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  1. #1
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    What do 4 year olds do during nap?

    I have a 4 year old that will be starting with me in a few weeks. I am trying to figure out how to manage naps/quiet times with him. My daycare is in the basement. Two other kids nap down there. This 4 year old doesn't take naps but I told his mom that he has to have quiet time. My problem is where does he have his quiet time? Usually when kids nap I go upstairs and take a break or clean up and do a bit of housework. I am afraid of leaving this child in the basement while I am upstairs knowing that won't be sleeping. But at the same time, I don't want to stay in the basement just to watch this child...not really a break for me. There is nothing else for me to do in the basement while he is here and I don't want to bring him upstairs, I want to keep the daycare in the basement at all times. Have any of you had a similar situation??

  2. #2
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    You are almost going to have to bring him upstairs with you as he will disturb the others for sure and there could also be other issues if you are not there to supervise. Get a portable DVD player and the child curls up on a couch or mat upstairs wherever you are and watches the video - any disney movie is about an hour long so that is a good length of quiet time. Then he gets to do a "big kid thing" like small lego or similar type of toy. Hope he is into puzzles or other quiet type of activity. The other option is to reconsider taking the older child if you are not set up to provide for them. It will for sure take away your break because the child will get bored and just having to be aware of what he is doing or answer a question means you don't get to do your thing in the same way.

  3. #3
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    I think you're right in that I will have to bring him upstairs. I check on the other kids in the basement while they are napping but I just don't feel comfortable leaving him alone knowing he is not sleeping. I don't see any other way around it. The only reason I didn't want to do this is because then I get no breaks during the day. This is an active 4 year old and I'm told does not have a long attention span or sit still very often. His parents have said he doesn't watch movies as they are too long for him so it looks like I'll have to keep him busy while the others are napping.

  4. #4
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    I think the important thing will be for you to set up a routine and expectations with the child from the get go.
    If your plan is to bring him upstairs then make a small area for him and rotate colouring pages and toys for him and let him know this is quiet time and that he needs to stay and play quiet. You will have to let him know it is not time to run around or explore because the little ones are sleeping.
    So far I have only had one 4 year old (who has seen started JK and left) and I did not get breaks or time off on the days where the 4 yo came. Even if the child watches a movie then they often get up, get restless, ask for a drink or want to play or be noisy etc so you still constantly supervise and have to be there in sight. I felt like those were loooooong days because I felt I was still entertaining the child and interacting and not getting a break.
    I do wish that I had established a quiet routine with the 4 yr old I had instead of letting them watch movies and do work sheets with them and interacting so much but i fell into a habit/routine and then it was too hard to change once I had been too easy going

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    All children in my daycare lay down for the first half hour-45 minutes even if they don't sleep. After I have had a bit of break only the ones that will be starting school the following year may get up and do puzzles, playdough, etc at the table. About 50% of the time they fell asleep once they let their body lay still and quiet.

    Personally I would pass on this child and hold out for a younger child that better fits the routine. If he is just starting now and going off to school in Sept are you going to keep him or replace him. If you are only keeping him for 6 months is it really worth it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by playfelt View Post
    All children in my daycare lay down for the first half hour-45 minutes even if they don't sleep. After I have had a bit of break only the ones that will be starting school the following year may get up and do puzzles, playdough, etc at the table. About 50% of the time they fell asleep once they let their body lay still and quiet.

    Personally I would pass on this child and hold out for a younger child that better fits the routine. If he is just starting now and going off to school in Sept are you going to keep him or replace him. If you are only keeping him for 6 months is it really worth it.
    Ditto to what Playfelt said. All children in my car MUST lay down for 30 - 40 minutes. If they're still awake, I allow them to watch a movie. About 8/10 times she is asleep.
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  7. #7
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    I have one 3 1/2 yr old and when it's naptime she lays down on her sleep mat every day from 12:30 - 2:30 .... Sometimes she falls asleep sometimes she doesn't but she does not get up till I tell her it's ok. Then she just does puzzles (her choice). Naptime is not an option here.

  8. #8
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    He is actually only turning 4 in early March so he won't be starting school in Sept. I had thought about having him lay down and seeing if he falls asleep but I'm not sure what to do while he is laying down and not sleeping. I don't want to leave him in the basement but I can't just sit there waiting for him to fall asleep either.

  9. #9
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    For the first little bit, you may have to just sit there and wait with him. He will likely try to get up and play, so depending on what standard you want to set (ie; lay down quiet the whole time, or a certain length of time and then play quiet) you will need to be right there to say "It's quiet time now, lay down please". But if you set it up as soon as he begins in your care, it will hopefully not take too long before he sees that it's just what is done at your house.

  10. #10
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    Four in March? Shouldn't he be starting jk then in Sept? Most children I know start jk at 3-if born later in yr,or 4 if born early in yr. I care for a boy who will be 4 mid Feb and still naps (granted he comes at 645am) and will be starting jk in Sept. Same as other friends children I know.
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