circle time,  self regulation

Circle Time Seating Solutions

I’ve observed a ton of circle time routines in many many different classrooms.  I can definitively say that there is one thing that the best circle times have in common. It isn’t the content, the strategies used to engage the children, or even the time of day that it is held.  No, the one thing that the most successful circle time routines have in common is a successful strategy for identifying each child’s seat.

Little ones love boundaries (really, they do – that’s why they test them so often).  So giving them a clearly defined place to sit helps them to focus more successfully. The visual reminder helps them learn how manage their bodies within that physical space.  It definitely takes practice, but consistent use of the same seating strategy will help preschoolers learn the behavior expectations associated with circle time.

Here are some very easy ideas for defining individual seats during circle time:

  • Use the patterns on your carpet or rug.  If you have a rug with shapes or letters ask children to chose one to sit on. If your flooring does not have identifying shapes then you can create them with masking tape.  Make tape Xs or squares on the floor and ask children to sit on one. 
  • Give each child a colored sheet of paper to sit on.  This works even better if the children get to decorate their own piece of paper.  If you write their names on their papers then it is a great name recognition activity.  Just be sure to laminate the papers for durability. 
  • Use floor tiles or carpet squares.  Ask your local flooring store if they have samples that they would be willing to donate.
  • Pick up seasonal placemats.  Scout out sales at the end of the season, you can often get these on clearance and then you’ll have the correct season for next year.  The children will love the change that comes with each season.
  • Print 8×10 photos of each child and ask them to sit on their photo.  This will make it super easy for you to place children strategically and there will be no question about where each child is supposed to sit. 
Do you have a strategy that has worked wonders for your class? I’d love to hear about it! If you’re looking for other ideas for circle time, make sure that you check out my Circle Time Mega Pack!

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