Most preschools tend to use circle time activities to engage children. This is a great way to make a lot of activity ideas since most preschoolers have an attention span of 10-15 minutes. Therefore, if you have a group of 2-6 years old children, you should keep reading to get great ideas for preschool circle time activities.
Also read: Everything you need to know about infant nutrition
What is circle time activity?
Circle time activities is a time where children meet together forming a circle while sitting on the floor or chair, engaging in fun activities with their fellow classmates alongside their teachers. Why in a circle? A circle is a shape that has no beginning and no end, therefore, everyone in the circle is an equal part of that group. That way a group is built in which each one’s thoughts, ideas and conversations matter and are respected.
Basically, preschool circle time activities (PCTA) enable children to be more active, confident and bold in themselves. It boosts their social skills, among other things. It develops positive relationships between them and other kids.
Preschool circle time activities are generally ideal for 2 to 6-year-old children. And the appropriate number of children should be from 7 to 16 children engaging in circle time activities. It should be done on weekly basis, twice or thrice a week.
What are the benefits of preschool circle time activities?
PCTA keeps kids occupied. It is an opportunity to involve all the children to be active. The activities that are included in circle time help children to get a lot of benefits, such as:
- It helps the child to develop confidence and self-esteem. There is no better way to help a child build confidence if not from the positive relationship he has with the teacher and peers.
- It enables the child to explore new and great ideas.
- PCTA helps to improve learning skills and fluent communication. Participating in PCTA enables children to express themselves, they don’t get to be shy anymore. It enhances their social skills and also improves their attention span.
- It is a motivating avenue to go to school and never to skip school. During circle time activities, children always feel excited and they all want to participate. It makes them have that strong belief that going to school is fun. There is no room for skipping school since PCTA is a great routine in their lives. It helps to promote growth and development in the children’s lives.
How to start circle time
PCTA is not rocket science, it comes out naturally. It has to be done routinely to make it interesting. It should be done once daily in a defined space in carpet squares led by the teacher.
Here are some interesting tips for starting preschool circle time activities:
- First and foremost, circle time should start by introducing a welcome song to reach out to every child, making them feel important and appreciated.
- Tell them an interesting story. Your stories should be character-based, such as the princess and the frog, Superheroes, and Animal stories. This enhances a serene environment at that moment, thereby increasing their listening skills and making them more attentive and creative.
- Introduce circle time songs and rhymes. The preschool circle time songs must be danceable songs. Every child will be interested to make some moves while they sing the songs or rhymes. The teacher will demonstrate the dance steps in accordance with the songs and the children will practice the dance steps. This is another great element of learning. With the song or rhymes and dance steps, the child can remember anything taught. Circle time songs will fully engage the child in fun activities.
What should preschool circle time activities include?
Circle time activities in most preschool programs are thought of as a time to learn about the calendar, weather, or for introducing a letter, shape, color, number, to teach children math, farm animals. Quality preschool circle time activities lesson plans schedule should include some books, puppets, boards, songs and games that can possibly educate about the current time of the year, such as topics about spring, summer, fall, winter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s day.
Circle time should also include some rules and visuals as a strategy to teach children about discipline and respect. Also keep in mind that preschool circle time should not be long, it should last 10-15 minutes as small children can’t concentrate longer than that.
Preschool circle time activities ideas
This game requires teamwork and careful observation. The children stand in a circle. One student (detective) leaves the classroom. While the detective is in the hallway, you choose a leader who will imitate a movement with his body, such as tapping his foot, while the other students in the circle follow him.
The detective returns to the classroom and goes to the center of the circle. After a few minutes, the selected student changes movement, e.g., starts clapping his hands and the rest of the student follows him. The detective must find out who the student leader is. The detective gets three attempts and then a new leader and a detective are chosen for the next round.
Telling a story in a circle
This kind of preschool circle time activities helps toddlers pool their creative resources. The teacher begins with the first sentence of the story, eg “Once upon a time, three children were walking in the woods…”. One by one, students add one sentence each with new story details. The story cannot end until each student has participated in it.
Fairy tales, stories and puppet shows
Properly selected fairy tales and stories, puppet shows bring the child closer to the experience of the mental-spiritual process in man. Repeating the same fairy tale, story or puppet show in a child strengthens the will and ability to concentrate. Allows it to connect to content.
In older children, it is also a means of learning moral values.
If there is any problem or conflict in a group of children, the best way to solve the problem is to bring a friendly-looking puppet and act like the puppet is talking to the children. Come up with a story that describes the same problem as the kids have, and try to find a solution together with them.
That way, kids are more likely to open up about their feelings and thoughts and they will talk about their problems. This helps in developing their social skills and finding solutions for problems.
Circle time has numerous benefits and is a great way to work with children and expand their knowledge. It adds incredible value to a class community as they learn so much and also have fun in the same time. Therefore, try your best to keep it fun and interactive. This will help kids to stay excited about learning and socializing with other peers.
Also read: Benefits that sport and exercise bring to children
Vicky is a Medical Laboratory Scientist in Rivers State University Teaching Hospital. She is a native of Kalabari, Rivers State in Nigeria. She is also a blogger and founder of Kayscrib.com; a health blog that is mandated in creating an awareness of our health, food and its nutrition, fitness and well-being. Vicky is so passionate about prioritizing the health of individuals. Her goal is about bringing healing to individuals, help them to find healthy perceptions of themselves and strengthen their relationships so they can know themselves as completely whole, safe and peaceful. She also loves music and is a singer that sings mostly in church. Vicky believes in giving people the opportunity to better themselves positively.