Circle time is a daily thing in most preschool classrooms. And, it just happens to be one of my favorite parts of the day! But, if I’m not careful, I can quickly get into a rut. And when that happens, things go downhill VERY quickly! I get bored, the kiddos get bored, and behavior goes out the window! So, I’m always looking for ways to keep things fun and fresh! One of the ways I do that is with circle time games that change with our themes. Here are three of my favorites to play during back-to-school time!
“Backpack, Backpack on the Ground” is a great way to your kiddos thinking about letters and sounds from day 1! When I initially introduce this game, I take the lead. I start by teaching my kiddos the chant. (We pat our legs to the beat while we say it together.) Then we spread out the backpack cards face down on the carpet. We say the chant together, and I choose one kiddo to pick a card. She gives it to me, and I hold it up. I point to the letter and explain that it is a letter. I say the name of the letter and have the kiddos repeat it. Then I explain that letters stand for sounds. I tell them the sound and have them repeat it. Then we start again! We keep going until they get restless or loose interest. (That doesn’t take very long during the first weeks of school!) So, we revisit this game as many times as we need to over the first few weeks to make sure every kiddo gets a turn!
Another favorite circle time activity is riddles! And I LOVE these school supply riddles because they can serve more than one purpose! The simple version is to put either the supply or the answer card (or both!) into the bag. Read the riddle and let your kiddos try to guess what’s inside. But, I love to use this activity to help them discover where the supplies in our classroom live and how we use them. So, I use these riddles one at a time. I read the riddle, we figure our the answer and look inside, then we go on a hunt for that supply in the room. Once we find it, the kiddos get to use it to make or do something while we learn the procedures for using that particular thing! Either way, riddles are super fun, and the kiddos love them!
“Snap!” is a favorite that we play throughout the year! I put all the sticks into a container, picture side down. We pass the cup around the circle and, one at a time, each kiddo pulls out a stick. If he pulls a crayon, he tells us the name of the letter on the crayon. (I offer as much support as needed, especially at the beginning of the year!) If he pulls a “Snap!” stick (the ones with the scissors), then everyone says, “OH, SNAP!!” together. We all have to put all of our sticks back into the can, and we start over again with the next kiddo. The goal is for the class to work together to empty the can, so I don’t but the “Snap!” sticks back in. Once the last one is drawn, the end of the game is inevitable!
If you want to get all three of these circle time games, they are in my TPT store! I’ve done the work for you, so all you have to do is print and cut! Just click the product cover below to go straight to it on Teachers Pay Teachers!
I’ve also got some fun ideas for a back-to-school writing center! Just click HERE to read all about it!