The Power of Nap: Building the Child's Brain
Aside from giving mom’s and dad’s moments of coveted silence, time to catch up on emails, or an hour to relax, naps are incredibly important for the development and health of young children.
Each and every day, their brain and its billions of neurons make connections, and make sense, of the big wide world around them. This constant learning and stimulation is exhausting, and so the daytime nap(s) becomes crucial for resting the child’s brain and body.
In a recent study from the Children Memorial Hospital in Chicago, researchers found that children who napped regularly were better able to remember details and context from their day than those who did not nap. Researchers also found that missing a nap “could significantly reduce memory in a variety of areas that are crucial for early learning, from motor-skill development to emotional regulation”. In order to foster this development, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 3 to 5 year old’s get 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including naps, every 24 hours.
At Kindertown, after Chef Alyssa has served up one of our nutritious tasty lunches, we get our children ready for nap time. To create a more relaxing atmosphere, we dim our lights, shutter our windows, and play soothing, tranquil music. In instances when children are still restless, educators will read a story and rub backs to calm the child down. We also encourage parents to bring in a child’s favorite stuffy and/or blanket, to allow for familiarity and comfort. For the children unable to sleep, or those that have grown out of this routine, we provide them with puzzles, books and various fine motor activities.
By encouraging nap time, both parents and educators provide children with a ‘cognitive break’, the necessary opportunity to relax their brain as it processes new and exciting information. So, not only does the nap provide parents with precious moments of silence (and sanity), it’s also working to build stronger and smarter brains.
The term ‘power nap’ has never been so relevant!