Monday, December 06, 2010

Inquisition Monday: Circle Time

Jenni "Bee" asked me last week about our Circle Time.

After having Isaac, I watched a lot of TV during my babymoon. Incidentally, Margaret watched a lot of TV as well. She also had been having some struggles getting used to having a baby brother around. And as the weather has gotten cooler, we've been going to the park less and less. All of these combined into a strong force against having the healthiest lifestyle for a while. Our days were really off and it was hard to get back on track. We really needed a better rhythm in our day.

This is a Waldorf-inspired blog that I subscribe to. I think she has lots of good gentle ideas. Something that gets mentioned is "Circle Time." I couldn't figure out exactly what it is from her blog and I my google skills have been hurt as of late (sadness!), so I made it up.

Every morning after the diapers and dishes are done, I announce, "Circle Time!" Margaret goes to hunt down our circular blanket and we put it on the floor. Then we alternate songs and books until I my attention span dies (about 20-30 minutes). Today's circle time was 35 minutes long, but I was "done" way before then.

We always start with a Good Morning song. Then I ask Margaret to look out the window and check the weather. We'll sing a song related to the weather- like Rain Rain Go Away, You are My Sunshine, etc. If I can't remember a song, we'll sing "Rain is Falling all Around" but with alternate words (ie. wind is blowing).

After the first songs, we'll read a scripture story. Today I read in the Book of Mormon Stories Reader and in a picture book of the nativity story. After those, I ask Margaret to pick a few songs. Today we sang Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, the Snowman song, and the Cuckoo Clock song. Then I ask Margaret to pick out some books from the shelf and I'll read those to her. By this point, the structure of Circle Time is pretty much dead and she'll go off and play on her own.

Margaret loves circle time and it keeps her from starting the day with TV- which usually makes her attitude worse later on. She also gets some time and attention from me, so she needs me less later. And when every day is different (errand day, library day, playgroup day), this gives every day a sort-of rhythm, which I think is good for her.

So that's Circle Time.


  1. That's a great idea; I've been thinking we need something like that this winter, sort of like the library's games and activities. I was thinking we need it to fill our long post-nap afternoons, but i like your theory about starting the day off with attention from mom.

  2. love this idea! i need to cut down on screen time asher too. thanks for the tip!

  3. If you ever need songs, ideas, names of people who have CDs published that go through many songs I have tons of resources. I personally love Carol Peterson and Jim Gill-sings the sneezing song for my early childhood classes. Carol Peterson even has directions for Mommy and Me activities. Sorry to go on and on. developmental skills and getting kids away from screens is kinda a big thing for me.

  4. Awesome. I'm going to do this! Only, I don't have a circle blanket, so it'll get a different name.

  5. Circle Time in a school setting generally refers to the first moment of the day before everyone disperses to their various projects. There is often greetings, a song or more, maybe a poem the kids are working on, and other ways to start the day.

    For us, after breakfast and everyone is dressed, we have our calendar wall hanging that has pockets for the date, day of the week, weather, season, activity cards etc (I have some homemade cards for the farmer's market and swim lessons, for example, so if it was market day that card goes in the pocket for today's events). After that, we have to get out and do something, because I have noticed that my children's rhythms require activity before they are able to sit and sing songs or read a book. Play dates, gym class, a walk to the garden, all of these things need to happen first thing in the day when we're fed and dressed. Then it's actually the hour before bedtime that we have what could be considered "circle time" - songs, books, and a values lesson.

  6. Hi there!
    Thank you for linking to me! I wonder if this back post would help you at all:

    I know it can be harder to find things on my blog with 700 posts now, LOL.

    Hope that helps!

  7. I like this idea. I was just trying to think how I could "schedule" (I use the term VERY loosely) our days a bit more so that I spend my time doing fun things I like to do with my kids (instead of letting the day get sapped away into meaningless things, such as the internet). This also sounds much like how we begin our preschool co-op (weather, songs, stories, etc.)

  8. i LOVE this. I keep meaning to start something like this with my kids but haven't done it yet. You've inspired me! I like the idea of the circle blanket. My kids do really well with routines.


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