The start of each new term brings a new clutch of preschoolers into your setting. Here are three suggestions for activities you could do in your first weeks with new children to help everyone get to know one another.
The start of each new term brings a new clutch of preschoolers into your setting. A group of nervous looking three year olds with new backpacks and lunchboxes suddenly combined with your ever-so-grown up preschool veterans. Here are three suggestions for activities you could do in your first weeks with new children to help everyone get to know one another.
Me, In a Bag
Prepare a paper bag with each child's name on it. It's a nice idea to prepare one for each member of staff in preschool as well. Send the children (and grown-ups!) home with their named bag, asking them to put five things that they really like inside. It's worth including some simple instructions in the bag for parents too! Over the course of the next week or so, give each child the opportunity to talk about what's in their bag.
Who's the Tallest?
Either outside, or in an area with plenty of space, gather all the children together in a group. Begin by asking them to line up in height order, with the tallest at one end and the shortest at the other. Depending on the ages and confidence of the children, you can support them as necessary, or encourage the older members of your preschool to take the lead. This activity can be extended to ask the children to organise themselves by name, birthday month, or even into groups according to the colour of their clothes.
Getting in a Tangle
Once you're confident that your preschool group has got the hang over everyone's name, it's time to bring out the the ball of wool! Gather the children into a circle, and show them the ball of wool. Explain that you are going to say someone's name, walk across the circle to them and hand them the ball of wool. You'll keep hold of the end when you. The game continues with children naming each other, passing on the wool and holding on to their piece. As the tangle develops, the children will have to clamber through it to get to the next person - a nice opportunity to develop physicality as well as remember new friends' names.