Tuesday, November 06, 2012


EEK! Yes, I really do need your help!

As I mentioned, this year I am the only pre-school classroom in our program that has students all day. In order for my para and myself to both have our lunches, we have a quiet time.

I ordered these fabulous cots over the summer with some grant money.

Image courtesy of Lakeshore
VERY long story short, I still don't have my cots. It's November people. NOVEMBER!
(Please note, they are not missing due to a Lakeshore issue, they are missing due to a district issue!) 

I scored some small fleece blankets from Michael's back in August for .50 cents a piece and decided they would be our quiet time "boundaries". Each student has one on the floor that outlines their space. They also have an additional pillow and blanket from home.

I have 2 students who occasionally sleep. The rest of them, not so much. I suppose that because I don't know otherwise, I am almost convinced my students would all sleep (or rest better) if they had actual cots. 

I do however give each student a "quiet time basket" 

(insert picture of baskets that I do not have, here)

I am seriously running out of ideas for what to put in these baskets. This is where I need your help! If you have any great ideas that have worked in your classroom, or anything you've seen used in your child's daycare, I'd love to know!

Some things to keep in mind:
- Must be a relatively quiet activity
- Should not be messy (i.e. playdough that can stick to blankets, etc)
- Can be played with independently

Right now, I change the items in the basket every Friday. So students have the same items for 4 days. If you have a different system to suggest, I'd welcome that too!

Please share this post with ANYONE who you think can offer some great ideas!

Thanks in advance for all of the wonderful suggestions I know you great bloggers are going to have!


Emily said...

Quiet books, busy bags, matching games, I-Spy bags, dry erase activities, even small puzzles...I have a whole pinterest board for easy independent activities like this!

(We have those cots too, they're GREAT! Hope you get yours soon!!!)


Erin Lukas said...

Ah! Thanks for sharing the link to your pin board! They are completely bored with the books for now. I have done dry erase boards, but could definitely put together other activities for dry erase. I've thought about putting together some file folder games--your pin board has some really good suggestions!!

Mandy said...

We have done colorforms, cheapy magnadoodle tablets, puzzles, mixed-up people like these Olliblocks but in book form. http://pinterest.com/pin/162129655306791702/

Mandy said...

Oh and my kiddos loved this chalkboard book:http://pinterest.com/pin/178595941443020736/

Jennie Jensen said...

Have you tried watching a movie? We have the students bring in G-rated movies from home and watch them during our rest time that lasts 45 minutes. We do not have cots. The students bring in a beach towel for their own space to have on the floor.

Meredith said...

The full-day teachers at my school do a 30 minute rest-time after lunch each day. They do a system that depends on the day of the week, so on Monday all the kids get a ziploc bag of books to look at, on Tuesday they all get a tiny baggie of legos to play with, or Wednesday they all get a baggie with paper and crayons to color, on Thursday I think they either get a little ball of clay or a little bag of pipe cleaners to play with, then on Friday there is always a movie during rest time. When I taught fullday I didn't do the daily schedule, although I can see how it would cut down on boredom since every day is different. I just gave each kid had a large Ziploc with a pack of crayons and a coloring book inside that I got at the dollar store-they could either choose to lay down and color or sleep-no other choices! I kept the room very dark-lights off, blinds closed, to encourage sleeping, and spaced my 20 kids out all over the room so they wouldn't be close to each other to cut down on talking. I found most of my kids slept or just laid on their rest mats quietly-not much else to do but color! I did have a few that loved coloring though! I did love doing the movie on Fridays since it was a nice treat for the kids for resting so quietly the rest of the week. I think being strict about making them rest the first few weeks of the year makes rest time go smoother the rest of the year. Good luck!
Keen on Kindergarten

Unknown said...

Right now in addition to books they choose themselves for Quiet Time, I also have naptime journals. I put markers and one blue examination book inside a large Ziploc bag to stay on their cots. I change them out monthly and put them in their portfolios to show progress in writing. Our K teacher also found busy bags at this site today that look worth a try, too! http://mysmallpotatoes.com/2012/07/21/a-busy-bag-round-up/ Can't wait to see what others write!

Mary said...

Is it super mean that my kids' choices during nap time are to sleep or to lay quietly? I have 22 kids and at least half of them sleep. I guess I'm afraid that if I give them quiet choices none of them would sleep! One idea I have though is to make a "book" (a binder with each page in a sheet protector) with name practice, circling letters, etc etc etc.

Erin Lukas said...

Mary! I LOVE THAT IDEA! That is one I have not thought of! And teaching special ed, I can certainly differentiate for each child by putting different items in each sheet protector! Love love love it!!

lulustudio said...

OK..Here is my tip....you have to decide-Do you want them to nap and actually sleep? or Do you want them to stay in one spot and you do not care if they are asleep? Personally I prefer them to all sleep. Sleeping is what we do and it is not a choice in my room. It is rest time and we rest. If you give them all of these options and things to use on their cot they are not going to sleep in which case you probably do not need cots anyway. I make nap time about sleep. I play a book on tape and then the resting music like Enya begins and the expectation is to rest with eyes closed. They all fall asleep. It gives them a rest and they are fresh and then I get a rest too. I my state they are required to be on the cot one hour in a full day program. A the end of the hour they are all asleep and they get 1 1/2 to rest. I get a break and my assistant. Works great. Too many options and then none will sleep and they all want to change out books and then no one gets a break.
Good luck!!!

Erin Lukas said...

Thanks for your advice Laura, you are totally right! My program is a little tricky though. I have 5 student who are at school all day long, and 3 who come in at 11:20. Because 5 of them are there all day, I expect a quiet/rest time. But for the 3 who come in at 11:20, I don't expect them to sleep because they just came to school. (Quiet time starts at 11:30)

I think this is where my idea for the quiet time baskets originated. And then I just made them for all students. I have students who still sleep on occasion. The baskets work, as in keep the children quiet and occupied so that my para and I can have our lunches. I just am in need of new material for the baskets.

The baskets have become apart of the quiet time routine at this point. I will certainly keep your advice in mind for next year. I think it's an excellent point! And hopefully by then, I'd actually have some cots...ugh!

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