Looking for some fun ideas for Circle Time? Need some Large Group Activities for Preschoolers? Here’s 16 inspiring ideas for large group circle time activities for preschool!
Large Group activities are usually structured and include the whole class doing the same activity at the same time. These fun activities promote team building and social skills.
Circle time is a structured time when a preschool class meets together as a large group. Many times teachers will do Calendar time, sing songs, read stories, or ask questions. Kids can practice raising their hand to talk and build positive relationships with other classmates.
In this article, you will find both Circle time activities and Large Group activities.
Let’s dive in and talk about fun preschool activities!
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1) Feed the Monster
This is a fun activity from my teaching days. As we taught letters to the kids, we would do a fun game where we would feed a monster puppet objects that began with the letter we were studying that week.
Simply gather small objects that start with that letter along with a few other items that don’t. I try to stick to letters that are obviously wrong. Place them in a bucket.
So, for the letter B the bucket might contain a ball, bottle, block, boot, black crayon, and a bee. The tricky items could be a zebra, giraffe, red crayon, etc.
Call children up to pick an item out of the bucket that begins with the letter you’ve chosen.
If the child is correct, the monster puppet grabs the item out of the child’s hand with his mouth and pretends to eat it happily. If the child is wrong, the monster shakes his head and says…”No, try again!”
Literacy activities like this help introduce letter sounds in a fun way and it’s entertaining to the whole class. You can also use this idea to teach colors or numbers.
You can choose your own fun monster puppet here.
2) Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger Hunts work well for large group activities for preschoolers. Simply print out copies of the scavenger hunt for each child and show them how to look for each item.
Kids could also be divided into smaller groups to do this as well. Scavenger Hunts are great team building activities for young children.
You can find some free printable scavenger hunts here including a Color Scavenger hunt, an Alphabet Scavenger hunt, and more!
3) Texture Rubbing
Another fun large group activity for preschoolers is to give them a sheet of paper and some crayons and ask them to find different textures in the room and make a crayon rubbing of it.
To do this, show the kids how to make a rubbing. Show them how to place the paper on top of the item with texture and use the side of a crayon to make the rubbing. Younger kids will need more guidance and help with this activity, but 4 & 5 year olds will catch on quickly.
Don’t forget to repeat this activity in the fall as you can do leaf rubbings!
4) Rainbow Wheel Color Matching Game
This Rainbow Wheel Color Matching Game is by The Soccer Mom Blog. To make this a large group activity, have kids take turns picking clips of different colors out of a bucket to add to the rainbow wheel circle.
To involve the rest of the class, have them shout out the color that was clipped. Clipping clothespins are great for fine motor development.
5) Clothespin Matching Game
This Clothespin Matching Game by is by Wonder in His World. Similar to the color game, this Clothespin matching game challenges kids to match lowercase letters to the corresponding uppercase letters.
Kids will enjoy taking their turn to place their clip on the paper plates. This great game idea could also be extended for math skill development for preschool children. Simply make a wheel with number words or a ten frame with the corresponding number of dots.
Bubbles are a great activity for large groups. Simply grab some bubble supplies and head outdoors. We like to use a bubble machine to let the kids dance in the bubbles, but it’s also fun to have lots of different supplies for kids to work with.
You might like to place a tote filled with bubble solution on the ground that they dip into. There’s also some small fun toddler friendly bubble jars here.
Young kids and school-age children have a great time with bubbles.
7) Play Dough
Play dough is an ideal large group activity for preschoolers. It’s great for developing fine motor skills and sparking imagination.
Provide all kinds of materials for shaping the dough like cookie cutters, plastic child-safe scissors, and rolling pins. For added fun, you might like to give them candles to making a birthday cake or googly eyes to add to their creations.
To inspire creativity and engage children, try these free printable play dough mats. There is a prompt on each mat to complete with dough, such as add toppings to the pizza, etc.
8) Shaving Cream
Here’s a fun rainy day activity that is perfect for both cleaning tables AND having fun! Spray some shaving cream foam onto the tables and let the kids have fun rubbing it across the tables and drawing pictures in it. This is a great way to clean those tables and the little ones will love it!
Playing with a large Parachute together is so much fun! Simply have each child grab ahold of it and show them how to move it up and down. Have the kids take turns running underneath it as it flies up in the air. So much simple fun!
10) Hula Hoop Pass
For this fun activity, have kids join hands and form a circle. Add a hula hoop to the mix and have kids pass it to the next person around the circle without letting go of each others’ hands. It’s a little tricky at first, but after kids have done it a few times, it gets easier!
11) Obstacle Course
Practice gross motor skills by doing an obstacle course with little ones! Use hula hoops lying on the ground (to act as items to jump into). You can use a jump rope as a tight rope walk (balance beam). Create a Limbo stick between two chairs. Add play tunnels to crawl through or cones for them to run around and more!
Sky’s the limit with this one, just use your imagination! It will keep little ones VERY busy! You can find lots of great supplies for obstacle courses here.
12) Simon Says
This is the classic Simon Says game. To play pick a leader to give instructions. It works best if adults are the leader the first few times you play so that kids can learn the rules.
The leader gives everyone instructions by first saying “Simon says…..(then add instruction here).” Example: Simon says touch your head. Simon says jump up and down 5 times. Simon says stand on one leg.
Then the leader will try to trick them by giving an instruction without saying Simon Says. If the leader is able to trick them then that child is out. (Alternately, you can let kids keep playing even if they get tricked).
13) Follow the Leader
Follow the Leader is another classic game. A leader forms a line and leads the class in a single file line. The kids have to do whatever the leader does.
So if the first person in line jumps, they jump. If the leader zig zags, the kids zig zag. This can be a fun game to get some energy out and works both indoors and outside.
14) Freeze Dance
Looking for a fun activity that is super fast to put together? Freeze Dancing is perfect! All you need is music that can be stopped and started….and a whole bunch of kids!
Start by playing the music and ask the kids to dance.
At intervals, stop the music and tell the kids to FREEZE (stop moving suddenly).
The kids will love making funny faces or hand/feet motions that then become frozen in place.
Freeze Dance is one of those indoor games that is so easy and SO much fun!
15) Musical Chairs
Musical Chairs is another classic game for kids. To play, place enough chairs (facing outwards) for each child to have one in a circle. Take away one chair.
Have the kids stand up and walk around the chairs. Play music as the kids circle around the circle of chairs. When the music stops, kids have to sit down on a chair.
The child without a chair is out. Another chair is removed from the circle and play continues until there is only 1 kid left!
I saved the most simple large group activity for last! Simply blow up some balloons and let the kids try to keep them up in the air. This encourages sharing, teamwork, and it’s a great way to get out some energy!
It’s fun to have circle games and gross motor activities to build kids’ social skills and of course help those preschoolers keep busy having fun learning.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these easy activities and fun group games.
More Preschool Learning Activities
If you liked these Large Group Activities for Preschoolers, be sure to check out these Fun Ways to Teach the Alphabet. There’s sensory play ideas, free printables, and more!
Also you can find some amazing inspiration for sensory activities here.
In addition, be sure to check out these Cool Ideas for Teaching Shapes.
You can find some free printable Sequencing Cards here that are perfect for preschoolers!
And Lastly, with Cinco de Mayo around the corner, be sure to grab this free Cinco de Mayo Coloring sheet with vocabulary words on it.
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