Circle Time Must Haves

circletimefavoritesmain Circle Time Must Haves

In our homeschool preschool, I’ve learned a few “Circle Time Must Haves”. I thought I’d share them with you.

{Bag} Young children love the element of surprise. I have a large drawstring bag but a pillowcase would work well. I use this bag to hold props for a song or book.

{Props} Engaging my boys with puppets or figurines is very effective! Incorporate them into a song, or a book.

{Basket } Same idea as above but mainly to keep myself organized for the 30 minutes. I have all the things we need in the basket so I can easily take from it to move from one activity to another. I like the basket having sides, or being deep, because the children are tempted to dig in and be distracted by the other activities.

{Special Sitting Spot for Me}  In this case I use this amazing soft and cozy mat affectionately called a Little Lamb Floor Bed. It is made from lambskin that is durable, non-allergenic, stain resistant and washer & dryer safe! I was fortunate to receive an email from a fellow Montessori Mom who started making and selling these mats to schools and homes. When she asked if I wanted to try one out, I jumped on it! So glad I did. My only regret? I wish I had a few more! I highly recommend the very reasonably priced Little Lamb Floor Bed for your home or classroom circle or quiet corner.

{Special Sitting Spots for the Boys} In our case we have carpet samples unique for each boy. These samples are the perfect size and have texture for my little fidgeters.

{Fidgeter Basket} This basket is essentially a sensorial work. It is filled with squishy balls, blocks filled with color and various textures. Believe it or not, these items actually ground my active boys instead of distracting them. If they have something in their hands, they are less likely to fidget around in their seats in the circle.

{Back up plan} If the boys take circle in a direction I didn’t plan then I want to be able to be organic. So I try to actively plan for the “what ifs”. In other words, I try to imagine where the boys may want to take the books, music or songs.

{Extra books} When all else fails, a good book will grab my boys. So if the circle is not going well or as planned in a negative way, I can reach some closure with a book.

{Movement} I use movement where we can in songs, yoga storytelling, yoga cards and books.

{Something Familiar} We always start with a chime and a book aimed at bringing stillness or quiet to begin the day. Here is a list of books we like to use. I also always use the Yoga cards. The boys look forward to this activity. Then we move into calendar.

{Something New} I use this time to introduce new “work” across a variety of areas such as geography with a new continent, science such as our recent work with Air and Winter Animals, math or a new Practical Life tray with sorting or pouring, for example. The possibilities are endless and keeps the boys engage when I am starting to lose them.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please leave a comment, I love hearing from you!
Marnie

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 Circle Time Must Haves

Marnie

Founder, Publisher, Writer & Editor at Carrots Are Orange, Inc.
Marnie began Carrots Are Orange in 2010 after the birth of her first son. Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori inspired learning and living blog for parents and educators. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living east of Seattle with her husband and three young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, and WhattoExpect.com.
 Circle Time Must Haves
 Circle Time Must Haves
 Circle Time Must Haves
 Circle Time Must Haves

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Comments

  1. Ilze says

    Thank you for your post. I have started to think about circle times for my boy although he is still young just 21 months. Could you have a post some day where you share what you usually do in your circle time? Thank you

  2. says

    These are great ideas. Kale loves circle time at school and often has us recreate it at home. It’s always a fun way for me to hear about what they talked about. I never thought of intentionally doing circle time at home (not sure why!), but I think I’ll give it a shot with a few of your tips! Thanks for sharing :)
    Randalin ( recently posted…January GoalMy Profile

  3. says

    Hey momma! In the “something familiar” section above you mention you have a list of books to encourage stillness. I would LOVE to see that list, please!
    Thank you for your advice. I greatly appreciate learning from someone that has been there and done the leg work. :)

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