Circle Time with toddlers isn't always the easiest time of day. Toddlers are busy, so you must find ways to draw their attention to you and what you are helping them learn. How do you conduct a circle time without wanting pull out your hair? Well, I'm going to tell you what works me, as I have 3 toddlers in my care that LOVE circle time!
In the picture above you can see my Toddler Calendar Board. It is bright, cheery and most importantly...inviting!
Make sure your space is inviting and accessible to toddlers. A bulletin board that is high above toddler's heads is not going to be engaging to them. It needs to be on their level!
Circle time needs to be SHORT! Toddler attention spans do not allow for lots of sitting. If you are expecting your toddlers to sit for over 10-15 minutes, be warned: chaos will soon erupt!
Give them a place to sit. We use little mats, you can use carpet squares or a rug with specific spots already marked. This gives each child a feeling of personal space.
Include lots of movement, song and props. I use a pointer (and share the pointer with toddlers) to point to the alphabet while we sing. We also get up and jump when singing our Jack in the Box song with out own jack in the box prop. Using actual objects to match to color cards or actual shapes to match to shape cards makes circle time more hands-on.
It is time to be animated, loud and engaging. No one wants to sing along with Oscar the Grouch! Get into the circle time fun too!
Who's Here Today?
Each day we sing the "Who's Here Today" Song (found in my Toddler Circle Time pack). After singing, the student that was sung about gets to add a circle to their bus. It is a great time to make children feel special and help them recognize their name. Each month the graphic gets changed out and the position of the names on the board gets switched.
While this toddler circle time is short and sweet, I already have seen so much interest in singing the ABC song at other points in the day. I am very pleased with how are circle time is going and would love to hear how you do circle time. Leave a comment!
Interested in my Toddler Circle Time pack? Click the picture above to learn more!