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Is Nap Time Beneficial to Kindergarten Children?

by Karen Hollowell, studioD

Kindergartners are busy children. They are learning, exploring and growing every day. Most are in schools with all-day schedules that leave little time for even laying their heads down for a few minutes, so a nap might be in order when they get home. Parents know their child's needs better than anyone. Although a nap might not be necessary by age 6, brief afternoon rests after school during the kindergarten year will make the transition smoother and provide physical and academic benefits.


A nap time has behavioral benefits for kindergartners. Parents will understand that when they witness the effects lack of sleep can have on their child. According to an article on Scholastic.com, impatience and an explosive temper are noted as characteristics to look for in interactions with friends or siblings. There might be some bickering, which is normal in childhood play, but if their child displays chronic aggressiveness toward others or withdraws from play altogether, a nap time after school might improve his mood before playtime.


A nap time is academically beneficial to kindergarten children. When teachers begin to send notes home about a child regressing in skills or displaying a sudden indifference to learning, a lack of rest might be the answer. The website KidsHealth.org recommends that parents look for similar traits at home by noticing whether their child is reluctant to do homework or is difficult to wake up in the mornings. If you have no other plausible explanations, establishing a nap time might help restore the child's enthusiasm.


A nap time for kindergarten students has obvious physical benefits. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 5-year-olds need 10 to 13 hours of sleep every night. Once they start school, many children do not get this amount, and an afternoon nap from 30 minutes to 90 minutes can make up the difference. The positive effects include increased alertness, more energy and less fatigue.


A regular nap time will help a kindergartner be in a better mood and probably less irritable and argumentative. Although many activities at school are designed to be fun and engaging, they require a lot of movement. It is logical that a 5-year-old would be exhausted after most of these days. This can be seen in a child's crankiness, refusal to cooperate with adults or unwillingness to participate in family activities. A nap might not be the cure to all those upsets, but it could alleviate them.

About the Author

Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.

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