Circle Time Activities for 1 & 2 Year Olds

Written by tabitha harwell
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Circle Time Activities for 1 & 2 Year Olds
Schedule circle time in the morning, before kids get tired. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Create an entertaining circle time for one and two year olds by including activities that hold their interest. Toddlers are discovering their surroundings, trying to communicate with friends and adults and learning to play nicely. During this time their attention spans are short and they are fiercely independent which may cause an issue. Plan short intervals of circle time activities, and communicate with the toddlers about what is coming up next so that everyone has a pleasurable time.

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Incorporate songs into circle time to help hold the toddlers' attention. Songs such as "Happy and You Know It" involve easy words and include motion, which keeps kids active and engaged. Nursery rhymes have a similar effect with toddlers because of their rhyming nature and short verses. Keep the songs short for the best results.


Dance the wiggles away by cranking up kids songs and letting the children shake. One and two year olds enjoy moving and grooving to different songs and rhythms. Choose a variety of songs, or get out a musical instrument you know how to play and let the kids dance along with you. Another option for music activities includes passing out plastic dishes and wooden spoons, and letting the children create their own band.

Puppet Stories

Entertain children during circle time with finger puppets or hand puppets. Puppets can give the children something to look at during a story, or can tell their own story about things like the importance of sharing and caring with each other. Keep the stories short to prevent losing the children's attention.


Sit down in your circle and teach a series of simple games. Give each child a small pile of blocks and have them stack them on top of each other, or place the blocks in a line. Another game involves ball rolling. The simple act of rolling a ball back and forth to each other will teach the kids how to share and wait their turn. Get several balls in different sizes going at the same time to add to the fun.

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