Doing circle time activities is a great way to build a strong morning routine and encourage fun learning. Keep reading for some ideas.
Why Do Preschool Circle Time
First and foremost, doing circle time with your preschoolers is a great way to build relationships with them.
They learn how to greet others and have fun doing it.
Circle time helps to build a routine.
We know kids THRIVE off of routines and schedules.
Your littles will know what to expect during circle time because you do (nearly) the same activities each day.
Kids are learning and having fun during circle time.
Kids are internalizing everything from learning to greet each other, interpreting the weather, and singing and dancing.
This article may contain affiliate links to products that may help you when homeschooling preschool.
It’s less planning for you! Whew!
We could all use a break, especially when your life is packed full of preschoolers.
Because circle time activities are cyclical, they repeat.
You may need to find a music and movement video, but the morning song, sharing, weather, days of the week/ months of the year, and many other parts stay the same!
You can cycle through music and movement songs and finger play, too.
Kids love revisiting the ones they have already learned!
The Best Circle Time Activities
1. Good Morning Song
There are many Good Morning songs available.
Pick the one that resonates with you (and is the least annoying).
Be prepared to sing it without technology because it is sure to happen that the video won’t load.
2. Sharing Time
Allow each child to share about something.
Pick a theme (share your favorite animal), or have them share about their weekend.
Giving littles a chance to voice their thoughts is empowering!
It’s also an excellent opportunity for everyone to practice being polite and active listeners.
Look out the window and describe the weather for the day.
Some preschools have little people who dress up for the weather.
If that seems like a bit much, don’t worry about it.
Simply talking about the weather is a great way to get your preschoolers thinking about how it will affect them.
4. Helpers of the Day/Week
Everyone wants a chance to be a special helper.
Have a job that only the helpers get to do.
It makes it enticing and something your helpers will look forward to doing.
Calendar time doesn’t have to be elaborate.
Go over the month, date, and day of the week.
If you have a calendar where you can add the dates as you go, that’s wonderful.
If not, a printable calendar works just fine! You can color in each day together.
We have a freebie printable calendar that your littles can decorate in our Freebies Library.
6. Wonderful Word of the Day
Help expand the vocabulary of your preschoolers by teaching them a new word each day.
It’s lovely if you have a book that uses that word.
If not, that’s okay!
Use it in a sentence, and have your little ones come up with their own sentences.
7. Music and Movement
Get some energy out and help littles cross the midline (reach across their bodies) to build strong gross motor muscles, coordination, and balance.
Getting your little ones moving is an integral part of circle time activities!
We have a post full of Music and Movement ideas, too!
8. Finger Play
Do you know the songs like ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ or ‘Open Shut Them’?
These are a great way to get your preschoolers to memorize songs, sing them, and do motions with their hands.
9. Talk About the Day’s Activities
Who doesn’t like to know what to expect for the day?
If you have a special event going on, let your littles know about it!
Even if you are doing your regular routine, going over it is a great way to get your kids thinking about all the fun things they get to do.
10. Read a Story
Kids love to be read to.
Reading stories is a great way to teach morals, talk about characters and emotions, and show that reading can be fun.
Creating lifelong learners is the goal.
Allowing your littles to read and be exposed to literacy is a great way to start their love for learning and reading.
11. Retell a Story using Props
After reading a story, retell it using props like a felt board or printed sequencing cards.
Retelling stories is a great circle time activity because it helps littles work on their memory and sequencing.
These skills are handy for pattern-making, daily planning, and much more.
12. Greet Each Other
Show your preschoolers how to shake hands or wave to one another.
Look into each other’s eyes and say, “Good Morning ____”.
This makes everyone feel seen and appreciated.
After they have this down, they can ask how the person is feeling to bring in emotional learning.
13. Counting Practice
Counting practice can be woven into calendar time by counting the dates until you get to today’s date.
You can also use props to count or count other things (like the data collected in number 14).
14. Record Information (like the Weather)
Teaching the general concept of recording information is a great way to lay a foundation for math skills and concepts.
Approaching data collection in a non-threatening manner, like tracking the weather, shows kids how the task is done but doesn’t ask much of them in return.
Use a large boxed grid paper to make your life a bit easier when it comes to tracking.
Fill in one square per day in the appropriate column.
For example, if it is sunny, fill in a box above the sun picture.
If it is cloudy, fill in a box above the cloud picture.
Track the weather data for a month, then discuss what you notice.
15. Days of the Week/ Months of the Year Songs
Seamlessly weave days of the week and months of the year songs into your circle time activities by singing them during calendar time.
This reaffirms to your littles that these songs have something to do with the calendar, even if they can’t make the full connection yet.
16. Pattern Making
Challenge your littles to make patterns that follow the rule you create.
This can be alternating colors, two of one color, then one of the other, or changing the size of the items.
To challenge your littles further, use something you can face forward and back (like animals with faces or cars with distinct fronts and backs).
Patterning is a foundational skill that math concepts will be built on!
17. Circle Time Games
Keep circle time activities fun and lighthearted by incorporating games.
Many good ones are out there, so you can keep them fresh and new.
To help you a bit, we have compiled 7 Circle Time Games into another post.
Top Activities for Circle Time
Circle time doesn’t have to be stressful.
Add the circle time activities that work for you and your little ones.
There is nothing wrong with starting with a few of these activities and then adding more in (or switching them) when you need a change.