September often marks the beginning of a new school year for many families. It is a great time to settle back into a comfortable rhythm and this circle time can help bring that predictability and calm after a busy summer. Keep in mind that younger children may prefer a short and lively circle time, where older children are capable and desire a longer circle time. You are the parent/educator, and you know your child(ren) best so make changes accordingly.
Good morning dear earth
Good morning dear sun
Good morning dear stones
and flowers everyone
Good morning dear beasts
Good morning dear trees
Good morning to you and
Good morning to me.
The sun with loving light makes bright for me each day.
The soul with spirit power gives strength unto my limbs.
In sunlight shining clear I revere, O God,
the strength of humankind
which thou has planted in my soul
That I with all my might
may love to work and learn
From Thee stream light & strength,
to Thee rise love & thanks.
My Nice Red Rosy Apple
My nice red rosy apple
has a secret hid unseen.
You'd see if you could could slip inside,
five rooms so neat and clean.
In each room there are living
Two pips so black and bright.
Asleep they are a-dreaming
Of lovely warm sunlight.
And sometimes they are dreaming
Of many things to be.
How soon they will be hanging
Upon the Christmas Tree
Way Up High in An Apple Tree
Way up high in the apple tree, (lift hands high in the air)
Two red apples (show the number 2 on your fingers)
smiled at me. (take your pointer fingers to the sides of your mouth and smile)
I shook that tree as hard as I could, (raise fists above your head, and shake your fists as you bring them down towards your feet)
Dooowwwwwwwn came an apple,
Mmmm, it was good! (rub your tummy)
Here I love to add some math and movement to get the kids working both sides of the brain and having fun too! Circle time has the added benefit of allowing the children to have kinesthetic experiences with math. The whole body can be involved with counting from a very early age.
+ Count up to 100 and back while stomping or tossing beanbags.
+ Balance a bean bag on your head and walk while saying the Fall Verse
Fall Verse – Helen Hunt Jackson
The goldenrod is yellow, (begin walking with beanbag on head)
The corn is turning brown, (try to turn around with the beanbag on head)
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down (try bending down while balancing beanbag on the head)
The next verses and games are usually learned at the beginning of September in preparation for the celebration of Michaelmas. Sarah from Sarah's Silks has a great article all about Michaelmas and in it she writes:
I think it's so important to recognize holidays like Michaelmas that honor the turn of the seasons with little ones, to help remind them of the natural cycles of the Earth, the shortening and lengthening of daylight, and the fluctuations in temperature--the same things families in the Medieval era were taking note of when they celebrated the feast of Saint Michael hundreds of years ago! How special to be able to carry on that sacred tradition today.
St. Michael is usually depicted conquering a dragon--an image that is often adopted by Waldorf schools as a metaphor for finding one's inner strength in order to slay his or her internal and external "dragons". Within the Waldorf community, the feast of Saint Michael is generally referred to as "the festival of strong will", and centers around the idea of preparing oneself for the cold, dark winter by gathering protection and warmth; soaking up enough joy and strength to last through the Winter Solstice, when the sun will slowly start to make its way back and the days will get longer.
A jump rope verse for Michaelmas
Michael, Michael rides on high,
Collecting the stars that fall from the sky.
He hammers the stars into a sword to tame
The dragon below that bellows with flame.
How many stars does he collect?
1,2,3,4,5 (keep going until the child makes a skipping mistake)
Brave and True - Michaelmas Verse
Brave and true I will be (place hands on the heart)
Each good deed sets me free. (Spread arms wide)
Each kind word makes me strong. (Flex bicep muscles)
I will fight for the right, (Raise one fist high into the air)
I will conquer the wrong. (Cross forearms infront of body with hands in fists)
Brave Saint Michael is my guide,
As free and fearless forth I ride.
With courage of Saint George of old,
I dare to fight fierce dragons bold.
Yellow The Bracken
Yellow the bracken, golden the sheaves
Rosy the apples, crimson the leaves.
Mist on the hillside, clouds grey and white.
Autumn good morning, summer goodnight.