Showing posts sorted by relevance for query summer camp handbook. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query summer camp handbook. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query summer camp handbook. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query summer camp handbook. Sort by date Show all posts

Summer Camp at Home Themes, Schedules, and Tips

Themes and Activities for Summer Camp at Home


Want to give kids the experience of a great summer camp? Whether you do summer camp for your neighborhood, for a church youth group, or your local community, these summer camp at home themes, schedules, and tips will help you create the best, most fun summer camp for kids from six to sixteen! 

Post contains affiliate links.

Summer Camp at Home Themes, Schedules, and Tips


Work in a retirement village or nursing home? Activity directors can adapt the activities for any age group. The objective is fun! Our website is full of fun, free camp activities, circle time activities, and group games. If you want everything at your fingertips (or on your clipboard) grab a copy of any of the books in our companion book series. These books are designed to help you organize and create an amazing youth group program or a simple, summer camp at home

Each books stands alone or get all 3 books for an organized summer camp, after-school program, or extra activities for vacation bible school. 

Our latest book, "Summer Camp at Home Handbook" has a total of five weeks of camp themes and activities. Each week includes: songs to sing, science experiments, group games, art activities, and fun themed snacks. It also includes a welcome pledge, icebreaker game, filler activities, planning calendars, printable today's birthday poster, activity schedule, daily menu poster, registration forms with allergy and photo permission features, and sample letters and forms to create a professional, organized camp program. If you want to do a full-on community summer camp, the only thing you'll need to add is insurance. Some small programs forego insurance for waivers and good luck. It's a good idea to get a short-term summer insurance policy if you plan to include your neighborhood or others outside of your close circle of friends and family.

Do you need a license to operate summer camp? That depends on your city and state. Check with your local government agencies, especially the board of health. Many churches (depending on state laws) are exempt and do not require visits from board of health or other agencies. Often, if the campers are participating in the prep of food it falls under different rules than if you are providing snacks. This is why the Summer Camp at Home Handbook includes theme snack activities and edible art. An easy way to avoid any trouble is to only provide prepackaged snacks and beverages (stay away from milk.) At the least, always have parents sign waivers, waivers, waivers. They won't completely protect you if someone decides to sue, but they do give everyone a heads up and let everyone know you are thinking ahead. Always have parents sign field trip waivers (you can make one for the entirety of camp and list out all pre-planned activities.) Also, be sure you have records of food allergies, immunizations, and authorized pick up persons. Finally, be aware of your state's childcare laws which vary based on the age of children in your care. To play it safe (when doing summer camp at home,) don't have more than five children that are not related to you in each camp session and always have another adult or camp counselor 18+ at your side.

Another thing to consider is first aid and safety training. Staff should be trained to recognize child predators in all childcare, summer camp, youth group, and school settings. In today's world, you can never be too safe or too prepared. That being said, if you are simply doing summer camp at home for your family, close friends, or homeschool group, not all of these steps may be required. However, it's better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you run background checks on anyone that will be regularly helping with your program. That includes your parents, aunts, and older children! This is a safety precaution designed to protect you in case something comes up. In your letter to parents, mention that all adults working with children have undergone a background check. Your local government probably has a background check option on their website.

A big safety consideration is water. Children may find pools and nearby bodies of water enticing. Always, always, keep count of the children in your immediate care. A good rule of thumb is to count kids every 20 minutes. If you are on a field trip or involved in a hectic group game, count them every 15 minutes. If you plan to include swimming in your camp activities or have a pool in your backyard, be aware that special precautions are needed and insurance rates will be higher.

Are you ready to get started hosting your own summer camp at home? Great! You'll want to start with our book, Summer Camp Handbook. This book is full of everything you need for five weeks of awesome summer camp.

Summer Camp Weekly Themes:


  • It's all Rainbows: Rainbow Trails Song, Rainbow Snacks, Leprechaun Rainbow Skit, Rainbow Science Activities (Color and Prisms), and Get Moving Games.

  • Silly Spaghetti: On Top of Spaghetti Song, Crunchy Spaghetti Recipe, Spaghetti Strength Science, Spaghetti Relays, and lots more.

  • Eat Worms: Herman the Worm Song, Worm Theme Snacks, Snakes vs. Worms Game, How to Build a Worm Farm, Slurpin' for Worms, and lots more Worm Theme Games and Activities.

  • Do Monkey Around: The Monkey Song, Banana Snacks, Banana Experiments, and Get Moving Games for Monkeys.

  • Sharks vs Chickens: Baby Shark Song, Chicken Feed Snack, Egg Science Experiments, Shark and Chicken Hats, and lots of Games to Play as Sharks and Chickens.

With a blank, printable monthly calendar included in each weekly camp theme chapter and extra filler activities in case of a time emergency, the Summer Camp at Home Handbook is an essential tool whether it's your very first summer camp program or you are a seasoned camp director. Don't wait any longer, get on your way to the best summer camp ever today!






Our companion books are also available on Amazon in 8 x 10 paperback book format. These books give you extra credit as a camp director or activities director. Get organized with our 365 Planner. This handbook includes printable planning calendars, daily journal space with shareable quote of the day for note taking and planning, printable lesson/activity planning sheets, birthday logs, printable today's birthday poster, menu and activity schedules, and more. 

The 365 Activity Planner Journal, is a great companion handbook to Summer Camp at Home. It's also a great classroom resource planning tool for teachers. Whether you make copies of the printables to reuse again and again, or cuddle up on the sofa with the book to journal your activities, this handbook will help keep all of your thoughts and ideas organized with the added benefit of motivational quotes to keep you going strong. Get your 365 Activity Planner Journal now by clicking on the image.






And, if you are looking for fun games to play in a circle setting check out our Circle Time Handbook. This book includes 39 of the best ever games kids love. Tried and true, we played all of these games in our camp and after-school programs. This book is ideal for teachers who need to fill in some transitional time, afterschoolers who want to have a daily group rap sessions, preschool programs who realize the importance of circle time group activities, and summer camp programs who need filler material for rest breaks and other down time.





Ready, Get Set, Go! You can get all 3 books for under $40 on Amazon



Recommended:






Caregivers and Educators, check out Lora's Recommendations on Amazon 
and Follow us on Instagram for more fun ideas for children.


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Summer Camp Themes Ideas Books



Circle Time Activities Handbook

Get Camp Activities and Hand Games for Group Circles of all ages Handbook

Remember those hand games and fun group games activities you played in summer camp? Maybe you played games in an after-school program? You remember how much fun they were, maybe you remember the tune or the the general idea, but you just can't remember all the words or just exactly how it goes. Our Circle Time Handbook is made for you. Learn (or relearn) how to play your favorite large group games in a circle.

Post contains affiliate links.


Circle Time Games Handbook Elementary Teen Preschool



We've compiled the 39 most popular group games played in a circle with toddlers to teens in a reproducible format. Print them out, place them on your clipboard or share them with your summer camp counselors. These large group circle activity games are perfect for icebreakers and team building. Play them with adults, senior citizens, and youth groups too!

With the complete easy to follow Group Game INSTRUCTIONS, you can play these GROUP TIME Activities right now! All you need is a group of people from toddlers to teens.

Prefer a nice paperback with 8 1/2 x 11 reproducible pages? Order your hard copy on AMAZON, you can also get the Kindle version here. Just click the image to make the purchase on Amazon.


Buy Circle Time Handbook Paperback


Can't wait? Get the Digital PDF Version of our Circle Time Activities Handbook  to start playing right now! Just click the image and visit our TeachersPayTeachers store.


Buy Circle TIme Handbook PDF




Lora Langston (that's me) is the creator of Kids Creative Chaos blog. For over fifteen years, I taught enrichment classes in after-school programs, classes at parks for preschoolers, and summer camp.

When it comes to lyrics and how to play games, I have a terrible memory. Every time we played a game, I had to look up the instructions!

Time Management Group Activities: If you are sitting in a circle, waiting for parents to pick up the kids or transitioning to the next activity, sometimes you need an impromptu activity to fill up time. Inevitably, the kids will ask to play a game they've played before, but they don't know how it goes. Been there. Done that.

Now, you have all of those old favorites group activity games at your fingertips! Just print a copy from one of the reproducible pages and attach it to your clipboard. Problem solved. And, it cost less than $10. Enjoy!


Circle Time Handbook Popular Games no Equipment
Circle Time activities handbook pdf download.

Sure, most of these circle time activity games are out there floating around in the public domain. I've been playing many of them since the 1980's! The rest I learned from the kids in my programs from the late 90's to 2012. It sure is convenient to have them all in one place with easy access whenever you need a quick group activity.

If you've played these group games too, and played a different variation, we would love to hear it! Let us know, and we'll add it to our game's post and then send you a thank you Tweet.


Recommended:

FREE Games for Circle Time

FREE Camp Songs for All Ages




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group hand games camp games for teens elementary afterschool preschool
Group Hand Games and Camp Games Book to be played in Circles.




Throw a Birthday Party or Summer Camp with these 11 Minecraft Games and Activities

11 Minecraft Games and Activities for a Birthday Party, After School Activity, or Summer Camp Program

These Minecraft activities are fun and easy, plan a party or a theme day for summer camp or even an after-school program with these hands-on, tech-off Minecraft games for kids. You know we used marshmallows for our minecraft building.  Enjoy!

Minecraft Games and Activities for a Birthday Party, After School Activity, or Summer Camp Program
Craft a Minecraft house from Marshmallows and design your own skins too!
  • We decided to get in on the Minecraft crafting fun with Marshmallows! These days marshmallows come in all different sizes and colors  We used the giant ones to build houses and walls. We painted "glued them together" with a dab of water and colored them with markers and paint. We have recipes for edible paint if you'd like to keep your minecraft characters edible for toddlers.
Does Minecraft have any Educational Value?  Well, we sure hope so. What a great way to turn our kids into zombies... if only I were an evil, super villain from Batman.

Looking for Minecraft Printables?

Minecraft Squares Sheets

Minecraft Paper Cube Printables

How about a Minecraft Birthday Party Theme?

These Minecraft Creeper Lanterns from Play Dr. Hutch are my favorite birthday party decoration! She also has a roundup of Minecraft gift ideas for boys and girls, but don't forget our Minecraft Wood Puzzle. Dr. Hutch's Minecraft construction paper masks are an easy preschool activity.

Minecraft Creeper Lanterns for a birthday party.
Minecraft Creeper Lanterns for a birthday party.

Parties4ever blog has some great Minecraft birthday party ideas! I love the idea of play parody songs, and her food is spectacular!

Edible Art: Minecraft Snacks and Appetizers.
Edible Art: Minecraft Snacks and Appetizers.

Games and Activities for a Minecraft Party






ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


How to Get More Traffic to Website: Traffic Secrets

Traffic at a Standstill?


This is a sponsored post. #ad Are you stuck in the eternal flow of social media? Do you have a blog, website, or other social media pages to sell a product or service? After you've exhausted all ideas, is your traffic still at a standstill? If so, you've probably searched for how to get more traffic to your website. It seems like an uphill battle. Okay, it is an uphill battle, but persistence and perseverance pay off.



how to get more traffic to website: traffic secrets


I've been working the 30 day challenge in this book by Russell Brunson, Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers. Let me just say, it may feel overwhelming, but that's what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the crowd. The past few years, I've slowed down on my personal endeavors. They've taken a backseat to the digital marketing that I do for other brands and businesses. I've got a keen eye for what needs to get done, but when it comes to doing it for myself, I don't always accomplish those goals. Reading this book has been the kick in the pants I needed to get motivated. 



Traffic at a Standstill?


The first thing I noted was it felt like work. It felt like stuff I don't really want to do. Ugh. If that's you and you can't find the motivation, this method isn't for you. However, you should kick yourself in the pants and just get it done. Even if you do only a portion of what's been explained in the book, it will motivate you to set new goals. I hadn't posted every day on any social media platform, for years. YEARS! It was clearly time to make a change. For me, this 30 day challenge helped me overcome some fears. I posted several times a day nothing bad happened. In fact, my social media pages, particularly Facebook, started getting more engagement. More. Not less. More! Social media sites like it when we're active. Even if you're just talking to yourself everyday, post something valuable to help build that engagement score.



Russell Brunson Book Reading



Russell Brunson is doing all the things I dreamed of doing! Book signings, podcasts, videos, and most importantly, selling books! For me, the goal of more traffic is to reach my target audience and sell more books! I love to write and create content for kids, but it can be difficult to attract the right audience to your website and even more difficult to attract them to make a purchase. That's where your dream 100 comes into play. In Traffic Secrets, Russell Brunson details what it takes to work with your dream 100. The first step is to identify who they are so you need to make a list. Once you've got that list, you need to work it. Find ways to connect with your dream 100. Make sure your dream 100 knows who you are! You can read all about it in his book, Traffic Secrets.






By completing the Traffic Secrets 30-day challenge, you'll learn the strategies you need to increase your site traffic. You've probably already got a great product or service ready to go, you just those customers! If you've yet to create a product to sell, you need to get on that. 

Here are some of my products:


I sell my products anywhere I can! In his book, Brunson mentions how important it is to have an affiliate army. Get other people (your dream 100) to mention your books and sell them on their websites. Set them up as affiliates so that they earn a little for each book sale. After reading his book, I discovered that I really need to focus more on building my tribe. First thing I plan to do is set up an affiliate marketing program for other book bloggers. In this latest book Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers, entrepreneur Russell Brunson reveals the classic and foundational direct marketing techniques that will allow you to be at the front of new trends and see opportunities that are invisible to everyone else. Having an affiliate army is a huge piece of the puzzle.

Russell Brunson is a Best-Selling Author & CEO of the $100M software company ClickFunnels. If you've started any digital marketing, you've probably heard of funnels. Everyone needs a funnel! He has built a following of over a million entrepreneurs, sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books and popularized the concept of sales funnels. Basically, you need a funnel where you have all sorts of marketing efforts pointing to your landing page or the page where you sell your product or service. You drop links to this page preferably through other great online and personalities, and they all funnel in one direction, which drives sales of your product or service. There's an online adage, "work smarter not harder." However, if you can work smarter and harder, you'll find success in your entrepreneurial endeavors. 

There's no time like the present, be sure to pick up your copy of Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers and start your 30 day challenge today!


#TrafficSecrets 
#RussellBrunson 



 



My call to action:  Your kids have been cooped up for too long! Be sure to get your copy of my Summer Camp Handbook! 5 theme weeks of science experiments, recipes, exercises, games, and activities to enrich your lives!







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Circle Activities for Teens Middle School Age Youth

Circle Games and Activities for Youth: Camp Songs and More

Camp Songs always bring back the best memories! Circle Time isn't just for preschoolersCircle Activities and Games are fun for teens too. If you're planning activities for an after school program, summer camp, scouts, or youth group, these school-aged circle camp activities make nice icebreakers. We've used these group circle games and songs to welcome kids to camp, introduce each other, and as a way to make attendance and head counts fun. 


Circle Games and Activities for Youth: Camp Songs : Summer Camp


Ways to Make Extra Money at Home

Need a Side Job?


Whether you're self-employed, under-employed, or just always looking for more cash, there are many legitimate ways to make money at home. As a self-employed entrepreneur, I've tried many different side gigs. I've always got a bunch of irons in the fire trying to find one that is the best return on my time invested. Some things pay well, but are tedious and stressful. When that happens, it causes a shift in my mood. I'd rather do something that took less time and caused less stress. I mean who wouldn't? If you're looking for ways to make extra money at home read on for a list of things you can do as a side job online.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Ways to Make Extra Money at Home
Need a side gig?

Ways to Make Money Online

When working online, you never have to leave your home. Let's get real, you never even have to leave your bed! Unfortunately, you do have to have some marketable online skills. However, there are a range of activities for the amateur to the professional online entrepreneur. So, if you're hoping to become self-employed or to add a little extra cash to your monthly bottom line, it might be worth it to brush up on some English grammar lessons, Microsoft skills, and understand how social media is beneficial to your bank account.

  • If you're a teacher of any sort, including a homeschooling teacher/parent, you can make money by selling your printable lessons online. #worksheets People don't have time to create these and they appreciate the work being done for them by a professional.  Some great sites to start selling your teacher resources are TeacherSherpa.com and TeachersPayTeachers.com  Each website is reputable, and as an added bonus, you can sell the same items on each site. They work sightly differently, so go for it and see which one works best for you! If you're a serial entrepreneur like me, you'll continue to do both.

  • Do you have some random skill? Something you're an expert at and can do quite well in a very short amount of time? Maybe you're a freelance writer, a musician who does jingles, you were born with a great voice for voice overs, you're an amazing cartoonist, skilled at graphic design, or perhaps you can write a kick*** cover letter and resume. Whatever your marketable skill, you can promote it on fiverr.com. Just offer something for $5 and you can add additional fees or add-on work. I haven't sold anything over there, but I have used the service many, many times!

  • My first venture into the making money online came via UpWork. Back in the day, it was known as Elance. With UpWork, you can charge whatever you want. The more skilled you are, the more you can make. I started out low-balling bids on jobs until I gained confidence in a particular subject. Now, I work as a consultant and bid a much higher wage.  I work as a freelance writer, SEO specialist, and social media marketer. However, you can find jobs for draftsmen, architects, interior designers, product testers, reviewers, and virtual assistants. Sometimes, you can even find work offline.

  • If you're a blogger or anyone with a large online following, you can do a search for sponsored social media posts. You've heard of celebrities getting paid to post on their Twitter and Instagram? You can do it too! This is my favorite side gig. It only takes a few minutes to complete and the pay out can be just as good as a sponsored blog post. You decided what pay you want. Your stats, engagement, and follower count play into it. Anyone can do it and earn $1 to over $1000 for a short post.


  • Write a how to manual, a comic book, or a full-fledged novel! Using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing tools, you can create book covers, upload content, and sell your book on Amazon. I've done this several times now. The key is quality. This is a pretty hefty time commitment. However, once you've done one book and created a template, it becomes easier. This is not for the faint of heart, the easily stressed, or the perfectionist. If you're any of those things, do the book, but pay someone to set it up for you. Here's one of my best selling Amazon books: Circle Time Activities. Tip: I also have versions of this book available on TeacherSherpa and TeachersPayTeachers.

Now, once you've created your own ways to make money online, you'll need to promote your business. You can do this yourself through boosting Facebook posts, running ads in Google AdWords, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram,  or enlisting a digital marketer to help. Pick me, pick me!

Still looking for more ways to make extra money online? Check out this article from the PennyHoarder.


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Need a Side Job?




Recommended:

Posts about Money from Kids Creative Chaos

Online Social Media Business Tips from The Play Connection

Summer Camp Handbook full of summer activities for kids, no camp required.




Homeschooling During the Coronavirus?

School Closure Home Learning


Have you unexpectedly been tossed into the throes of homeschooling since the Corona virus pandemic? If you've suddenly had to to become the school teacher, cafeteria lady, and janitor during these school closures, you're well aware that home learning is more difficult than it looks. So, how do you do homeschooling during the coronavirus pandemic? As seasoned homeschoolers, we're here to help. Below is a list of our favorite homeschool resources and some articles specifically addressing these troubled times and how to help your kids cope. What a life lesson this is, right?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For more on our personal journey scroll to the end.


Homeschooling During the Coronavirus?



Worried how school closure and remote learning will affect your child? Love them, support them, build them up, and they'll be fine. Think homeschoolers are weird? Maybe, depends on your perspective, but we're more normal than you think. We only had 7 months of brick and mortar school, but our previously homeschooled kids made the best of their first year of brick and mortar school. They miss school so much. When this is all over your kids will look forward to going to school too! I've added a photo album for our long time readers and fans. Enjoy!


homeschool success stories
I love this post! We have a similar experience.
Keep scrolling to see our homeschoolers' success in public school!

Tips for Home Learning and Coping during School Closures and Covid19 




Coronavirus Memes Covid18 Memes Apocalypse
These are scary times, so here's a Coronavirus meme to lighten the mood.

Educational Resources for Homeschooling during the Coronavirus

  • Many of our older homeschool resources that target elementary students are listed in the homeschool tab on this site: Homeschool Learning Lessons for Elementary Age You can also do a search on our site for specific types of lessons like, grammar, math, and science.

  • BrainPop has the most fun videos; I love them as much as my kids do. BrainPopJr. is great for the younger set. They are a paid service, but offer a free movie of the week and other free lessons.


  • Mobymax has free options for remote learning and homeschoolers. The great thing about this website is they find and fix learning gaps. Kids can take assessments to see where they fall and then do educational activities based on their grade level in different subjects. It's a great way to see if your child has been falling through the cracks in public school.



  • Khan Academy is not for the faint of heart. If you're all in to the homeschooling thing, give it a try. We used it for several years. It's a free learning resource originally targeted toward middle schoolers and high schoolers, but now offers lessons for elementary too. It feels a lot more like "real school" than some of the other online options and keeps track of your progress and grade level.

  • Why not give this difficult time a fun spin? Our Summer Camp Handbook is edutainment at its best! Enjoy science experiments, PE Activities, and more disguised as fun! 

  • We also love CrashCourse with John and Hank Green. (Yes, that John Green!) You'll even find some of their lessons on Khan Academy. These are super fun, especially for older students.

Best Homeschool Blogs











First day of public school 2019.

We hope these resources help ease your mind and put you on the right track for remote home learning during the Coronavirus pandemic situation. Remember, homeschooling isn't easy and not all parents nor all kids are cut out for it. 



Bowling allows for socialization and physical activity. During the quarantine,
bowl with your game console or set up milk jugs to knock down with a basketball.

Do the best you can. Don't overdo it! If you take it too seriously, your kids won't enjoy it and neither will you. Make learning fun, make it light, and focus on those skills that are best learned at home: writing letters, sending emails, tying shoes, telling time, how to follow a recipe, chores (consider doing laundry a PE activity,) working on cars, putting together puzzles, dice games, Minecraft Uno or any Uno game, and anything that brings your family closer together.



Dress up day.

Note:
This past year, my kids decided to go back to public school. My 15 year-old was placed as a high learning junior taking all senior and college level courses, my 13 year-old is a well-rounded, straight A, school loving eighth grader. 

In previous years, we spent a maximum of 2 hours a day on book learning. The rest  of our day was focused on healthy outdoor activities, field trips to museums, special events at the library, and a local homeschool group for "socialization." Turns out, it was more than enough. 

Take it easy, don't stress out, and remember that YOU CAN DO IT!









Made the grade, first semester honor roll.


Never played football in his life. Made the team!


Loving the school band.

My son was looking forward to performing in the high school play, finishing building a home for Habitat for Humanity, trying out different sports and clubs, and now, that will have to wait until next year. My daughter was on an academic team, loving art club, playing in the school band, and appreciating school for its many wonderful opportunities. I took great pride and joy watching them try new things. My heart aches for their loss and for the loss of those long time public school seniors who are missing out on their last school dance, possibly graduation, and all the joys of being a high school senior. If nothing else, this experience will teach us not to take life for granted. 

Never forget, no matter how stressful it gets, getting to stay home with your kids is a gift.

Good Luck, go hug your kids!



14 Circle Time Activities and Ideas for Preschoolers

Preschool Circle Time is for Group Lessons, Games, and Interaction

Running out of ideas for Preschool Circle Time? Every preschool program needs circle time for group interaction. This is a time to build structure into the program, so the children know what to expect each day. It is great to offer circle time at least twice a day- once in the morning, and once just before time to go home. These ideas will help build a sense of togetherness, (community) a time for sharing, and a fun learning environment for the kids. Enjoy!


This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Elementary Circle Time Games, Activities, Ideas for Preschoolers and Toddlers
Elementary Circle Time Games, Activities, and Ideas for Preschoolers and Toddlers.

 14 Ideas and Activities for Circle Time

1.  Dance Freeze - Play some music or sing a song. Everyone dances willy nilly. Suddenly, stop the song, but don't sing to the end of a verse, that is too predictable. Everyone must freeze in their position. Is one leg up? Are they doing the worm? If they move, they must sit frozen in that spot, criss-cross applesauce and wait to see who can freeze the longest. No blinking or twitching allowed.



2.  Bug in a Rug - This is an oldie, but a goodie. Everyone sits in the circle. Before you begin to play, explain EXACTLY how the game works. Grab a blanket or a big beach towel. Now, pick one child to leave the room or wear a fun blindfold. Teacher picks a student. Shh! Just point at the child, grab their hand and take them away from the group. Now, point at another child and then to the "rug". Hide the child under the "rug." Bring the other preschooler back. Can they guess who is missing? 

3. Pass the Movement - I played this for years with preschoolers and school-age children in summer camps, but I didn't give it a name. I found the name at Preksharing Blog. She says it is adapted from a book published in 2011, but we used to do this years ago in summer camp and afterschool programs. Just goes to show, great minds think alike! It is simple to play. Teacher starts with a movement. Perhaps, you wave your hand in the air. Now, the person sitting to your right must wave their hand and add a movement like wiggling their nose. The next person to the right, does those movements and adds one of their own. It is a "WAVE" of different movements.

4. Shake the Sillies Out - Need a game to get kids' moving?  Find some Dragon Tunes from the cartoon, Dragon Tales, and every morning, "Shake the Sillies Out"! Just play the song, and follow the instructions. Kids love this one!

5. Circle Time Collaborative Painting - I like the idea of painting circles in collaboration like the one from Art Project Girl in the link. You know, where Teach lays out a big sheet of paper and painting supplies and everyone paints concentric circles? What if we do it as a part of Circle Time? Pass the painting, and make a PROGRESSIVE PAINTING. 

This idea teaches patience. Everyone must wait their turn. It builds excitement too. Lay out a large painting tarp, sit the children in a circle on the tarp, give each child a cup of paint and a brush. No painting unless it is your turn. To make it less frustrating, pass two large poster boards around starting at opposite ends. Children are allowed to paint only 1 circle or shape of their choice per turn. While they are painting, teacher shares an art lesson on shapes!


Collaborative Concentric Circle Painting
Collaborative Concentric Circle Painting from Art Project Girl.

6. Click, Clack, Moo Story Starter - You know the story about the unhappy cows in the barn? They have a typewriter. They are making demands. An electric blanket would be nice. What else might the farm animals want from the farmer? 

Click Clack Moo Story Starter Circle Time Game.
Click Clack Moo Story Starter Circle Time Game.

Play a Circle Time Game where each child is given an animal. Before the game, print out cards with farm animal pictures on one side and their name on the other. Each child draws a card from a hat. Give this example to the kids: What does the (insert animal here) pig want? "Dear Farmer Brown, the barn is smelly. Please send air fresheners." Have each child come up with their own idea for what the animal on the card might want from the farmer.

7. Animal Movement Game - Take the game above one step further. Get the kids moving like the animals. Ask, "What does a pig say?" Now, "How does a pig move?" The children take turns walking around the circle like the animal on their cards. 


8. Quiet Mouse, Still Mouse - When Circle Time is done, keep children in a circle to release them to the next preschool activity. The teacher explains, the child who sits as quiet as a mouse (the quietest) get to line up first. Continue until everyone (or almost everyone, I don't like to single out those who can't sit still or quiet) is in line.

9. Calendar Time -  Sing "Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Saturday. Suunday, Munday... TUUESday" Emphasize the current day of the week. Sing the song and then check the calendar. Who can find today on the calendar? Here's another days of the week song sung to the Addam's Family theme. 

10. Alphabet Shopping - Using the first letter of each child's name, pretend to go shopping for an item that begins with that letter. For example, “Jake will buy a jump rope.” Go around the circle until everyone has had a turn. This helps with letter recognition. For more ideas like this visit Early Childhood News.

11. Talking Stick - Bring in a cane, or recycle a cardboard wrapping paper tube. The kids can help decorate the "Talking Stick" with Washi or Duct Tape, Glitter, or Feathers. During Circle Time, grab the stick. Now, explain to the group that this is a talking stick. Only the person who holds it may speak. This is a great tool to use for Show and Tell or other situations where children take turns sharing. More lessons in patience and turn taking.


12. Birthday Day of the Week Bags - PreK Pages Blog has a fun idea for Day of the Week Bags. Make a brown paper bag for each day of the week. Give it a colorful label, and fill it with the names of classmates who have birthdays on this day or other special things that happen on this day of THIS week.

   13. Pictures with Facial Expressions - Hold up magazine pictures of facial expressions. Ask, "What is this person feeling." Have the children take turns making the face. After you play this game, have the kids draw themselves like this emotion art lesson.

14. Play Duck, Duck, Goose? - This old standby might be boring to you, but it is likely new to the toddlers and preschoolers in your class. Change it up each day. After they get the hang of the game, add a creative play element by acting it out. Have the kids act and walk like the animal as they toddle around. Walk and Talk like the animal. For older or school-age children, change the theme to pig, pig, cow or ghost, ghost, vampire.



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14 Circle Time Activities and Ideas for Preschoolers