Our Head Start program and NY state daycare regulations specify a period of "quiet time" as part of our day.
On our lucky days we find 14 of our 17 children sleeping soundly on their mats. We take advantage of these rare occasions to catch up on paperwork and give the 3 non-resters some much needed one-on-one, playing games, cuddling or just sharing a story.
On the not-so-lucky days we have 17 children who wish to have NO part of "quiet time"! On those days, "quiet time" is not so quiet and the children end up with a partner, enjoying a variety of activities - playdoh, cooperative building toys, books, "camping," or our quiet activity boxes.
Other days, we have a 50-5o mix. On those days we help our "resters" fall asleep (quiet music and back rubbing, if requested) and then pass out books or Playdoh for individual play on their mats and pull the children one at a time to work on their individualization.
Today, one little guy, G, was having NO part of rest time. He did everything he could possibly think of to prevent anyone from resting. However, we managed to get our "resters" down and went to sit with G to try and settle him enough so that his friends could rest! His immediate reaction upon approaching his mat was, "NO! I will NEVER EVER sleep again." Now, mind you, G can be argumentative at times, but today, he was not giving up - and we weren't even asking him to sleep - we just wanted him to be "quiet!" So as opposed to becoming engaged in one of his arguments, we opted to "choose our battle" and instead simply said, "Good Night, G," hoping to change his mood and get him quietly joking. He laid down on his mat, covered up with his blanket and within 4 minutes was sound asleep and snoring! After waking him up for snack, I looked at him, smiled and simply said, "Hey buddy, I thought you were never gonna sleep again." G cocked his head sideways, squinted one eye and looked up at me and responded, "Haha. I trick you!"