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Morning Circle Time – Nature Study

October’s Party
October gave a party; the leaves by hundreds came,
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples, and leaves of every name.
The Chestnuts came in yellow, the Oaks in crimson dressed,
The lovely Misses Maple, in scarlet looked their best.
-Unknown Author

Many families already implement the idea of a morning circle time. Even in our family with high school age children (and above) we meet together each morning for our version of “circle time” because it has been our established routine for many, many years. Circle time is a great time to include some nature study themes and activities. Here are some ideas to get you started and that will tie into your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

Image from PreKinders
  • The morning is the perfect time to share daily weather and changes in the trees or plants outdoors. Each day your child can go outside briefly or look out the window to give the morning “nature report”. Younger children can share with their words or use pre-made pictorial cards, then progress to keeping a daily weather/nature journal, and finally older students can record temperatures, wind direction, cloud types, and changes in plants, animals, and birds.  (PreKinders has weather themed printables for your circle time activities.)
  • Memorize a seasonal poem or a stanza from a poem like the one quoted at the top of this blog entry.
  • If you already include a “color of the week”, why not ask what things in nature are that particular color? Try to get them to dig deeper than the ordinary by building on your outdoor time. You can give them hints to get started by reminding them of subjects you observed outdoors. What did we see yesterday in the garden that was yellow? Can you remember the name of a yellow bird? What yellow object did you sketch in your nature journal last week?
  • If you have a “number of the week”, ask them to list objects they have learned about as part of their nature study? Can you name four birds? What are five garden flowers? Can you think of six mammals?
  • You can use this time to work on your verbal skills by having an object from your nature table to pass to each child. They take turns describing the object using as many adjectives as they can.

Gently work into your circle time some references to your nature study and it will make some important connections as your children get in the routine of observing and learning about their very own backyard.

Circle Time - Kendra Fletcher

If you haven’t had a chance to read about circle time on Kendra’s Preschoolers and Peace blog, I highly recommend you pop over and take a look.

Circle Time- Plan The Best Part of Your Day: Kendra has an ebook outlining ideas for circle time and she has generously offered to share a copy with one of my readers. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here on this entry (one comment per person please). Each comment will have a chance in the random drawing of names on Friday, October 14, 2011 8 AM (EST).
Thanks Kendra.

28 thoughts on “Morning Circle Time – Nature Study

  1. We too enjoy a morning circle time including memorizing seasonal poems. I think I will try to include a weather report to our time as well. I have a nice chart on clouds so maybe we will include recognizing cloud types too.
    Thanks for the encouragement and I hope I win the ebook:)

  2. We already do a circle time every morning because we follow the Waldorf school curriculum. I love your ideas about the weather. We normally add the appropriate day from the book Kid’s Nature Book to our cirle. It gives you a wonderful tidbit about what is happening in nature each day of the year and also has some good activities to do later in the day or week.

  3. thanks for the opportunity to win this! 🙂

  4. Great ideas! 🙂

  5. This is very inspiring. I’ve been trying to get a morning circle time going for a very long time. Right now we just look at the calendar and put our apples on the tree. This book would be fun to have.

  6. What an exciting giveaway! I love Preschoolers & Peace and would love to win Kendra’s Circle Time ebook.

  7. My girls love our morning circle time. This book would be a great help to me as I plan for that time!!

  8. awesome! our circle time is also our Bible reading time and it never looks much like a circle, but it works! 🙂

    we’d love it if we won & happy you are spreading the message!

  9. Circle time is my favorite time of the day. It is when my three young boys and I gather under the shade of our favorite tree or in front of a cozy winter fire. We use this time to talk, read poems and stories, and plan the day ahead of us.

  10. We’ve started doing our Bible reading in the morning together, but I would love to learn how to incorporate more into this time – it’s a little hard with a 3rd grader and a 3 year old! Thank you for this opportunity!

  11. I’ve been wanting to start a “circle time” for a while. Thanks for the ideas.

  12. Circle time is a wonderful way of growing closer as you learn together.

  13. hi barb, thanks for posting about circle time. i’ve been trying to start this up again. we were reading “the song of hiawatha” for awhile as our morning circle, but have now gotten off-track. kendra’s book sounds like it has some wonderful suggestions. what a fun giveaway 🙂

  14. I’d love to win this. I’ve been trying to make some changes so that my little ones aren’t just running wild and destroying things while I do school with my oldest, and I think circle time might be a great way to include them.

  15. We just started doing calendar time and have been reading scripture memorization/catechism in the morning as well. I would love to combine everything and make a circle time for us. This looks like a great resource with many ideas! Thanks!

  16. I don’t do circle time. I’m going to research the link you gave and incorporate that with my preschoolers. Thanks!

  17. I love circle time, but need more ideas. The book would be awesome!

  18. We have done circle time for many years and have no plans of stopping even though my kids are (sigh) getting older. I’m always on the lookout for things to include, and I enjoyed the article.


  19. Thanks for the inspiring and practical article on circle time. We used to implement it in our homeschool practice and I am considering going back to it as my child has “calmed down” a bit – we couldn’t transition well from circle time into focused work but I think we can definitely revisit it…

    Thanks – Angela

  20. We’d love a copy for our own little preschool.
    a_heart4home at yahoo

  21. I found the Preschoolers and Peace a few years ago when I first started homeschooling. It was filled with wonderful ideas. I would love to be the recipient even now so that I could assist other young families who are just starting out in my neck of the woods!

  22. I’ve heard a lot about circle times and would love to learn more. Thanks for the post.

  23. Thanks for the opportunity of winning this ebook.

  24. I’ve been wanting to do a circle time with my two boys, but have been needing/wanting some direction on how to do it. So this ebook would be great!

  25. What great ideas for circle time! I’m just starting to HS so looking for wonderful traditions to build upon.

  26. I just discovered your blog and love it! I am working on implementing circle time with my younger kids at least and would LOVE to have a copy of Kendra’s book. Thanks for the opportunity and all your great inspiration!

  27. I never thought to do circle time with my boys as my older 2 came home for school after 1st and 4th grade..12 years ago. My youngest came home last year for middle school. So, I guess I just thought they were to old.

  28. We love circle time, but could definitely use more ideas to incorporate… :}

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