Sleep is wasted on the young! Oh, what an adult wouldn’t give for the regular afternoon nap. Yet, any teacher in an early childhood classroom will tell you what a chore it is to facilitate nap time. That transition after lunch: washing hands; setting up cots; retrieving nap bags filled with individual comfort items such as sheets, stuffed animals, quilts, and so on; not to mention diaper changing and pottying— whew! And then we expect children to just lie on their cots, listen to the CD of soothing music, and magically go to sleep? Nap time is one of the most vulnerable times of day for children. Can you even imagine the trust and comfort it takes to close your eyes and surrender yourself to sleep in this setting? And with your shoes on? I have watched countless intuitive teachers create rituals to help children transition to sleep, and I am in awe at the respect they have for and the time they have taken with each individual child. Create your own nap time ritual. Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.
In loving memory of Gryphon House author Leanne Grace, MEd, we are sharing pieces of her inspirational writing every Wednesday. Leanne was the director of professional development at Hildebrandt Learning Centers and a lifelong advocate for early childhood education. She inspired the early childhood community to prepare children as lifelong learners with her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. One person can make a difference, and Leanne did just that. She will be sorely missed.