Day 14: Opening Activity – Thematic Songs in the Morning Circle

by | Tutorials

This is a post out of the 31 Days of Morning Circles. 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 that he’s deliberate about his choice and that he communicates it to me.

Song choice board for disabled child

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

Song choice board for disabled child _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 the choice board
  • If the child can’t read yet, add an image that clearly represents the song (e.g.: 5 apples for 5 Little Apples song)—the child will begin to associate the image with the song.
  • Begin with two choices on the board and increase when ready for more
  • Laminate your own repertoire of thematic/seasonal songs and bind them with a ring binder and refer to them as needed. It also makes for portability in the learning space, for your walk in the park, or while waiting at appointments.
  • Keep this portion of the circle short at first—the 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 or AAC to accompany words in the song

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


  1. Lisa

    These are such good ideas!

    • Gabriella Volpe

      Thanks for saying that, Lisa!

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