Helping Your Child Learn, Explore, & Grow
Circle Time is an interactive agenda, that is light, fun and convenient to implement on your own or in a group and in my opinion, is suitable for a variety of ages. This can be done in any language if you want to teach new languages to your children. Circle Time is packed with fun, easy, play-tested songs and activities that help teach children and keep them interested to explore and grow. This is perfect and an easy DIY set up whether you’re a parent or a teacher.
I teach my toddlers who are 2 & 3 years old. Each day, we do a circle time that includes learning, music and stories, as well as review core skills such as letter, number and shape recognition. Each lesson starts with a greeting song, reviews the days of the week and the weather. You can also watch our circle time videos for free on youtube to provide a virtual online circle time experience for children.
Music has many benefits for children’s learning, and not only do rhymes and songs help teach language skills, circle time is also a chance for children to begin to practice key skills for kindergarten readiness as well as discipline: the ability to sit still, to listen to a teacher, to notice and do what the other people around them are doing, and to stop doing something when asked. (We also do songs that includes fast movement and then "stop" and I want to share how important this is for practicing impulse control.) My secret agenda is that teaching parents things to do with their children builds connections. Plus, of course, circle time is fun!
You should be aware that in the beginning, children will not be good at sitting still and paying attention for the full circle time, but the more we practice, and the more we model that behavior for them and encourage them to try, the better they’ll get. In the beginning, you can start with a circle time that is about 10 minutes long, and gradually move up to 20 – 25 minutes or longer if there is interest and activities, just adding more pieces to each segment as you go along.
It is best to always go in the same order each time, that way the children learn the ritual, and are better able to participate because they can predict what will happen next.
Our circle time starts with a morning song, then goes into focusing on our Circle Time Boards I made. I go over the colors, emotions, shapes, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, how's the weather song, and dressing for the weather.
Free printables to make you own can be found at the end of this blog; just print, cut out and add velcro stickers.
We have a section for the kids to be interactive and involved by taking the cards and placing them in the slots for "this month is, today is, yesterday was, tomorrow is, the weather is, the season is, shape of the day, color of the day, number of the day, letter of the day, emotion of the day and rhyme time".
We then spend the rest of the day focusing and pointing out things that match our emotion, color, letter, shape, number and so forth. That includes reading books or doing activities around those things. This teaches memory and recalling to reinforce the day’s learning. We then do rhythm songs where the kids follow directions. Ending circle time, we read a fun imaginative book related to the day’s theme, and we often do a group game or interactive game with the book.
Examples of activities you can do during circle time:
Morning Songs - We start with a morning song, I have a few that I put into rotation.
Greeting Songs – If you have a group, you can do the “I roll the ball to [name] song” and one other greeting song which uses the child’s name and gives each child a moment in the spotlight.
Lap Songs – when we bounce children in a rhythm, it helps to instill rhythm in them at a fundamental level. It also helps to build their vestibular system. These songs are also super fun, and get lots of giggles going.
Finger Rhymes – these teach a lot of vocabulary, and also teach children to notice patterns…
“Theme Activity” – Play with something made in an activity the previous day.
Book: I like to add something to make the book interactive and keep the kids engaged (For example: Happy and Sad face for kids to hold up to share wether or not the action made in the story was a good choice or a bad choice; Adding a learning experience about good and bad choices).
Shakers – Shake and Stop Songs, turn on music and dance and shake to the music, turn off music and everyone stops.
Active Songs - Moving to the music and/or dance around the room in rhythm to the music is great at building coordination, rhythm, and large muscle skills.
Circle Time Themes include: fall, winter, spring, farm, zoo, stars, transportation, ducks, and beach.
Email to receive Free Printables: Circle Time + Schedule Board - SuperFancyKids@gmail.com
(Schedule Board Blog coming soon)
Watch Circle Time Free on YouTube (More videos to come)
Links to youtube video's we use for learning: