Day 14: Opening Activity – Thematic Songs in the Morning Circle with the Child with Special Needs

Day 14: Opening Activity –Thematic Songs in the Morning Circle with the Child with Special Needs This is a post out of the “31 Days of Morning Circles for the Child with Special Needs”.  You can find the main page for this series here.

Seasons and holidays lend themselves to thematic song choices in the morning circle. While it’s nice to have predictable welcoming songs, this part of the morning circle can offer variety.

Because I base a lot of our activities around seasons and nature, it’s easy for me to find songs to include in the thematic song part of the circle. However, I make sure that my son isn’t passive.

Using song cards on a choice board, I have my son select the song he wants to sing. Then, I place the card back on the choice board, and ask again, “Which song?” Sometimes, he’ll select the same song (with absolute intention) for the entire song segment of the circle. If he does, I sing the same song on repeat!  It doesn’t matter. What matters is the that he’s deliberate about his choice and that he communicates it to me.

Song choice board for child with special needs

Song choice board. Only have two song cards to begin. Ask, “Which song?”

Song choice board for child with special needs _inside folder

Inside of song choice board/ folder. Sometimes, my little guy doesn’t like my two song choices, so he opens up the folder looking for other options.

Thematic Poems and Songs

I keep laminated thematic song cards on a ring binder for easy transport. This is the Halloween packet. But, I have different packets for each season and each holiday. These cards are intended for my use – so that I can whip up a song wherever I am. However, my little guy likes to get his hands on these, which is why having them laminated is a wise choice!

Ideas for including thematic songs in the morning circle:

  • select several favorite thematic songs, print, laminate, cut and add a Velcro to the back to add to choice board
  • if your child can’t read yet, add an image that clearly represents the song (ex: 5 apples for 5 Little Apples song) – your child will begin to associate the image to the song.
  • begin with two choices on the board and increase when ready for more
  • laminate your own repertoire of thematic/ seasonal songs – bind with a ring binder and refer to them as needed (It also makes for portability around the house, for your walk in the park, while waiting at appointments).
  • keep this portion of the circle short at first – your child doesn’t want to go through the entire holiday album even though you might! Remember that there is more to come in the circle.
  • use ASL signs, PECS, AAC device to accompany words in the song

How do you share thematic songs in the morning circle? How to you keep track of songs?

Finger Plays and Preschool Song Cards

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Day 14: Opening Activity – Thematic Songs in the Morning Circle with the Child with Special Needs

2 Responses

  1. These are such good ideas!

    Lisa October 15, 2014 at 11:47 am #
    • Thanks for saying that, Lisa!

      Gabriella Volpe October 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm #