Circle time is a group activity which aims at creating a space in which pupils can communicate. Apart from these activities being fun, they also help in emotional understanding and exploring relationships as they reflect emotions of the children. They also develop pupil’s speaking and listening skill. Positivism in exercise should be emphasized and encouraged. Following activities and games can improve interaction among children:
- Will you be my friend? – Children are made to sit in a circle and one person stands in the middle of the circle and asks someone, “Will you be my friend?” If the person says “no”, then everyone has to get up and change his/her place. If the child says “yes”, then the standing child will further ask, “Why?” To that, the child will give any reason such as: I like you because you are wearing a pink shirt, or because you are wearing black shoes, and with that, everyone who is wearing something similar, will change their places.
- Statue – This game aims at loosening up the kids and have fun at the same time. Make everyone stand in a large circle and play music. Explain that when they hear the music, they can dance any way they want, but when the music stops, they must freeze immediately and should remain like a statue in whatever position they are in. Wait a few seconds to see if they can hold their positions, then start over. This helps in increasing their attentiveness and alertness.
- Dodge Ball – This is an outdoor game and children are made to stand in a circle. They should then choose two children to stand outside the circle and roll the ball at the other children in the circle. The child with the ball then throws it at any of the other children. The child at whom the ball is thrown must either “dodge” the ball or catch it. If it hits him/her, he/she is out of the game.
- Matching the partner – Write the names of popular pairs like “Tom and Jerry”, “Tweety and Sylvester”, etc. on different chits of paper and distribute them to everyone sitting in a circle, keeping one pair incomplete. Ask them to find their partner. All the complete pairs will find their partner, and only the one who has the incomplete pair will remain. Ask the one remaining to do something like singing a song or dance on a song.
While playing these games the following should be taken into consideration:
- Keep the circle time short as children don’t have very long attention span.
- Do not force kids to join circle time. They should participate actively and for that they should have the liking from within. Forcing a child into a game will not arouse interest.
- If the planned activity does not manage to interest the child, give him/her an option to choose another activity or try playing a different game altogether.
- For the circle, you can use a masking tape on the floor. Children should be asked to sit outside this circle.
- Children should feel that the circle is a safe place to share and feel trusted. This helps in motivating children to join groups.
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I feel like these activities separate the children–some children might feel left out, or you might get a group of two children who want to be partners with each other, but can’t because of the names on the cards.
It might work with older children that are a bit more mature, but I wouldn’t really recommend this activity for children that are 3.