Start the Training Early - Early Education and Development
There are so many ways to prepare your child for school. One of my favorite school readiness activities to do with my kids is circle time. I love that we can sit down and have some fun together and that they are learning too. There are so many benefits to circle time including; rhyming recognition, music skills, and language and emotional development.
But my favorite benefit is that we slow down for just a moment and that my kids have learned to sit still for a few minutes. One day, their teachers will thank me for teaching them this skill. I use the same basic principles for circle time with my kids that I used when I was an elementary school teacher. Below are my tips for making circle time successful with your kids.
8 Elements of a Successful Circle Time
1. Give the kids a seat - I use placemats since they are the perfect size for their little bottoms. But of course, I don't call them a placemat; they are their magic carpet rectangles.
2. Begin with a hello song - I made up a silly song that announces that it's time for circle time. They run over to our circle time spot when I start singing it.
3. Use an easel - I laminate pictures to go along with the songs and attach a piece of Velcro to them. I'm not artistic so drawing is out of the question for me.
4. Allow your child to pick one song during circle time - Giving your kids a little bit of power goes a long way in keeping their attention.
5. Get up and sing a song and dance when they gets antsy - Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, If You're Happy and You Know It are great songs to get your kids moving.
6. Keep It Fast Paced - You don't want too many pauses so have everything you need within reach. And aim for 15 minutes maximum so you can keep their attention span.
7. Read a short book - I always include a short book that I can read in less than two minutes. This is a great way to bring in any theme or topic.
8. End with a goodbye song - An "all done" song will help you transition to the next activity.
I've been following this format for about 18 months with my kids and circle time is still one of their favorite activities. They love singing the songs and listening to the books. It’s never too early to start circle time and the benefits will follow your children into school.
As a member of Clever Girls Collective, I was selected to participate in the Healthy Habits program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #healthyhabits #cgc