Our youngest is a sound sleeper. We're pretty sure she sleeps better when it is noisy than when it is quiet. Our two year old, not so much. So here's what we do. After lunch eaten and we've tidied up, I bundle up the older kids and send them outside to play. This works 90% of the time. They have rain coats and umbrellas for rainy days, snow clothes for winter and so it is only in extreme stormy weather that they need to stay indoors. Chase is tucked into his bed and Addie into hers. Ella is four and plays outside with her older siblings.
Generally, they'll play outside for about an hour with trips inside to use the bathroom or get a drink, which is fine by me. I'm pretty much settled with the idea that our floors will never be spotless unless it is five minutes after they've been mopped.
When everyone comes inside, I have them put away their things and find a quiet toy to play with in the living room. Ella goes upstairs to her bed for a nap and depending on the day and his temperament, Aiden, who is six, might lie down for a little while.
I've been trying to get the older three kids in the habit of doing their personal devotions during this time, taking time to be quiet, look at their choice of book from our Bible stories pile or their Bible and write in their journals if they like. The kids do great with this and seem to thrive on the ten minutes or so of quiet time, I just need to remember to remind them to do it.
To keep the three oldest kids occupied while they play during nap time, I turn on Your Story Hour on http://www.oneplace.com/ ,Jonathan Park on http://www.jonathanpark.com/ , Adventures in Odyssey on http://www.whitsend.org/ or one of our stories on Cd's. Librivox also has a lot of great children's stories for free. Right now the kids are listening to a story that takes place during the civil war, since that is the time period we're immersed in.
Alternately, I'll let them play a game together, which gets if-y because sometimes games can stir up conflict which gets noisy or a school game on their little laptops is also allowed.
All this keeps them occupied for about two hours every afternoon until the babies and toddlers wake up and the house is a busy hubbub again.
What about you? What have you found that works for nap time in your house?