How do You Handle Rest Time?

The Question:
I’m looking for very specific info on how others handle rest time.Do the kids have mats? I use mats and have many sleepers at the beginning of the year, as the year progresses we switch to a little R and R (rest and read)

The Answers:

Kelli Scrimpshire Bridwell

That is exactly what I do! Out of my 25 kiddos, 20 of them slept yesterday!

Stephanie J Sandford 

Ha! Just be glad this hasn’t been taken away entirely, like recess and rest time in a lot of school districts!

Jeni Van Buer 

We used mats, and some brought yoga mats. One brought a homemade mat, made out of her grandma’s bath robe! We always played quiet classical music. Most slept, some looked at books. I had a softly lit lamp versus leaving the overhead fluorescent lights. Calming!!

Jackie Durand Medina

We aren’t allowed to let them rest in our all day program.

Alison Nickolaus

We don’t have formal rest time but we do add 10-15 minutes of relaxation time. I usually play some relaxation songs that have directions about breathing, squeezing your hands or feet, etc. We also choose to do some kid yoga videos some days.

Sylvia Lusk Harwell 

We start the year with a 20-30 minute nap time. (It depends on if we are a little late getting in from recess/water/restroom break.) After a few weeks I will give them the option to write quietly in their journals. Mid-year I will switch to whole class writing and journal writing. After journal writing they can rest their heads on the table for a few minutes if they are tired.

Sara Steward Cooper 

I find that my all day kiddos don’t need one. But I do.

Nola Boyd

Years ago our county gave up nap time. Full day program, no naps, no assistants, class size around 18-20. It is doable, but as the teacher I really missed nap time for doing 1 on 1 testing or working with kids. The kids handled it just fine, though you might get a sleepy one at the beginning of the year.

Sarah Hudson

NO NAPS!!!!!!! FULL DAY!!!!!!!

Erin Brandon

I put in a quiet time but they don’t nap. Quiet time is their snack time and we watch Word World. It lasts maybe 15 minutes at most.

Ryan Ward

Developmentally I think they need a nap if they are doing all day kindergarten. Even if they aren’t sleeping their brains need the quiet rest time. My school provided the mats and the students brought in their own blankets.

Christie Lozen-Looney

Erin what is Word World & where do you get it?

Sally Stefano 

Jackie, we’ve moved a long way on this, too. I’d like to think you opposed this rule. Whatever happened to meet the child where s/he is?

Stacy Wilker

We have rest time and the kids bring in a beach towel. It works for personal space when they are working with math manipulativess or doing reading or writing.

Lynn Schrader Doiron 

Full day. We haven’t had nap time in over 20 years.

Christina Collinsworth 

We are allowed to have rest time at the beginning. My grandmother made mini quilts for the kids and I use those as rest blankets.. I keep them in a tub then take them home to wash now and then

Desiree Lauzon Miller 

Word world is on PBS and can be found on, we no longer have naps either. The preschools (vpk) do not have them as well.

Edie Naylor 

First day today. I slept…. not sure what the kids did. (just kidding!) Towels, resting for some, others were almost asleep. We’ll quickly change to “quiet” time for reading or coloring.

Catherine Cason Rutkoski

This is my first year teaching full day. We start tomorrow and will have 1/2 hour of relaxation time. The children will bring in a beach towel to relax on.  I will turn the lights off and play some classical music. As the year goes on, we will gradually make the time shorter and shorter.

Cheryl Dycio

We have a 20-30 minute rest. I have 9 mats and some bring in towels, blankets of their own. I play quiet music. This period is phased out as their stamina increases.

Melody Gipperich

In my full day Kindergarten, we have a 30 minute nap time. The school provides the mats and the kids bring either a towel or small blanket to cover up with. I turn off the fluorescent lights and turn on a small lamp. I tell them they don’t have to sleep just rest, some do fall asleep. I always play soft music. Depending on the class nap time phases out in January. I am so happy that my district allows this as for some kids it is so needed….I have had kids that I can’t wake up when nap time is over….

Lynne Murray Smith

My kids rest with their own pillow and small blanket…while I play educational videos, like Magic School Bus or books or music. Ideally, I think their minds should be resting too, but they rest their bodies…and they love it! They complain if they miss it! They keep their blanket and pillow in a supermarket reusable bag in their cubbies.

Katie McDonald

We aren’t allowed to have naps or rest time. We have full day K. We can barely fit recess in with our schedule.


One thought on “How do You Handle Rest Time?

  1. It makes me so sad to hear about no rest times. Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep for children of this age, and most do not get enough at night as it is. We need someone in the law making areas to stand up for our little guys. While some children do not need a nap, they definitely need a break. Now I will get off my soap box…. 🙂
    Luckily, we still have a rest time. We use yoga type mats with blankets and stuffed animals. Students may read books or magazines quietly. I use and play the lullaby station. We also use certain lullaby cd’s or classical music. Later in the year with less sleepers, we also use this time for individual work time or small group work. We start off the year with 45 minutes and end with about 30. After our rest time is our activity centers/free time in the room connecting to ours. If we have students who still need to rest, they stay in the napping room with one teacher, while the others go in the next room with the other teacher. I guess I feel really blessed that we still have this in our K programs at our school.

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