There are many developmentally appropriate ways to introduce the calendar during Circle Time for preschoolers. Read five simple tips for using the calendar at Circle Time. Read about your role as the educator in building Community during Circle Time. Start here if you need help setting up your Circle Time Display.
Keep It Short
Attention spans are short so the calendar routine should be short too. A child can participate for about 5 minutes for each year old they are. Plan a 10-minute group time for 2-year-old, 15 min for 3-year-olds and 20 min for 4-year-olds. Start small and extend as children become familiar with the routine. Each day will require you to decide when is enough for your group. Short and sweet large group time is best for toddlers. Also read Facilitating Group Times with Toddlers.
Write the Numbers on the Calendar
Using a marker or highlighter, write the numbers on the calendar grid while the children watch and count along. Children can also help write numbers.
When the numbers are written on the calendar, children can match the number pieces to the numbers on the grid. It also helps the children visualize how many days are in a month, and how many days are left in a week.
Each day a helper can point to the numbers and lead the group in counting. Soon children will be able to count up to 30 together! Plus, using the pointer to count the calendar grid allows preschoolers to practice one-to-one correspondence. One-to-one correspondence is the ability to count while pointing to one object at a time. While pointing to a number, the child assigns a number to one object at a time. One-to-one correspondence demonstrates a true understanding of the meaning of numbers. One-to-one correspondence is a Math and Reasoning skill beyond counting or memorization.
Use a Pointer
Children love to use a pointer to help count and point to other things on the circle time display. It’s a tool that helps children focus on the task and gives them a feeling of control and excitement when it’s their turn to lead.
Talk about Today and Tomorrow
Reinforce what the plans are for today by talking about what will happen later in the day. Then point to the next day and talk about what will happen tomorrow.