Teaching 2-3-year olds is seriously the best. I get hugs and high fives. I get to hear “I love you, Ms. Allie”. And I get to play! The other thing I get to do is develop short but successful circle time lessons and activities that fit my student’s interests and developing skills. For this age group, that means something simple but engaging. Last week this circle time lesson was the biggest hit with my students, and it’s SO simple. This simple circle time lesson helped them to differentiate by size, color, and even the very start of understanding whole vs. half all while smiling and having fun!
My Circle Time Routine
Good Morning Song ( click for the words and a video)
Chant* ( click for words and video)
*It’s only early October and while my students have mastered our class routine we are still working up to a full circle time. We aren’t doing our chant just yet but we will introduce it as the class develops.
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We used Duckling Gets A Cookie by Mo Willems but this activity would work well for Mr. Cookie Baker, Mmm Cookies, or If You Give A Mouse A Cookie as well. The story is all about things not being fair, and even 2-3-year-olds relate to the story and giggle as the Pigeon freaks out. It’s a great opportunity to remind kids about using words and staying calm. I love this book because young children can empathize with the feeling of something being unfair.
Circle Time Activity Set Up
You will need some foam, sticky back magnet sheets or magnetic tape, scissors and a sharpie.
Cut different color and size circles out of the foam. Add chocolate chips by dotting the circle with a sharpie.
Cut down the middle and add magnets to the back of both pieces.
Add one-half of each pair of these pieces to a magnet board. If you don’t have one skip the magnets and just use the foam on the floor.
Circle Time Activity
After reading the book tell the children that you need their help. You have a whole BUNCH of cookies that are broken in half. You need their help to match them up.
The half of the cookies that you have not added should be in your hands or a small basket. Draw one out and start matching it up on the board with cookies that are not its match. The kids LOVE it when they get to teach you. Ask the children ” Is this a match?” Encourage the children to call out yes or no. If it is a no, ask if it’s too big, too small, the wrong color….
Continue with each set until you have a bunch of whole cookies!
For a coordinating craft, you can make this cookie craft or circle collages like we did.
Want more preschool lesson plans and circle time activities? Our Build Preschool Thematic Units have tons of great ideas!
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