Authored by Kate Beswick in Parenting
Published on 06-11-2009
Circle time for preschoolers is a great way to get all of the kids involved and encourage them to interact with each other. Circle time can also be a great way to get the kids to gear up for the day ahead of them or to wind down after a morning of fun! It’s important to remember that preschoolers don’t have a very large attention span and can’t be expected to sit still for longer than a few minutes. Because of this it’s important to keep preschool circle time to no longer than 15 or 20 minutes. This is plenty of time to do lots of fun and educational stuff with them, and here are some great ideas to get you started:
Using a calendar in circle time can be a great way to start the day. You can have children sing a song about the month of the year and the day of the week. After each song say, “Today is….” and have the children tell you what the month or day is. You can then either just point to the day on the calendar or have pre-made dates made and glue or Velcro them on. Velcro can be a good option when using a blank calendar. You can simply remove the old dates and place up new ones with each day.
Learning about weather is another great activity for preschool children and it’s easy to incorporate this into circle time! Simply cut out pictures of a sun, clouds, rain, and snow, and ask the children what the weather is like that day. When a child guesses correctly, ask them to pick out the shape and to place it on the calendar.
A great way to teach preschoolers about turn-taking is to focus a circle time activity on just that! Using any object (a teddy bear, a colorfully painted rock,) pass the item around, allowing each child to hold it for a few minutes. Whoever is holding the object has a turn to talk. This can be used for show and tell or for allowing the students to tell about what they did on summer or Christmas vacation. It not only teaches the children about taking turns but it also encourages listening skills and shows kids how to talk to each other.
Doggy, Doggy, Where is my Bone?
This game is mostly for fun although it can teach children about voice recognition. Have one child sit blindfolded in the middle of the circle and give a dog bone to another child to hide in their lap or behind them. The child holding the bone asks, “Doggy, doggy, where is my bone?” The child with the blindfold on can then take off the blindfold, and try to guess who has the bone.
Variations can be made on this game to fit any preschool theme or time of year. For Valentine’s Day, get a child to hold a Valentine’s card. The blindfolded child can then ask, “Cupid, cupid, where is my valentine?” Or decorate a colorful Easter egg and have the blindfolded child ask, “Bunny, bunny, where is my Easter egg?”