Do you use songs & fingerplays in your preschool classroom? I would guess you do, especially since I’ve never talked to a preschool teacher who doesn’t use them. I mean… Why would you not use songs & fingerplays? They are fun. They are easy to find. (Just check out Pinterest. They are everywhere!) And the kids love them! They seem to be a staple for pretty much every teacher I’ve talked to. 

But… there is one teeny, tiny little problem with songs & fingerplays. Even though most preschool teachers use them, they don’t really know how to use them. Sure, they are great as a little break after a lesson or story, but there are a lot of other ways to use them during your circle time. And if you don’t know that, you’re missing out on a LOT of the benefit those cute little rhymes can deliver.

Wanna see what I’m talking about? Just keep reading to learn how I use songs & fingerplays during my circle time!



Songs & fingerplays are my favorite way to get my kids to join me on the carpet. I can stand in front of them and tell them over and over again that it’s time to come sit down, OR I can just start singing a song or doing a fingerplay! When I do, it only takes a few seconds for them to take notice and come join me. By the end of the song or fingerplay, most of them are usually on the carpet joining in. And if there are some stragglers, we just do the song again!


I don’t know about you, but we stand up and sit down a lot during my circle times. When it’s time to stand up, I can ask everyone to stand. But I always end up with a few who either don’t hear my directions or just choose not to listen to what I’ve said. BUT… if I sing a quick song that ends with them standing, I usually get all of them up by the end of it. Same thing with sitting. It’s quick, simple, and effective. Plus, it’s WAY less frustrating than asking them to stand up over and over again!


Have you ever been in the middle of a circle time lesson or a story, and kids just lose their focus? Trust me, it happens to the best of us! Maybe they’ve gotten bored. Maybe there’s a distraction happening in the room. Or maybe they’re tired and just can’t pay attention anymore. Whatever the cause, you have the choice to regain their attention in a fun and positive way, or in a not so positive way that will ultimately embarrass the kids who aren’t paying attention. When I see they’re losing focus, I don’t call them out. I don’t make a big deal about it. I just start singing! They get to move and talk, and before you know it, they’ll be ready to focus again!


Songs & fingerplays come in all shapes and sizes, and they cover pretty much any skill or topic you’ll teach in your class. This makes them a perfect way to teach a new skill or practice a skill you’ve taught before. You can find songs and fingerplays about letters, numbers, shapes, colors, SEL, and rhyming. You can find them about science topics and social studies topics. And if you can’t find a song or fingerplay that’s what you need, you can always just make one up!


This is the one you probably already know, love, and use. But, just in case you don’t… Songs and fingerplays are the perfect way to give you kids a quick wiggle break after a lesson or story. If they’ve been sitting for a little while, and their bodies need to move, get them up for a song or fingerplay! They’ll get to let go of some of that built up energy, and you’ll get to finish out your circle time in peace!

Songs & fingerplays are definitely a staple in my classroom! But they are so much more than a time filler or wiggle break. I am always throwing out a song or fingerplay when I need to get my kids to the carpet, get them standing or sitting or regain their attention. They are also such an amazing teaching tool! And the best thing about using songs & fingerplays throughout your day is that your kids won’t even realize you’re trying to give directions or get their attention. They’ll just think they’re singing a really fun song with you! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Need some ideas to help you get started? I’ve got a great little set of songs & fingerplays you can use any time with any theme. My Circle Time Toolbox™ for Anytime has 4 attention getters, 4 active transitions, 4 songs, and 4 fingerplays that you can use to get and keep your kids’ attention during circle time! The songs & fingerplays are super easy to use. All you have to do is print & go! You can check them out and grab your copy in my TPT store HERE!

Do you need a little more help and support with planning and managing your circle time? Grab my FREE planning framework! It walks you through my 5-step planning process that will help you make sure your circle time is smooth, engaging, and FUN!

Get the free guide!

This 5-step planning framework is the backbone of Circle Time Made Simple™ and will change the way you look at your circle time! Learn how I plan and manage my circle time so that I get my students engaged and KEEP them that way!

Hey there! I’m Stephanie Antkowiak – a curriculum developer,  educational blogger, and owner of Mrs. A’s Room. With over 25 years in early childhood education, I love helping preschool and pre-k teachers plan and manage their circle time so that it is engaging, efficient, and (most importantly) FUN!

I so glad you stopped by, and I hope you enjoy your time here in my little corner of the internet. If you have any questions, please fee free to reach out. I will do everything I can to help you! You can email me at

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