Morning Greetings for Preschoolers
A morning greeting can set the tone for the entire day. Whether you teach in a daycare, early learning center or nursery school, selecting the appropriate a.m. starter can get your preschoolers ready for an action-packed day filled with learning and play. Choose from a variety of greetings that range from a simple statement to a more elaborate morning meeting. Morning greetings can allow for more social skills to be learned and shared between the individual and groups of students, especially around 5 year olds.
These greetings can always be added to the curriculum for an improved and adjusted school year. Setting a specific daily greeter is another way to add more morning greetings to your pre-k or elementary classrooms, and back to school is the best time to start these responsive classroom greetings each school day in a fun way. Classroom management may not be easy all of the time, but creating and planning greeting ideas for morning meeting activities shouldn’t be too tough to add.
Starting the day with a hello song is a simple yet creative way to engage your preschoolers. A cheerful song can provide an upbeat introduction to the day while including the arts in your daily routine. Choose a hello song from a preschool activity or music website, or compose your own lyrics. Many songs that you can find online are the work of clever educators who substitute hello or morning greeting words for old standards. For example, the site Preschool Education features hello songs set to the tune of "Frere Jacques," "Three Blind Mice," "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "The Mulberry Bush," "Happy Birthday" and "The Farmer in the Dell."
Your morning greeting may stick to the basic hello and welcome. You can greet the children as they enter the classroom or in save the greeting for a more structured setting such as circle time. Unlike a longer, more elaborate greeting, the simple version should be a brief entry to the day. Keep it brief, no longer than a few statements. Make sure that you at least include a polite hello or other similar greeting and the day of the week for identification. Examples of simple morning messages and morning greetings include: “good morning,” eye contact, a fist bump, greeting cards, or other interactive greetings like compliments.
A preschool morning meeting can be an information extended greeting that sets the schedule for the day, addresses any issues that you might have (e.g., sharing, taking turns) and introduces the date and/or weather. Additionally, you may include attendance and special activities such as a letter or number of the day. Choose a comfortable, appropriate setting such as a clean carpeted area or a circle time center. Ask the children to arrange themselves in a circle shape in the area with an opening near the front of the space. Position yourself in a space where all of the children can see you such as a chair or carpet square at the front in the opening of the circle. You may need a dry erase board, large calendar or other place to write on for meeting time activities.
Morning meeting greetings can also include: printable signs for daily affirmations, having the whole class do an icebreaker activity together, writing simple messages on a class whiteboard, having students write compliments and thoughts to each other on a piece of paper, etc. These activities are great for a fun morning, especially for the first day of school for young learners (like those in elementary school or in first grade). Students can also take turns leading the morning meeting with daily greetings to the entire group, and each student’s name can be drawn for a different daily meeting greeting activity.
Characters and Puppets
If you are in search of an imaginative way to greet your preschool class each morning, try a mini character or puppet show. This does not mean that you need to put on a full-scale play every day. Instead, introduce a stuffed animal or hand puppet to the class. Invite the children to help you name the character, and use it every day for your morning greeting. The stuffy or puppet can "speak" the greeting, introduce the day of the week and go over or point to the schedule. Use this technique during circle time or another organized activity in which all of the children are present and seated, paying attention to the character. As a bonus, keep the animal or puppet nearby throughout the morning as a special way to cheer or soothe a sad or angry child.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.