The chance to relax and recharge is a key part of the day for many preschoolers—and their teachers! Many teachers play lullabies and other favorite preschool songs as their students settle into their resting spots. Playing the same tracks each day creates a soothing routine and has a Pavlovian effect to cue children to wind down.
Teachers who play music for the duration of their rest times often find instrumental music to be best for helping children to stay calm. After all, singing along is not encouraged.
What are the best preschool songs for rest time? We picked the brains of veteran teachers to compile this handy list for you.
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1. “Return to Pooh Corner” from Return to Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins.
2. “The Rainbow Connection” by Sarah McLachlan from For The Kids by Various artists
3. “Peace Like a River” from You Are My Little Bird by Elizabeth Mitchell
4. “Rest Awhile” from Wiggle Wiggle and Other Exercises by The Bobby Susser Singers
5. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from Catch the Moon by Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell
6. “Lullaby” from Lullaby by Justin Roberts
7. “Stay Awake” by Julie Andrews from Mary Poppins Original Soundtrack by Various artists
8. “Oyasumi” from La La La by Priscilla Ahn
9. “Over the Rainbow” from Somewhere Over the Rainbow: The Best of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
10. “Pillowland” from Laurie Berkner Lullabies by The Laurie Berkner Band
Bonus: This song is now a beautiful picture book, too!
11. “Lullaby” by Jack Johnson featuring Matt Costa from Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies For the Film Curious George by Jack Johnson and Friends
12. Dreamland: World Lullabies and Soothing Songs by Various artists
13. Bedtime Mozart: Classical Lullabies for Babies by Classical Lullabies
14. Putumayo Kids Celtic Dreamland by Various artists
15. A Day Without Rain by Enya
16. Brahms’ Lullaby and Other Classical Music for Children by Various artists
17. Classical Naptime for Tots by Various artists
18. Seagulls: Music for Rest and Relaxation by Hap Palmer
19. Gregorian Chants by The Monks of Glenstal Abbey
20. Children’s Lullaby Radio on Pandora
21. Rock-a-Bye-Baby Radio on Pandora
22. Weightless by Marconi Union
And finally, if all else fails, you can turn to an effort from Mindlab International to create the “world’s most relaxing song.” “Weightless,” by the British ambient band Marconi Union, purportedly has specific features that produce a calm-inducing effect in listeners. (In case you find it so soothing that you want to listen to it at home all night long, there’s also a ten-hour version.)
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