I love using preschool circle time activities in my classroom! Incorporating circle time activities for preschoolers into your daily lessons is a great way to begin learning new concepts and practicing important early skills. Plus, they’re engaging and fun!
Keep reading to discover how you can make your circle time a safe space, incorporate lots of movement activities, and get the scoop on my new printable circle time activities for preschoolers too.
I’ll share how you can use circle time boards with your preschoolers. Then, don’t miss my tips on creating the very best preschool circle time in your classroom too!
What is Circle Time?
Circle time gathers together the children in your classroom or homeschool space for a time of social interaction, developing relationships, and preparation for a day filled with learning fun. Beginning your day with preschool circle time activities is a good way to get started.
I like circle time because it gives me a chance to address classroom issues like excessive talking, or too much noise during lesson time. Plus, they’re a great way to transition between activities. Everyone gets an opportunity to participate with preschool circle time activities.
To begin circle time, seat your students on the floor in a circle or form a circle with chairs. I like to use a small stress ball to pass around during circle time. The child holding the ball may talk and the ball is passed around to give everyone turns to speak.
Some of my favorite circle time activities for preschoolers include musical games, cooperative games, listening exercises, role-play, show and tell, and more! I like to keep preschool circle time activities light and fun with the goal of getting ready for learning.
There are so many awesome benefits to preschool circle time! Check out a few below.
- Establishing Routine
- Listening Skill Building
- Motor Skills Practice
- Kindergarten Readiness
- Engagement & Motivation
How to Choose Circle Time Activities for Preschoolers
Preschool circle time can certainly be magical! If you’re ready to begin circle time activities with your preschoolers, you’re in luck. Here are my tips for choosing great activities for circle time with early learners.
Keep It Short & Fun
Begin by finding fun and creative ways to invite your students to preschool circle time. I often begin with a short circle time song to signal my preschoolers that it’s time to join me in the circle. You could get creative and begin by playing a musical instrument or clapping to let everyone know it’s time for a circle.
Another great suggestion when you’re beginning circle time is to keep it short. You can always add time as your preschoolers adjust to this new activity. Beginning with a short time helps your students successfully participate without feeling overwhelmed.
You can use your preschool circle time activities to transition from one activity to the next. However, you’ll need to master the art of transitioning in and out of circle time for it to really be successful. You can use a fun song or a “transition object” to help you leave circle time.
One of the best things about circle time is its ability to increase student participation. When you’re in the circle, it’s a safe space for kids to share and participate in the activities. This gives chatty preschoolers the opportunity to share their thoughts and shy preschoolers a chance to answer questions in a safe space.
How to Make Circle Time a Safe Space
Older preschoolers and kindergartners can use circle time to work out real problems. I like to incorporate a preschool circle time activity where my students get to critique the rules and help me come up with new classroom rules. When they get to invent the rules themselves, they are much happier to follow them.
Get Moving with Circle Time Games
Keep circle time active. Do exercises in place, jump, or turn around in a circle. This gives kids a chance to get the wiggles out before sitting at desks or tables. Plus, it’s a great way to help preschoolers develop motor skills.
Great preschool circle time activities are musical! Give your circle time activities for preschoolers a little something extra with simple percussion musical instruments like shaker eggs. They’re great for keeping kids’ attention.
Don’t forget to sing and don’t worry about your voice. Sharing the song with your preschool learners is the most important part. Check out some of our favorite circle time songs:
1,2,3, Clay Your Hands with Me from Miss Nina at Music & Movement for Preschool
Sit On the Mat and Clap from Learning Songs for Kids
If music isn’t your favorite way to get preschoolers up and moving during circle time, check out these preschool circle time games to keep your students engaged and moving.
Act the Emotion
Call out an emotion word like happy, sad, or angry. Then, watch as your preschoolers act out the emotion around the circle. Talk about the similarities and differences in their expressions.
Then, talk about how not everyone shows emotion the same way. This is a fantastic way to incorporate an all about me theme!
Sleeping Lions Game
This preschool circle time activity helps practice their concentration skills. In the sleeping lions game, your preschoolers will need to stay focused despite the distractions. First, have all the students pretend to be sleeping. Then one child walks among them attempting to wake them without touching them. The last preschooler to appear sleeping despite the distractions is the winner.
This circle time activity for preschoolers encourages kids to be silly. To stay “asleep,” kids have to keep themselves focused on not moving a muscle—no matter what. That’s very hard for young preschoolers! However, it’s a great way to help them develop the tools they’ll need to stay focused in less structured settings.
Playing with a parachute is one of my favorite way for kids to help preschoolers learn about teamwork. In this circle time activity for preschoolers, your students will gather around in a circle holding onto a parachute.
Place a beach ball or teddy bear in the center of the parachute. Then, have kids move together to keep the object from falling off the parachute. If they don’t work together, the stuffed animal will fall off. Another fun variation is for preschoolers to take turns running underneath the parachute when it’s in the air.
Start New Lessons in Circle Time
Preschool circle time is the perfect time to introduce new lessons and early learning concepts. In the circle, preschoolers can interact and work together to learn new things. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in exploring and learning about new concepts.
I’ve put together some really great printables to help you begin circle time activities that help build important early learning skills. You can use these preschool circle time activities to begin learning about rhyming, syllables, letter sounds, and more.
Keep reading to see the best circle time ideas preschool students will love.
Rhyme Time Activity
Rhyming circle time activities for preschoolers help children develop phonemic awareness. One of the first steps to building successful early readers is teaching them that phonemes are the smallest units of sound that form words. Rhyming also teaches beginning readers about the patterns and structures that form our language.
In this printable Rhyme Time Activity, your preschoolers will get to practice finding words that rhyme. Plus, they can build handwriting skills by naming and writing the ending sounds of words pictured in the printable activity.
Have more rhyming fun singing Down by the Bay and coming up with silly new verses with your preschoolers. My kids love to sing “Did you ever see a whale wagging its tail?”
Word Count Activity
In this preschool circle time activity, you can use my printables to help teach your students how to count the words in a sentence. It’s a great first step before reading the sentence aloud.
Finally, build reading comprehension skills by having your preschool learners draw a picture of the sentence.
Teaching preschoolers about syllables with this Syllable Circle Time Activity for preschoolers is easy and fun! Understanding how syllables work helps preschoolers learn to decode them and blend syllables to form words easily.
These skills make it easy for kids to break big words into chunks they can read instead of trying to tackle the entire word at once.
Letters & Sounds Activity
Identify uppercase and lowercase letters with your students in this circle time activity for preschoolers. You can use my cute printable Letters & Sounds Cards to get started with this engaging literacy activity.
Kids will identify beginning sounds, write letters, and explore the sounds letters make together as a group with this circle time game.
The Best Circle Time Board Ideas
Have you thought about adding a circle time board to your preschool circle time activities? A board is a creative way to begin your circle time with lots of visual elements that keep preschoolers engaged.
Plus, a circle time board allows you to keep all the activities together, so you don’t need to go off in search of different materials to complete your preschool circle time activities. All my printable circle time activities for preschoolers can be added to your circle time board.
Have you used a circle time board in your preschool circle time experience? Tell me all about your favorite elements and activities for preschool circle time in the comment section. I can’t wait to read them and try a few with my preschoolers too!