50+ Easy Circle Time Games for Three, Four, and Five Years
Group Time for preschoolersoften happens several times a day, you needfresh activitiesto interact with the children and keep them engaged. These 50simple group time games for preschoolersare perfect forthree, four, and five year-oldsand they can be adapted for use withkindergarten or early elementary.Enjoy!
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|50 Simple Group Time Games for Preschooler at Circle Time.|
Childcare Quarterly states that, "research and anecdotal evidence indicate the need for social interaction and emotional regulation in children. Just as in the other developmental domains, social and emotional development are built on meaningful, supportive, and authentic experiences with adults and with other children. Circle times, then, have as their main goal social interaction among the children and between the children and the group leader."
Here's a greatPRINTABLE PDF on Music and Movement for Group Time
During group time give the kids a magic word. If you remember Pee Wee Herman, this is similar to the secret Word of the Day. Everyone who is paying attention will be in on the secret. Throughout the day, use this magic word for lining up ortransitioningto activities. Those who know the word will get to do the activity first or be first in line. Eventually, all of the children will catch on to the magic word of the day.
Blindfoldone child and place her in the middle of the group's circle. Have the other children pass a noisy item (such as keys) around the circle. Think, Marco Polo without all of the shouting! When the blindfolded child recognizes the sound, she shouts for the rest of the group to stop and then points toward the item. If she is incorrect the game continues until she guesses correctly.
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Cut out different shapes fromcraftfoam.Place the foam on the floor and ask the kids to "cross the river" by walking only on triangles. Choose different shapes each time. This is a great way to teach preschoolers to identify shapes.
Draw a shape on a piece of paper: circle, square, triangle, oval, rectangle, etc. Place the shape on cardboard and trace it. Take a hole punch and punch holes around the shape. Tie the yarn into the first hole and let the kids lace the shapes. While they are working, go around the circle and ask each child to share their shape. What shape is it? What else could it be? For example, a triangle could be a dog house. This keeps them busy while waiting their turn.
Like these ideas? Get our book with printable pages that are the perfect size for your clipboard! Best Circle Time Group Games.
Introduce yourself and the person sitting next to you. Continue around the circle. Then, do a silly version. Introduce yourself with a silly name and give the person next to you a silly name too.
Tell the kids that you are going to mix up the fruit. Have the children draw a name of a fruit out of a basket. They don't have to keep it a secret. When the leader calls out the fruit the children with that fruit move to a new spot or do as the leader says. Mix it up!
Sit kids on the floor in a circle. Pick one child to be the kitty and to wear thecat ears. The kitty crawls up to another kid and meows. The other child pets the kitty on the head while saying "poor kitty" without smiling. If he laughs or smiles, he becomes the kitty.
Ask the children what month they have their birthday. Then, call out a month. Kids whose birthdays are in that month run around the circle and back to their original spot in the circle.
Grab an old Go Fish or Old Maid deck of cards, give each child a card. Now, have the kids find the other people with the matching cards. First time, they can talk. Second time, no talking allowed. This is a great way to divide up into teams or partners.
Simply clap. One clap continues the direction and two claps reverses direction. Teaches the importance of paying attention.
Doggy, Doggy Where's My Bone
Remove one player from the room. Give the boneto a player in the circle. This child places the paper bone behind her back. The other player returns to the room and tries to guess who has the bone. Can they sniff it? Can they guess by facial expressions?
Shopping or Grocery Store
Find how to play this game and over 30 other group circle games in our Circle Time Handbook.
Jigsaw puzzles come in all different difficulty levels, which is perfect for a group time game in school. For preschoolers, it’s best to stick with easy puzzles with fewer than 30 pieces. If you can find a variety of physical jigsaw puzzles that are easy enough for preschoolers, that’s great. Otherwise, check an online jigsaw puzzle site where you can choose any design from a list of thousands of puzzles and make it easy, medium, or hard depending on who is playing. Another cool thing about some of these sites is you have the ability to create puzzles and share them. If you’re leading a preschool classroom, this can be helpful if you have a topic you’re covering and you want a puzzle to align with the lesson.
Remove one child from the room. While he is out, the group nominates someone else to speak. When the child reenters the room they stand in the middle of the circle. The nominated child disguises their voice and says ‘99.' The first child guesses who is speaking.
Start with a familiar word. Then, the group claps twice. The next player must say a related word. For example, "dog" clap, clap, "bone," clap, clap, "skeleton." Passes from player to player all around the circle.
Choose a name out of a hat to start. Clap around the circle stopping to clap the syllables of each child's name. For example, two claps for Jacob, three claps for Samantha.
Break into groups of three to five. Standing in rows, see how quickly each row can arrange themselves by height. Can they beat the other rows? Change it up with ages, birthday months, or alphabetical by names.
Pig On Her Headby Laurie Berkner
Fill a bag with plastic animals. Each player pulls an animal from the bag and places the animal on her head.
Then, go around the circle and sing the song with each player's name.
Sally has a sheep on her neck,
Sally has a sheep onherneck,
Sally has a sheep onherneck,
And she’ll keep it there all day!
Around the World
Think Four Corners. Place a sign with North, South, East and West on four walls. Players start in the middle and someone shouts where to sail the ship. If the leader shouts, "All round the world," the players have to visit all four walls and get back to the middle as quickly as possible.
One player pretends to be Frankenstein. He walks towards the others in a slow, creepy, Frankenstein way with arms out. The player he is walking toward calls out another name. Frankenstein walks toward the next person named. Shout a new name before Frankenstein touches you. This is a great ice breaker to learn each other's names. Change Frankenstein after five names.
Leader calls out a number. The players break into small groups and link arms with that number of people. Once everyone is linked they cross to the other side of the circle. If anyone is odd man out, they get to call out the next number.
Seat players in the circle. Pass a cookie behind their backs while they chant, "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?"
Teddy stole the cookie form the cookie jar.
Player whose name was called says, "Who me?"
Everyone else says, "Yes, you!"
Player whose name was called says, "Couldn't be."
Everyone else says, "Then who?"
Player whose name was called chooses the next name. "Terri stole the cookie from the cookie jar."
Repeat until all names are called.
Follow the Leader
The leader mimes an action. Everyone else must copy the action. The next person mimes that action and adds one of their own and so on.
Hunt the Pair
Get or make cards with matches. Each player takes a card without speaking. They must find the other person with the matching picture card. Use regular cards and match numbers or use picture cards and match things like a baseball and bat.
Name game with finger play. Say the words while pointing to each finger. Start with the pinkie finger. Then move to the index finger. Each time you move, point to the next finger and say, “Johnny Whoops.” Work your way back saying the name of each finger and then "Johnny Whoops!"
Think Bugs in a Rug! Move around the room to the music, when the music stops have the players curl up like hedgehogs. Put a blanket over one player and then the others stand up and guess who is under the blanket.
Think Musical Chairs! Place sheets of newspaper or butcher paper on the floor. When the music stops everyone must be standing on the paper. One by one, take the pieces of paper away until there is only one left. Beforehand, have the children decorate the paper like islands.
I know Your Name
Take turns calling out someone’s name. When your name is called, you must swap seats. This is a good game to play during transition time.
Who are We?
First kid states their name and points to another kid, who stands up and repeats the first kid's name. This continues until every kid states everyone else's name.
Think Telephone! Everyone stands in a line in a circle with eyes closed. The first player taps the person standing in front of them. When they turn around, they mime an action. Pass the mime around the circle. Can it make it to the end?
Make up actions for the buttons on a remote control, when that button is pressed they perform the action. Make your own pretend remote or get a giant remote control.
Body to Body
Players stand in a circle and wait to hear how they must connect with each other. Connect fingers, elbows, ankles, etc. If safe, ask them to move left or right while connected.
What am I?
As you go around the circle, everyone chooses a positive adjective to describe their personality.
Go around the circle and ask, "What color would you be?" Everyone must answer something like this, "If I were a color, I would be blue, because it is the color of the sky."
Everyone closes their eyes and listens for two minutes. Then, the leader goes around the circle asking what sounds were heard.
Go around the circle asking what instrument each child would be if they were an instrument. Now, they must also make the sound and pretend to be that instrument. At the end, have a marching band concert with all of the "instruments."
What Color Is This
Prep with several different colored items. Ask the children, "What color is this?" Let them shout out answers. Next, go around the circle and ask each child to name something else in the room that is the same color.
Wiggle fingers to make rain. Pass around the circle until everyone is wiggling their fingers. Change the action: Wave arms to make wind, stomp feet to make thunder, raise arms in a circle to make the sun.
Stand the children in two lines facing each other. The person across from them is their mirror. Take turns being the mirror and being the one looking into the mirror.
Make cards for each child. Make a few with each number from one to five, then one of each number from six to eight. Without talking, players must find theother numbers in their group. When they find a number match, they pretend to be happy to see them and continue walking together with their number group until all members of their number group are found. If someone with a different number tries to join, they do not let them join their group. Then, talk about how it feels to be left out and how it feels to belong to a group.
Hand a basket of items to the kids to hold or wear. (Bunny ears, gloves, scarves, pillows) Tell everyone to study each other. Then, remove one player from the room. When they return, they must guess what is different.You can also have kids change places with each other.
Everyone sits in a circle. Slowly say, "chug a chug a chug a." Then, begin to chant faster, "chugga chugga chugga chugga." While chanting, slowly stand up. When everyone is standing straight and tall, have them move their arms back and forth and begin to move around the circle together as a train while continuing chanting. Take turns saying, "choo-choo!"
A Sticky Situation
One person in the middle of the circle calls out, "Help, help!" Others reply, "What’s the matter?" The first person makes up a situation. For example, I'm stuck up a ladder or a dog chased me up a tree. The others reply, "Who do you want to help?" The person in the middle makes up random traits for who he wants to help. For example, anyone in a red shirt, someone with tennis shoes... The others nominate a person to help based on these traits. Then the nominee swaps places with the person in the middle.
Everyone sits in a circle. One person says, "Peek-a-boo, I see you." Then, they call out a person(s) by attire. For example, "Peek-a-boo, I see you in a red shirt." Everyone in a red shirt stands up. Now, the person speaking covers his eyes. The others wearing red shirts sit back down in different places. Now, the person speaking uncovers his eyes and points to the first person he sees in a red shirt. This person is now "it" and starts the game again with a new item of clothing. "I see you in the tennis shoes."
Make cards in advance depicting feelings or actions. Player draws a card and acts out the action. Everyone else must guess the action or emotion.
How Do You Do?
Play music, children move around the circle. When the music stops, they must greet each other with a greeting. Hello, How do you do, Good Morning... Next, they ask each other one question. For example, "What is your favorite color?" This is a fun icebreaker game.
Everyone sits in the circle. Grab a blanket or a big beach towel. Now, pick two children to leave the room or wear a fun blindfold. Shh! Just point at the children, grab their hands and take them away from the group. Next, point at two more children and then to the "rug." Hide the children under the "rug." Bring the others back. Can they guess who is missing?
Hello, How are You?
One child crosses the circle to shake hands and ask a question and then returns to their previous position. Now, the questioned child crosses the circle and does the same thing choosing a different child. Play continues until everyone has a turn.
While children are in line or at their desks, the leader says, "Come sit in the circle if you live in an apartment." "Come sit in the circle if you drive a van." "Come sit in the circle if you have a dog." "Come sit in the circle if you go to school." When everyone is seated, the leader talks about what it means to have things in common. What it means to have a community. "We are a community of preschoolers with dogs and cats."
Think Duck, Duck, Goose. Everyone sits in the circle. Choose one butterfly. This child flaps fingers like a butterfly as they walk around the circle. Chant, "One little butterfly flew away on a very bright, warm summer day. It flew up in the sky so blue, And when it landed, it landed on you!" The butterfly taps another child on the shoulder. Now this person is the butterfly.
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The average preschooler's GROUP attention span at the beginning of the year is 5 minutes for 3 year-olds and 10 minutes for 4 year olds.What is the group time for a 3 year old? ›
The average preschooler's GROUP attention span at the beginning of the year is 5 minutes for 3 year-olds and 10 minutes for 4 year olds.What is a circle time game? ›
Carpet games are a great way to entertain or teach a group of children sitting together on a carpet or mat during “ring time” or “circle time” at school. They are fun to play at home and at parties too. They are sometimes called circle games as kids typically sit in a circle facing each other to play them.What is group time in early childhood? ›
Group time is an opportunity for the class of children to be introduced to new concepts and ideas, share in learning experiences, to talk together and collaborate. Group time is also a way to create a sense of belonging and togetherness within the class.How do you make preschool circle time fun? ›
- Set circle time rules. ...
- Introduce a musical game. ...
- Review the day's activities. ...
- Engage in storybook reading. ...
- Introduce a short thematic lesson with props. ...
- Use imagination games. ...
- Increase interaction with hands-on activities. ...
- Pick a “go-to” movement, activity, or song.
It is a period of time in which all the children join the teacher as a group. Circle Time typically lasts between 20 and 30 minutes and is a mixture of routines, traditions, music, movement, conversation, learning, and fun.What is the honey bear game for kids? ›
Gather students in a circle. Choose one student to be the listening bear. The listening bear sits in the middle of the circle with the bear's honey pot (which is represented by a bell or anything that makes a noise). The bear will need to pay attention to the sounds to guess who takes the honey pot.What is the bear like honey game? ›
Wake up, Mr Bear! The bear then wakes up and finds the thief by asking each child "Do you have my honey?". If the bear finds the child with the 'honey' they chase the thief around the circle. If the thief gets caught, they become the bear in the next turn.What is Magic Circle game? ›
Definition. In the context of games, the magic circle is the area within which the rules of the game apply, a special space, ideally but not necessarily demarcated by the rules within which play occurs. It need not be a physical space, but can instead be virtual or a frame of mind.What is small group activity in preschool? ›
Small group activities for preschoolers involve children being divided into smaller groups to work on specific skills. Unlike free play, small group learning should have a desired goal and encourage children to provide input and work collaboratively to complete their shared assignments.
Group time is a time we come together to learn, discuss, teach and share. At group time, we gather on our Chindi Rug and engage in group learning together. In my kindergarten classroom, we usually have three group times a day; in the morning, before lunch and before going outside in the afternoon.What is a free play? ›
Free play is when children have full freedom to play in whatever way they want. “They can choose everything – they have the freedom to select their play materials, interest area and even the plot,” explains Zaman.What is alphabet soup game? ›
OBJECT This alphabet soup has all the ingredients—from Apple to Zipper. It's got letters and pictures-and two games in one. In "Soup's On," take turns picking out letters and matching them to letters and pictures around the rim of the soup bowl. When you're through, you'll have put all 26 letters in alphabetical order.What are the 5 skills of circle time? ›
It also helps children work on five key skills, without which Circle Time doesn't work: thinking, listening, looking, speaking and concentrating.What is the snowball circle time? ›
Each child will receive a piece of paper with a symbol and will scrunch it up into a “snowball.” Next, they will throw the snowball into the center of the circle and then pick up a ball that isn't their own. Finally, each child will open up their new “snowball” and try to find their match.How can I make my circle time more interesting? ›
- 1) Sing a song with actions and gameplay. ...
- 2) Review the calendar, weather and week's agenda, using interactive props. ...
- 3) Give a short, thematic lesson, using props during circle time. ...
- 4) Read stories for a quiet, carpet time activity.
Circle time activities are a great opportunity for teachers to introduce new concepts to their students. It is also a time for review, transition, and social interaction. Circle time activities for preschoolers should be developmentally appropriate and engaging for all students.Is Montessori for autism? ›
The Montessori Method is particularly helpful to children with ASD because of the interactive, calming, sensory, safe, and consistent environment it provides. Montessori teaching is centered on the idea that all children learn differently and at their own individual pace.What do children do in circle time? ›
Children are seated in a circle either on their chairs or the floor. Most of the time, an object is passed around the circle to show whose turn it is to speak. Some of the activities in a circle time include musical games, cooperative games, talking and listening exercises, drama activities and a lot more!What is the game Golden Child? ›
The last red player (Golden Child) is the only player that can "unlock" all the stuck red players and free them all to run home before the blue players get a goal. Aim of the game is for the shooters to shoot under pressure and the red players to beat the blue players through their rotation.
Chicken Rider is an endless runner game in which the player takes control of the young polar bear. The little bear is fighting for animal freedom. But during the attempt of chicken liberation, not everything is working according to the plan.How do you play the teddy bear game? ›
To play the teddy bear hide and seek, one player will have to play the role of a bear and mark an area as the bear's den. Next, the bear will close its eyes and count a certain number while the other players hide. Once the count is up, the bear will go and find the hiding players.What is bear and squirrel game? ›
Squirrel And Bear (2012) Master Thesis Project. Squirrel & Bär is a 2D adventure game for kids between 3-9 years and their parents to learn English as a foreign language for iOS and Android.What is Care bear game? ›
Care Bears: Care Karts is an educational simulation game for Android and iOS mobile phones developed and published by PlayDate Digital, and was released worldwide in December 2016.What is the game with the Killer bears? ›
|European cover art|
|Developer(s)||Artificial Mind and Movement|
What is the Circle Game? The Circle Game is an activity in which one person makes a “circle” with their fingers closely resembling the “OK” hand gesture and holds it below their waist, convincing a second person to look at it. If the second person looks, they receive a punch to the shoulder.What is the game with the circle and sticks? ›
In English the sport is known by several names, "hoop and stick", "bowling hoops", or "gird and cleek" in Scotland, where the gird is the hoop and the cleek, the stick. In the west, around the end of the 19th century, the game was played by boys up to about twelve years of age.How do you play the detective circle game? ›
A player in the circle is chosen to start a rhythm. Using their hands or feet, players clap, snap, stomp or otherwise develop a rhythm. Everyone in the circle copies the rhythm. The leader of the rhythm changes it every few seconds and the rest of the group must following suit, also changing the rhythm.How do you make a small group fun? ›
- Two truths and a lie. Have everyone in your meeting share two things about themselves that are true, and one thing that is a lie. ...
- Rock, paper, scissors tournament. ...
- Name that song. ...
- Terrible joke contest.
A sorting activity – or grouping activity – is any activity that requires a child to identify what a number of items (whether pictures or objects) have in common. The child has to find the common property that forms a group or class of items.
Examples of small group team building activities for students may include relay running, frog jumping, star jumps, and push-ups. Older people can do stretches and other suitable exercises.What is group activity in classroom? ›
Group work refers to learning experiences in which students work together on the same task. Group work can help build a positive and engaging learning community through peer learning and teaching. Promoting peer interactions can positively affect learning experiences by preparing students for work beyond the classroom.What is small group time? ›
Small group time is an opportunity for children to work collaboratively in small groups (3-4 children) with teachers and peers to explore a topic, materials, or activity. During this time intentional focus can be given to allow for individual instruction and peer teaching that deepens the learning experience.What is a time sample in childcare? ›
In a time sample observation, you make an observation of a child every five minutes over a set period of time – usually an hour. The observations are only brief but include the activity the child is engaged in, which area of the nursery they are in and the level of involvement at that particular time.What is an example of free-to-play games? ›
Freemium games, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, Apex Legends, Fortnite Battle Royale, and the majority of the MOBA games, offer the "full version" of a product free of charge, while users are charged micropayments to access premium features and virtual goods, often in a piecemeal fashion.What is an example of free play for kids? ›
More examples of free play include: Drawing, coloring, painting, cutting, and gluing with art supplies. Playing make-believe and dress-up. Playing on playground equipment, climbing, swinging, running around.What is alphabet bingo game? ›
Have alphabet cards and put them in a bowl. Draw a card from the bowl and call out the letter. Now, have your child search for the letter on the bingo card and cover them with a small item like buttons, gems, bottle caps, etc. If they get five in a row, they get bingo.What is a good circle time? ›
Usually five to ten minutes is a good length for a circle time. Rarely will a twenty-minute circle time be successful, but the only way to judge the appropriate length is how the group reacts. As children grow you may be able to comfortably extend the time.Why are circle games good for preschoolers? ›
Circle time allows children to share their thoughts and ideas with classmates. Children also get to practice turn taking, learn respect for others opinions, and understand the need for rules. It helps children to prepare for kindergarten activities.How do you play don't wake the monkey? ›
Don't Wake The Monkey!
Put the puppet or teddy into the middle of the circle. They are 'asleep'. Then get either a tambourine, bells or keys. In a moment you are going to pass these around the circle as silently as possible.
Large group experiences are when all the children come together for a group activity at one time. Large group experiences are wonderful ways for preschoolers to enhance their social skills, build attention span and nurture a sense of community. Children often learn by observing their peers interact and solve problems.How do you engage preschoolers in activities? ›
Tune into children's interests and experiences and talk about them. Take turns communicating. Show that you are interested in what they are doing and listening to what they say. Provide time for children to respond.How long should group time be for toddlers? ›
Usually five to ten minutes is a good length for a circle time. Rarely will a twenty-minute circle time be successful, but the only way to judge the appropriate length is how the group reacts. As children grow you may be able to comfortably extend the time.How long should a 3 year old play? ›
3-year-olds are naturally active, so be sure to provide ample chances for your child to practice and build on these skills. How much is enough? Physical activity guidelines for toddlers recommend that each day they: Get at least 30 minutes of structured (adult-led) physical activity.How do you control a group of 3 year olds? ›
- Create a positive, stimulating environment. Children who are bored or put down will misbehave. ...
- Keep calm! ...
- The key is practice, practice, practice. ...
- Be clear and consistent. ...
- Keep the wording positive.
Large group experiences are when all the children come together for a group activity at one time. Large group experiences are wonderful ways for preschoolers to enhance their social skills, build attention span and nurture a sense of community. Children often learn by observing their peers interact and solve problems.How long should a preschooler sit still? ›
But there are typical ages when kids are able to sit still for certain amounts of time: 3-year-olds: 5–10 minutes. 5-year-olds: 15 minutes. 7-year-olds: 25 minutes.How long should a 3 year old sit in timeout? ›
Time-out usually lasts between 2 and 5 minutes for toddlers and preschoolers. A good rule is to give 1 minute of time-out for every year of the child's age. This means that a 2-year-old would sit in time-out for 2 minutes, and a 3-year-old would have a 3-minute time-out.How high can a 3-year-old count? ›
Most 3-year-olds can count to three and know the names of some of the numbers up to ten. Your child is also starting to recognize numbers from one to nine. He'll be quick to point it out if he receives fewer cookies than his playmate.What play skills do 3-year-olds have? ›
|3-4 years||Treating dolls or teddies as if they are alive.|
|Playing beside other children.|
|Using symbols in their play such as a stick becoming a sword.|
|Engaging in play themes which reflect less frequently experienced life events (e.g. visiting the doctor).|
To demonstrate, by the age of three, there are many physical milestones a child should reach. Check out the following list of physical achievements to gauge your child's development. Most children at this age will be able to write their name, write some letters of the alphabet, and draw simple shapes.How do you discipline a 3 year old in preschool? ›
- Show and tell. Teach children right from wrong with calm words and actions. ...
- Set limits. Have clear and consistent rules your children can follow. ...
- Give consequences. ...
- Hear them out. ...
- Give them your attention. ...
- Catch them being good. ...
- Know when not to respond. ...
- Be prepared for trouble.
First, find out exactly why your child doesn't want to take part. “Fear and sensory overload are the two most common reasons,” Berndt Piercey says. If he says an environment is too busy or noisy, try one-on-one playdates or small groups, so he can build up his confidence for a busier setting.Why group games in preschool? ›
Group games have invaluable benefits that can't be found in solitary play or many other activities. They can teach kids the specifics of life in a society, and help them to become better citizens. They get kids started on the first steps of teamwork, a much-needed skill in adulthood.How do most preschoolers play in groups of children? ›
Typically starting between four and five years of age, this is the predominant type of play in groups of kids this age and up, or in younger preschoolers who have older siblings or have been around a lot of children.