Believe it or not, one of the most important time of the day in preschool is what is referred to as "Circle Time". Depending on the age of our class (and the particular day), circle time can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. . We use Circle Time to encourage socialization in a healthy way (teaching them to raise their hands and wait until they are called on to speak). We talk about expectations for the day, what we will be working on, review of the rules. And we also review. One of the biggest benefits of Circle Time is routine. Our students know that we will review the calendar (in doing so, we practice counting), sing the alphabet song, the days of the week, etc!
Circle Time doesn't have to be limited to preschool! Use these tips to incorporate circle time at your home!
Tip: Keep It SIMPLE! Let your child pace Circle Time until it does become routine. When they are in a classroom environment, they will need to follow the pace of the class but at school your preschooler will feel the "pressure" of their peers.
(Circle Time is called "circle time" because our classmates are seated, we remind them to sit "chris, cross applesauce, spoons in the bowl" in order to ensure our hands are kept to ourselves. Sometimes our friends need to be reminded several times to sit or keep their hands in their laps - this is okay! Some friends require more "wiggle room" than others! Learning to sit, listen and participate is part of important socialization and routine skills they will need for Kindergarten.)
Start with a song -
Days of the Week (sung to the "Adams Family" theme song)
"Days of the week (clap, clap),
Days of the week (clap, clap),
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (clap, clap)
There's Sunday and there's Monday,
There's Tuesday and there's Wednesday,
There's Thursday and there's Friday,
And then there's Saturday,
Days of the week (clap, clap) days of the week (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (clap, clap)"
(Repeat a few times!)
There are 7 Days (Oh My Darling Clementine)
"There are seven days, there are seven days, there are seven days in a week,
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday."
*We use a wall calendar in our classrooms - if you have a posterboard, whiteboard, or chalkboard you can make one up!
This is a great question time. Even if you have just one child, ask your child to raise their hand until you call on them. You can make a game out of it - if they yell out without waiting to be called on, act as if they are invisible, reminding them you aren't able to see them without their hands raised!
Questions to ask/Discussion topics:
How many days are in a week?
If yesterday was "Monday" what is today?
What will tomorrow be?
Talk about any important days of the week or month - celebrations, holidays, etcI Highlight these on the visible calendar
For older preschoolers, ask what the month is (for younger, simply review the month - eventually they will get it!)
Talk about the current season (for older children ask them how many seasons there are)
Count through to the current day (for example, if today is the 10th of the month count to 10!)
Have you child go to the window or door and observe the weather. They should come back to you and tell you if it's sunny, cloudy, rainy, etc.
Feel free to add or detract from your Circle Time. Maybe your child loves to listen to a story and can sit long enough to add a story into circle time! Maybe your child loves to sing - feel free to add a song or two into circle time!
We would love to hear stories of your Circle Time - feel free to share with us on Instagram (@hullabalooacademy) and Facebook (@hullabalooplay) or comment below!
As always, thank you for being part of the Hullabaloo Community!