This is a project I’ve been working on in my spare time for a while. But I’m happy to say it’s now finished and we’ve been doing circle time for the last couple of days and the kids seem to love it, especially when they get to be “helpers”. I tell them it’s circle time and put a cushion onto the floor for each of them to sit on and they can only get up off their cushion when it’s their turn to help. I printed everything on the circle time board (which is a tri-fold cardboard display board from a local craft store) on cardstock paper then laminated everything so it will be durable and hopefully last for the next couple of years until my son heads to preschool.
Each day we go through the days of the week, talking about what day today is, what day yesterday was, and what day tomorrow will be. Then we put the actual date up on the calendar using fun tack or sticky tack or whatever people call it. I made the calendar myself, using the colors of the rainbow for the days of the week, so we sing the rainbow song from the Cat in the Hat: “red, orange, yellow, then green followed by blue, indigo and violet, that’s the rainbow song for you!” Okay, that’s totally off topic for what the calendar should be teaching them, but it’s still learning! The extra months names and numbers for the calendar are stored in the pouch near the calendar. All pouches you see on the circle time board are simply sheet protectors that I cut then hung on the board using velcro dots. Pretty much everything on the board is stuck to it with velcro dots for a couple of reasons: if I want to change the board at some point, I can and it helps me (and the kids) remember how many pieces we should have stuck to the board and where they belong.
Here is the calendar printable (I printed mine on light blue cardstock).
Here is a printable for the numbers, designed on Silhouette studio so I could have the machine cut out all the squares for me.
Here is the printable for the months.
Here is the printable for the circle with circle time on it, once again designed in Silhouette studio so the Silhouette Cameo could do the cutting for me.
Next up, we talk about the weather (which usually requires a trip to the back door either before circle time starts or after we do today’s date). We talk about the seasons, then pick which season it is and velcro it beside the little chalk label. Then I write in the temperature and if it’s minus anything, we conclude it’s cold and stick the little card that says cold by the temperature. Then we look at the sky to determine if it’s cloudy, sunny, snowy, etc and pick the right weather condition to stick to the velcro by the temperature. Then we try to figure out the clothes we would need to wear if we wanted to go outside that day and they are categorized by season in the pouches on the bottom right side of the board.
Seasons and weather printables are both available at PreKinders.
Clothes for the seasons printable from Montessori for Everyone.
Then we move onto the alphabet and I circle the letter of the day, then write it on the chalk label. We then sing the alphabet song and if the kids seem to have an alright attention span, we try to identify the objects that go with each letter.
Alphabet Printable from Homeschool Creations.
We then move on to the shapes (which are on the bottom left side of the board) and pick a shape of the day and put in on the velcro under the letter of the day on the chalk label. There is a blank spot under this label that I’m thinking of using for the letter of the day in the future.
Shape printables from Delighting in Today.
Finally, we move on to the color wheel and pick a color of the day. I also labelled the colours on the wheel as either primary or secondary and we go over that as well.
Colour Wheel Printable was found on Planet of the Apels.
Once we are all done this, we quickly review the date, the letter of the day and the shape of the day. I’ve been aiming for about 15 minutes, but am hoping we can work ourselves up to 30 minutes and incorporate a story with a theme we’re working on (eg. sharing) into each day.