Circle time can be a challenging task for a veteran child care provider let alone someone new to the field. I will never forget me first circle time it was a mess I was a disaster 🙂 But, Like everything I got better with practice the more you do it the better you become it is as simple as that. I have compiled a list of things that make my group gatherings go smoother.
1. A Great Book- If the book is not interesting to the children get rid of it. The children will let you know by their body language if they start to squarm and start talking you know its a dud. You might LOVE the book but were here for our audience. My go to book for a new class it DON’T touch that button by Bill Cotter it is a great book for children. I have never had a child not love it. I make it interactive by letting each child touch the button on the page or tell me when to stop shaking the book exc. I let the children have part in the story telling.
2. Music and movement- Children love music and they love to move. My children love bean bag songs and an easy CD for bean bag music and movement is bean bag rock and roll. I just follow the directions with the kids and they have a blast. Another great CD is Charlotte Diamonds classic octopus or better known slippery fish children love that song because once again they get to play out the story with their own bodies.
3. If you have a rowdy group or its just one of those days 🙂 you can always bring out the mystery bag. The mystery bag is a paper bag that I put a couple items in and keep it near my circle time area for emergencies. I sit down with it and immediately they notice it because children always notice something new in the environment. Ill start to shake it and go hmm I wonder whats in it i pass the bag around and let each child shake it. then at the end i let each child take a guess. I will then start to remove the item’s from the bag try to make the items relevant to what will be going on in circle time today for example if your going to be playing music and scarves have scarves in there. once the items are removed from the bag ask the children how they think you will be using the items. Bam you have their undivided attention!
In the words of Lion King ” Life’s greatest adventure is finding your place in the circle of life”
Bean bag rock and roll-