The Nap Time Blues!!
The little munchkin is slowly outgrowing her naps! She is going to be five years old in March, so I think I have probably been blessed to have had her napping for this long, even if it's not an everyday thing.
However... I know she isn't ready to completely give up naps altogether though EVERY day. How? Because it's no good for her and she completely falls apart if she goes too many days without a nap. It doesn't help that the rest time at her preschool is only 30 minutes long. I would say that she still takes a nap (no more than an hour and 15 minutes) at least 3 days a week. Some are just short cat naps when she gets home from school and the longer naps happen on the weekends.
Anyhow, since I know that she is not ready to give up naps altogether, I read up on Quiet Boxes / Busy Bags from moms and teachers everywhere. I think it's a nice way to give kids that down time where they can work independently and quietly, without struggling with them to take a nap.
These are great for stay at home moms who have kids that are transitioning out of naps, like my munchkin... And for preschool teachers who need ways to keep non-nappers busy and quiet during rest time.
I went and bought 5 clear shoe boxes and labeled each box with a number and a label, and placed about 3-4 different activities in each box. I am thinking these can occupy her time for at least 45 minutes. (I hope!)
Here are a few pictures of the first round of materials that are going into the Quiet Boxes. I looked through my teaching stuff and other toys & junk in the garage, bought a few items at the dollar store and I also visited homeschooling blogs and teaching blogs for some free printables that she can do quietly on her own. Every box has some kind of writing/ coloring activity, 2-3 books and/or a Highlights magazine as well. And I will be adding homemade play-doh in 2 boxes.
I plan to change out the materials activities every week or so, depending on how often we utilize them. I don't want her to get too bored with anything. I've already got a little box that I am filling up with random toys/activities to rotate!
I can't wait to introduce the Quiet Boxes this week! I also have a few little rules about the boxes, such as:
1) You have to work quietly for at least 30 minutes.
2) You can only use the materials that are in one box, each day.
3) Clean up all materials when time is up.
Do you use Nap Time/Quiet Time/Busy Boxes with your children or students? Do you have any type of rules for using them?
Please share any fun ideas and activities that can keep kids busy and quiet when naps are a thing of the past!