Tuesday, June 1

Circle Time

We started having a circle time early this past winter. I was a little hesitant when I first thought about introducing a circle time to our daily routine because I wasn't sure if we could stick to it and how interested my daughters would be. It turns out it is one of the best parts of our day! My daughters love it and it gives us a chance to play games, sing songs, learn fingerplays and much more. During the winter months we gathered together after snack, before going outside, for 10-15 minutes 4 days a week. Now that summer is approaching we have circle 3 days a week. Our circle generally consists of two or three seasonal songs we are learning for the month, and 2 seasonal fingerplays we are learning for that month. Sometimes we will only have songs and fingerplays and then head outside. Other days, we add bean bag activities, playsilks, instruments, rhythm sticks, a play or a game. Both of my daughters love to participate. I often hear them reciting the fingerplays or singing a song we learned months earlier. I always try to make it a fun time and I have found it is nice to have that time for gathering together.

Since we are into a new month now, we just started a new set of fingerplays. I found Rolly Polly Caterpillar (author listed as unknown). As a fun addition to the using it as a fingerplay, we also used it to act out using our playsilks.

Rolly Polly Caterpillar

Rolly Polly Caterpillar
Into a corner crept

Spun around himself a blanket
And for a long time he slept

Rolly Polly Caterpillar
Waken by and by

Found himself with beautiful wings
He changed to a butterfly!


Mari-Ann said...

Wonderful! Such a nice way to come together to share words and music.

Carrie said...

I really like the link to the Alfie Kohn article you have on your side bar regarding the use of praise and phrases like "good job" with kids. Very though provoking for readers and helps us catch ourselves using these phrases when there might be a better substitute.

nocton4 said...

lovely fun xx

Elise said...

I have been thinking about introducing circle time as part of our days. I like the idea of setting aside a small amount of time each day dedicated to learning new songs, or, about new ideas through music and activities such as finger plays.

gardenmama said...

it certainly is such a connecting and fun piece of the day! : )

Amy said...

Elise- I would encourage you to start one! Even if it is a couple times a week. Some people can fit in songs and fingerplays naturally into their day, but for me I needed a scheduled time. From all the reading I've done and from my own experience, songs and fingerplays promote so many good and important skills, plus it is such fun too! Thanks for the comments =)

the_Tmac said...

I'm so interested in Waldorf and Montessori right now, working on establishing some good rhythms in our day, and LOVING your blog here - may I ask how you combine the two approaches? I see both Waldorf and Montessori links on your page. I love the idea of combining the best of both, would love more details! Thanks...Traci

Amy said...

Traci- I too appreciate both and what they have to offer. I feel like the organizational aspect of our home is montessori- everything accessible to the children,encouraging independence in dressing, meals, clean up, and keeping spaces organized. The waldorf approach is in our daily/weekly rhythm: play,outside, painting, craft etc. This past year my 4yr old had a declining interest in any Montessori activities (in the past I had a room we used for this) so I followed her lead and we've done more leaning toward a waldorf approach. My youngest is turning 3 in a few months and I anticipate this fall we will be back to having more Montessori activities (3 is a great age for lots of Montessori) and I plan to set up a space for that which we could use (depending on their interest) 3 or 4 days a week/ 1 hour or so at a time.)It actually never feels equally balanced, it all depends on what they want/need and I try to follow their lead.

the_Tmac said...

Thanks. Do you use a certain curriculum? My oldest is 3. The bambino is 5 months. :)