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.
Even though the individual activities might change from day to day or week to week, you should structure the morning circle in an order that makes sense and that is repeated in the same way daily. Children with special needs need routines to help them anticipate what will come next. This helps reduce stress and anxiety that comes with not knowing.
I like to structure the circle not only for my son, but also for myself. Even if we only spend 5 minutes in the circle, those 5 minutes are predictable and easily executable.
The structure of the morning circle to benefit the child with special needs
You can include anything you wish in a morning circle. The sample routine I share here is meant to offer ideas as you structure yours. Sample activities to include in each section can be found in future posts.
Just like a story or a lesson, the morning circle should have a beginning, a middle and an end. I call them: opening activities, main activities, and closing activities.
A sample plan for morning circle
When inaugurating the morning circle for the first time, it’s ideal to have a visual schedule for your child that includes the main sections with one or two indications of what will happen in each section. As you go through the tasks, have your child remove the card related to the activity completed. Keep doing this until your child automatically knows what’s coming next. Often, the end of one song is the indicator.
- Welcoming words or song
- Meditation/ reflection
- Invitation to story + story
- Discussion about weather + weather songs
- Thematic songs/ chants
- Main activities (build on skills child will use throughout the day or week)
- Closing chant, song or intention for the day
To make the task easier for you, I’ve created a planner (free to download by clicking on image):
What does your morning circle consist of?