Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children: A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers

Activity 2: Circle Rhymes Transition

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Circle Rhymes posters

Preparation for Activity

  • Make and display Circle Rhymes posters (see Posters for Chalice Children, under Resources in the Introduction).

Description of Activity

Introduce the songs and chants you will use throughout the program. Tell the children that they will do them each time the group meets. This will help them, today and in the future, transition smoothly and predictably from free play to Circle Time.

Begin singing the first song, “Clean-Up Time,” to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and gently encourage the children to put away the items they have been using. Help them, as needed:

Clean, clean, clean up play,

Gently as we go.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

The room is getting clean.

Repeat until clean-up is finished.

When the room is ready and the children are standing, begin the next chant, “Clap, Clap.” Help the children focus on the leader so they will learn the movements:

Clap, clap,

Stamp, stamp,

Turn around and jump!

Repeat once or twice until all the children have joined in.

Invite the children into a seated circle by singing “Circle Time,” to the tune of “London Bridge”:

Circle Time is here again,

Circle Time, here again,

Circle Time is here again,

Now it’s time for Circle Time.

Once the children are seated and focused, lead the chant “I Wiggle,” and perform the movements with the children:

I wiggle my fingers. [wiggle fingers]

I wiggle my toes. [wiggle feet]

I wiggle my shoulders. [wiggle shoulders]

I wiggle my nose. [wiggle nose]

Now no more wiggles are left in me, [leader sits down]

So I’ll be as still as still can be.

Including All Participants

You can invite a child in a wheelchair to sort and put away puzzle pieces or other manipulatives as part of cleanup. You may wish to change the words of the “Clap, Clap” chant from “Turn around and jump!” to “Turn around and clap!” and turn the child in their wheelchair yourself or with a helper. Finally, Circle Time can take place in a circle of chairs so that everyone is in a chair.