Even though a large percentage of small children take part in circle time daily, their parents may not fully understand the importance of this time at preschool. Almost all early childhood child care and preschool programs include at least one circle time in their daily routine. While young children look forward to this fun time, it is also a valuable interactive session for the teacher.
Teachers use circle time to make the transition from home to school as smooth as possible for little ones. By starting the day with circle time, it allows the teacher the opportunity to introduce the topics and plans for the day ahead and gives small kids a sense of structure and predictability. It is also an important time for children to develop positive relationships with their peers through fun facilitated activities.
Circle time is not all fun and games and is sometimes used to address other issues such as reminding learners of the rules of the classroom, interrupting lessons with too much noise etcetera. During circle time, children are encouraged to settle quickly with the goal of preparing to learn. Most circle time activities follow a similar structure and include a greeting, topics like the weather, seasons, day of the week, important calendar events as well as singing a song, participating in a group activity and discussion.
The benefits of circle time at day-care are many, and include:
This is a great time for children to get to know one another. They learn about their friends simply by interacting with them in a fun way. Little ones are encouraged to talk openly and share anything about themselves through song and play, group discussions and participation. This gives a small child the ability to relate to both their teacher and other children from different backgrounds.
Routine and Planning
Circle time introduces children to the concept of time in an informal manner. They understand how the day ahead is planned, and how best to manage their own time for specific tasks and activities to be completed. This is a critical skill that, once mastered, a child will take with them into adulthood. The foundations of scheduling and making constructive use of time are laid here.
Improved Listening and Communication Skills
By having to listen and pay attention to their teachers as well as interacting with their classmates, a young child learns how to effectively communicate early on, by learning to overcome shyness, express themselves and participate within a group while maintaining their individuality.
Preschool is the perfect setting for preparing young children for their future schooling. Besides learning about the themes of the curriculum, children also learn patience, understand time and acquire the necessary tools for a more formal classroom environment. These include their use of language, physical and sensory experiences, theoretical and practical application of a topic.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are enhanced as kids are exposed to singing, dancing, gymnastics, and movement dependent activities. These activities help improve co-ordination and dexterity, while fine motor skills are also finely-tuned.
Positive Attitude Towards School and Learning
By learning through games and in a fun way, children feel happy and excited about school. Teachers are very creative in making circle time engaging, with entertaining and interactive games and activities. By starting their day in a positive way, children look forward to returning day after day, with a happy disposition.
A child’s personal growth and development is encouraged and cultivated during circle time. They benefit most by adopting a healthy, happy attitude towards learning and school, and this will stand them in good stead for future academic success.