In every Montessori Classroom, every great morning begins with morning circle. This acts as a time for the children to band together and start their morning by greeting one another.
It is also an ideal time for the teacher to review concepts such as time and weather. Practical Life activities are nice calming and centering activities for circle time, as well.
Teachers may also use this time to introduce new things or begin a group lesson.
During circle time, songs are sung, and poems are recited.
This is also an opportunity to encourage creative movement through yoga and exercises.
Usually, experienced Montessori teachers will have their morning circle routine planned every day.
However, it is common for a newer Montessori teacher (and caregivers at home) to wonder what they should be doing during circle time.
Here are a few helpful circle time activities for a fruitful Montessori circle time.
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Montessori circle time ideas
Feather races are a super fun activity to begin your day. Sometimes, circle time is used for reasons other than attendance.
It can be a great way to re-center children when they have become distracted or boisterous.
Feather races are a fun and engaging way to re-center and calm busy minds. Here is how you play this great game:
- Get your materials- For this activity, you will need tissues, feathers, and masking tape
- Educate- Show the children how air affects the flight of a feather by blowing on it
- Ask- Ask the children what happens
- Educate- Next, put the feather in the palm of your hand and blow on it
- Ask- Once again, ask the children to observe what is happening
- Play- Give each child a feather and ask them to experiment with how air can move it
- Pick a partner- Ask the children to find a partner to have feather races with and ask each child to blow their feather across a line made with the tape
- Write- Afterwards, begin to write a group story about the feather racing
- Brainstorm- Brainstorm what other objects in the room could be blown across the room and create a chart with this information
Circle time is a great place to reconnect. Paired with this feather race game, it is one of the best Montessori circle time ideas.
Role-Playing is a great way to get the point across when trying to explain a specific situation. It is creative, engaging, and effective which makes it a great addition to circle time.
For example, if you are seeing an issue in the classroom where children are excluding others, you may want to try role-playing the situation.
It is also a good idea to then go around the morning circle and allow each child to voice their opinion on the problem and how they think it could be solved.
If there are any disagreements, ensure both sides are heard.
You could also read a story about the conflict that is happening in the classroom. Try asking the children what they would do and how it could be solved before the book reaches its peak.
Then, finish the book.
Grace and Courtesy lessons are also great circle time role-playing activities.
Time to Put Our Work Away
Time to put our work away is a great song that is sung to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down.
This can be a great song to help children transition from their work time to circle time. You can also modify the lyrics for morning circle in the classroom or home.
For example, you could sing about putting breakfast dishes in the sink and coming to sit quietly in a circle.
If you are in a Montessori classroom, you could sing about hanging jackets up and putting slippers on, then coming to sit in the circle.
It is a well-known nursery rhyme tune with easy to sing lyrics. You can change the lyrics as you see fit.
The song goes:
It's time to put our work away, work away, work away
It's time to put our work away and sit down very quietly
It's time to tidy up the shelves, up the shelves, up the shelves,
It's time to tidy up the shelves
And sit down very quietly
It's time to roll up all the mats, all the mats, all the mats
It's time to roll up all the mats
And sit down very quietly.
All of these options work either at home or in the Montessori Classroom. As long as you keep a positive environment where children enjoy circle time, you will see great success.
It is also important to hold circle time in the same place every single day.
Keep clear guidelines when it comes to circle time so that children are aware of their behavior during circle time.
Providing the children with expectations also helps you all get the best out of circle time.
Circle time is a fruitful and effective way to connect with children in a fun environment. It isn’t as formal as other forms of teaching and usually, children look forward to it every day.
Enjoy your morning circle with these new activities.
Have you implemented circle time in your Montessori home? If so, what activities did your child(ren) find engaging?
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