For the littlest one, a book or two to lull eyes closed work wonders.
For the older one~ rest time no longer involves sleep but quiet.
A few lifesavers:
stack of favorite books (naturally)
Audiobooks, "because sometimes I like to read without pictures, Mama." Present Favorite: Heidi
I Spy Books, or Where's Waldo
A notebook and pen, marker or writing utensil... for this:
Her idea, not mine. Now I *could* be all frustrated that she is not even trying to sound words out by spelling them.
But I am not.
Because the more she writes, the more proficient she becomes; the better form of letters, the straighter and more uniform size, etc. Most especially, the more her love of the written word grows.
Maybe she isn't reading books yet (like I had hoped), but there is no disputing one of her great loves...and that devotion to the written word is the most important thing of all.