We are always asked by parents how we get all of our preschoolers to nap at school. There really isn’t a magical formula, but there are many tips for helping preschoolers transition to nap peacefully during the day. Lack of overall quality sleep is the number one negative behavior trigger for preschoolers. Quality sleep, including nap time, is important to healthy growth and development. As parents, preschool teachers, and childcare providers prepare for a new school year, we hope the suggestions below will help ease nap time struggles with your own preschoolers at home, in childcare, or in the classroom!
Help Ease Nap Time Struggles with Preschoolers!
Preschoolers thrive on routines. Making a visual daily routine chart can be helpful as preschoolers can see, through pictures, the basic structure for each day. While activities will sometimes vary, the basic daily routine should remain as consistent as possible. A consistent daily routine, including afternoon nap times, helps preschoolers internalize “what comes next” each and every day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics promotes guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine who recommends kids (ages 3-5) get 10-13 hours of sleep (including naps) every 24 hours. Preschoolers are often “creative” in stalling techniques for nap time. Parents, teachers, and caregivers know the tunes well:
“Just one more drink of water.”
“I have to go to potty (for the 5th time).”
“I don’t know how to sleep.”
“I need a snack (or 3).”
“There are monsters under my cot, in my closet, or under my bed.”
“My blanket is itchy…my pillow is too hard…my feet are cold.”
While this is a short-list of the many complaints and stalling techniques we’ve heard over the years of teaching preschoolers, we have some tips and suggestions to help with nap time transitions.
Tips for Helping EASE Nap Time Struggles with Preschoolers!
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- As much as possible, nap times should remain the same from day to day (including weekends). Childcare teachers and private childcare providers often have the most difficult times on Mondays as kids weekend schedules differ greatly from their weekly routines.
- Nap times should not be negotiable. When it’s time for nap, it’s time for nap. Be loving, but firm and consistent each and every day. Kids will push limits, but they need parents, teachers, and caregivers to help them self-regulate and learn to self-soothe when it’s time to sleep. With consistency, kids will know when nap time arrives each day – it becomes a familiar part of their day. Preschoolers who nap consistently are often able to self-regulate the big emotions that erupt during the late afternoon or early evening hours.
- Establish a daily nap time routine and stick with it. Our kids eat lunch, wash, read and sing, and prepare for naps.
- Each of our preschoolers are responsible for helping get cots, blankets, and pillows out for nap time. This part of our daily nap time routine is less complicated and FUN for our preschoolers with the Rollee Pollee Nap Sac.
What is the Rollee Pollee Nap Sac?
The Rollee Pollee Nap Sac is a machine washable cozy blanket + pillow all rolled up into one bundle (approximately the size of a football).
✓ Each Nap Sac unrolls into a 50” x 50” super soft blanket in a variety of colors.
✓ The blanket folds over to make a 25” x 50” cover and blanket for cots and mats.
✓ Some Rollee Pollee styles come with its own back-pack style carry case.
✓ Rollee Pollee complies with state regulations.
✓ Each Nap Sac has a sewn-in name tag.
✓ Rollee Pollee is hypoallergenic for preschoolers sensitive skin.
✓ The comfortable pillow is attached to the Nap Sac so it can’t get lost.
✓ Elastic straps on corners keep the Nap Sac in place on a cot or mat.
✓ The blanket rolls up small and fits easily in a school or childcare cubby, on individual hooks (with the attached handle), or on the bed at home.
✓ Rollee Pollee offers volume discounts for larger purchases for schools and childcare centers or childcare homes.
We had a chance to ask professional childcare providers and childcare staff for additional suggestions in our closed Facebook group:
Donna offers: “After lunch our kids look at a book for 5-10 minutes. We then put on relaxing music, collect books, and cover our kids up. Some go to sleep on their own – others we rub their backs and they fall asleep.”
- The idea of establishing a daily routine preschoolers can count on is effective. For younger preschoolers, rubbing their backs for shorter periods over time will help scaffold important self-soothing techniques as they learn to fall asleep independently.
Samatha’s tip: “We play a book on CD as a transition to nap time.”
- Soothing books, soft music, a fan, and/or white noise can help preschoolers calm and quiet their minds and bodies to rest.
Belle transitions her kids to nap time through songs: “We made up a song that we sing everyday. It is more of a ‘getting prepared for nap’ song than a ‘going to sleep’ song. We made the song up together and we sing about the things we have to do before we go to nap. The kids can then get a book or stuffed animal…”
- Music helps preschoolers transition from activity to activity. We love the idea of making up songs with preschoolers to transition between daily activities (including nap time). Transitions from play to nap time go smoothly when preschoolers know what to expect. A daily song is just one way to help kids learn what comes next throughout the course of their day.
With a few simple tricks and tips, nap time struggles with preschoolers don’t have to be a daily challenge. By establishing a consistent nap time routine, your preschoolers will get the rest they need to function well each and every day!
Be sure to ENTER the GIVEAWAY below for a chance to WIN a Rollee Pollee Nap Sac for your own preschooler!
**GIVEAWAY – Enter for a chance to WIN a Rollee Pollee Nap Sac for your own Preschooler!**
Giveaway Product: One winner, chosen at random, will receive a Rollee Pollee Blanket + Pillow Bundle of FUN! ARV = $26.00
Dates: Giveaway opens on 8/5/17 at 1200 am CST and ends on 8/12/17 at 11:59 pm.
Notice: Must be age 18+ to enter. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond before an alternate winner will be chosen. Rollee Pollee is responsible for the shipment of the Nap Sac to the winner of this giveaway. Enter from the form below. Good luck to each of you!
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