Circle time can be the most amazing time of the day, but you have to be prepared. One of my fool-proof circle time ideas is to utilize a circle time basket.
A circle time basket includes everything you need to implement your circle time activities so that your time is used efficiently and you are engaging the students.
Let’s take a look at how to set up your very own circle time basket.
Inside Your Circle Time Basket
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The beauty of having a circle time basket is that you can take it with you wherever you want and you always have what you need.
Each Friday, I prep my basket for the upcoming week.
A Video Look Inside the Circle Time Basket
Take a look inside my circle time basket during this quick video.
Start with your vessel. I always hit Hobby Lobby to find a wide variety and good price point. Of course, Amazon works too. Here are a few of my favorites here on my circle time list.
Must-Have Circle Time Items
Circle Time Expectation Chart
At the beginning of the school year, an expectation chart is helpful to reference with the children. Of course, we need to reference it from time to time throughout the year especially after holiday breaks too. Use mine or create your own.
Circle Time Songs
The bread and butter of circle time are the songs. I like to have a song that calls the kids to the meeting area. Pick one off of my Spotify list. I personally always used “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma.
Then, I like to sing a nursery rhyme and/or other songs with the kids. I like for what we sing to pack a literacy punch so utilizing Circle Time Songs and Chants Vol. 1 or Circle Time Songs and Chants Vol. 2 are must-haves. I just print the song(s) for the week and any printables that go with it. Drop them in the basket and you are ready.
Circle Time Books
I typically will use one book multiple times during the week. So you just need to change out your circle time book each week.
Check out my favorite circle time books that will be perfect for adding to your basket.
Circle Time Props and Manipulatives
Have a few props and manipulatives on hand will help to engage your little learners.
Jamie from Play to Learn Preschool talks about having a special puppet that comes out during gathering time to talk to the kids. I love the novelty of having a special mascot to speak to the children during circle time. Talk about a way to engage the students. Your puppet can share news, make announcements, and sing-along with you.
I also like to have a few basic supplies in my basket such as magnetic letters (here are my favorites) and manipulatives for the kids to have hands-on experiences such as shaker eggs or rhythm sticks.
Song Sticks or Treasure Songs
Nursery rhymes provide familiarity during circle time. Plus, they build vocabulary, rhyming skills, and provide memory work.
Tuck in song sticks or create a small treasure song box into your basket. They’ll always be ready when you need a quick song to end circle time or pull the kids back together.
ABC Poster and Cards
I also like to have an alphabet poster or alphabet cards on hand to reference and support our work during circle time.
I created an alphabet poster for you.—>Get the ABC printable poster here.
More Circle Time Ideas and Resources
~Keeping circle time fresh is important. I like to change up songs and activities weekly, monthly, and seasonally. Here are some ideas for each season of the year.
~Grab the Preschool Literacy Units for even more circle time resources including songs, nursery rhymes, and read-alouds for circle time. There is a unit for each month.
What is your best tip for circle time? Share your comment below.