake up independently. However, you can turn off the music and turn on the lights.
Students should be on their mats no later than the second time slot.
Toddlers: 11:30-11:45 am
2 -years -old: 11:30- 11:45 am
3- years- old: 12:00-12:30 pm
4 -years- old: 12:00-12:30 pm
If the students go to sleep at these times, most students will wake up between 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm.
I believe that a parent’s wishes should be taken above State Rules and Regulations, and if they don’t want their child to sleep past a specific time, that time should be honored, as long as it is not disruptive to the other students in the class. With a bit of creativity, most things that the parents ask, within reason, can be accomplished.
A great way to get students to relax is by reading them stories or playing a CD with a story. Those students who don’t sleep should be allowed to rest on their bed and get up after 1 hour of rest time. Any time longer than an hour is too much.
What I did as a teacher, is watch how each student prepared to nap. Some sat upon their mat until they became tired, some sung softly to themselves until they fell asleep, and some wiggled. If you allow your students to relax their bodies in their way, you will have less of a fight trying to get them to sleep.
Let’s face it! Some students will never take naps. And that’s ok. This would be the time to create a nap-time box with quiet activities.
I also wanted to mention that making it pitch dark in the classroom is a safety issue. You should walk around and see each child’s face to make sure they are ok. If it’s too dark, you can’t see their faces.
What creative things do you do to get your students to nap? What’s in you naptime box?