Many parents have fond memories of early school years. They think of kindergarten as a time of play and socialization and a time of napping. Today, kids rarely nap in kindergarten. Most public kindergarten schedules last the full day and offer little time for rest. There are still naps in many private kindergartens; simply ask the kindergarten about its napping policy when interviewing the school.
Toddler Sleep Needs
By the age of 5, some children are foregoing naps because they feel rested. Other children are coming home from school exhausted, some falling asleep the moment their heads hit the car seat. Parents Magazine quotes the appropriate sleep for a 4- to 5-year-old at 10 hours. If kids aren’t getting that at night, a nap is recommended. It suggests one hour of nap time for the kindergarten-aged child.
Benefits of Sleep
A lack of sleep is linked to troubled behavior, short tempers and easily hurt feelings, according to child development expert Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. A child who is well rested will perform better in school and function at her optimal level. According to “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth, children who sleep longer during the day have longer attention spans. Children with ADD who sleep longer, dramatically improve their social interactions with their peers and behavior in the classroom.
Kindergarten Nap Options
The average kindergarten schedule is either all day or half day. For the working parent, an all day schedule can save daycare costs and give her child a longer learning opportunity. Most public school all day programs do not provide resting or nap time. Half-day programs give parents the option of having their child nap at home.
For the kindergartens that offer naps, the timing will vary per center. A Montessori school, which serves kids aged 3 to 7 will usually have naps 1 to 2 hours in length. Other private schools offering naps will rarely have children resting for less than an hour, or longer than two. Some will offer the children an option of quiet time instead of sleep.