The title of this blog comes from one of the Burrow children's favourite action songs,
The adults sing -
See the little bunnies sleeping till it’s nearly noon,
(The children curl up on the floor)
Shall we awake them with our merry tune?
Oh how still, are they ill?
Wake up now!
(The children all jump up and start hopping.)
The adults continue - Hop little bunnies, hop, hop!
In the Burrow, the sleep routine begins with the early morning conversations between parents and staff about any changes in home sleep patterns - has the child slept well or woken early or is the child may be growing out of an afternoon nap? During this chat parents may request specific times for day time sleeps – only 40 minutes or an hour. This information is written on the whiteboard and sleep sheet.
While the children are at Forest School or having snack the clean plastic floor mats are covered with clean fitted sheets and a small blanket each labelled with the child’s name and kept on a high shelf.
At the beginning of lunch time, half of the upstairs of the Burrow room becomes the sleeping area. A risk assessment is carried out- the blinds drawn, quiet music played on the CD player and the beds laid head to tail. If the are all the same way there are lots of giggles and not much sleep. And most importantly comforters found.
After lunch, all the children come upstairs until the downstairs room is cleared up after lunch. Those who are sleeping are settled individually. Some fall asleep almost immediately others prefer an adult to sit with them with a gentle touch and some like a wriggle time. Children who are playing are reminded to play quietly and remember the sleepers.
After 30 minutes some children are beginning to wake up. Some like to stay lying down and seem to be listening to the sounds in the room, others like to pull on their leggings and take their comforters to their bags themselves. These children seem very proud of their independence. Others sleep on peacefully and are regularly checked. If the child is still asleep when the time their parents asked for is coming up, an adult gently strokes their faces, talks to them quietly and starts to dress them. They are cuddled until they are ready to move away from an adult and play.
We have seen some children role playing Sleep time by making beds with cushions and blankets they have sourced from around the room – undressing and kissing the toy babies good night and telling each other to sshh. One day a child held a toy baby up by the wall, saying sleepers . We wondered why and the child pointed to the board on the wall. This is the chart the adults use to refer to the list of sleeping children, who we call sleepers, kept on the wall to record times and positions – front, back or side. We reflected on how observant the children are of routines and adults behaviour.
We hope this blog reflects how carefully and considerately each child is looked after in the Burrow.