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Three Circle Time Games to Try

Keeping circle time fresh and engaging can be a challenge. Here we've pulled together three different circle time ideas to add a bit of variety.

Circle time is one of those things found in most nursery or preschool rooms worldwide. It's a great way to engage the children in some focussed time, and makes the practicalities of the day easier by releasing some colleagues to prepare the room for an activity or meal. However, keeping circle time fresh and engaging can be a challenge. Here we've pulled together three different circle time ideas to add a bit of variety.

Calendar Time

Photographer: Nathan Dumlao | Source: Unsplash

Introducing children to the concept of a calendar, and important dates is good for their mathematics development, and their understanding of the world. You could simply draw a calendar for the next 2 - 4 weeks on your circle time whiteboard. Another nice option is to get a personalised calendar printed with photos of your setting at different times of year.

Once you have a calendar to use, there are various circle time activities to try, and questions to ask the children;

  • who isn't here? Ask the children about grown ups and children who are away from the setting at the moment. Talk about where they are, and if we know when they are coming. Mark the calendar together to show when each person is expected back
  • who has a birthday soon? Depending on how you use circle time, you can do this the small, or large way! The small option is to simply ask a group of older children if anyone has a birthday coming up, and mark the calendar together. Alternatively, get each child to prepare a little lollipop-stick puppet of themselves when they join the setting, and mark it with their birthday. Keep a set of boxes or bags, with one for each month. At the start of each new month, get the corresponding container out, and stick each of the birthday puppets in the right place on the calendar.
  • what's happening at nursery? Whether it's a group trip, a special meal, or an exciting visitor, encourage the children to review what exciting events are scheduled on the calendar. Counting the number of days until a particular event is a simple way to integrate some mathematics into circle time.

Important Helpers

Photographer: Kristin Brown | Source: Unsplash

Encouraging children to play an active role in their setting is important. Come up with a short list of daily jobs or tasks for which children can take responsibility. Some options might include;

  • collecting the post from the post box/reception
  • feeding pets
  • watering plants
  • filling up water jugs
  • setting the meal table

Circle time is the perfect opportunity to choose which children will be responsible for each job today. Add images representing each of the tasks to your circle time board, and once you appoint a child, ask them to put their name or photo next to the task image. Giving children the opportunity to select their name or photo from a group is a great development opportunity as well.

Pen-Pals in the modern age

What better way to enhance children's understanding of the world in the broadest sense than by sharing circle time with children elsewhere in the world? By joining the digital pen-pals community, your setting can be paired with one in another country. Using a laptop and webcam, or tablet, you and your digital pen-pals can have circle time together. This is a fantastic opportunity for children to hear stories and learn songs from a different community. Get in touch with us today to learn more.