How to Choose a Circle Time Rug
Choosing a rug for your classroom is one of those things that we tend to think about in hindsight. If you're like me, you probably haven't thought about what makes a classroom rug great until you have a bad one.
With so many options out there, how do you choose?
I hope I can give you a place to start with this post. There are a few things to think about. The most obvious is your physical space. How much room do you have for your rug? You want to pick one that will fill your space without being to big or to small. Start by making some quick measurements. You can't shop for a rug until you know this basic information.
Now that you have your measurements, the next most important thing is to have a clear idea of what you will use your rug for. Are you simply looking to cover a tile floor or are you looking for a place to hold your morning circle time? These two types of rugs will have different features. How do you envision using your rug?
If you are simply looking for a rug to fill a space in your room, you could literally choose anything that matches your room theme and is the right size. The only thing to keep in mind is the quality level. You will want something durable if you have a bunch of little people playing on it all the time.
I like to separate parts of my room by having visual boundaries such as carpets for my centers. For example, one rug may be the block area, where another rug may be the home living area. This helps establish natural boundaries for play giving every center enough room. For center rugs I typically stick to a solid color. To many multicolored rugs in one room can make your room busy and to visually stimulating for kids with sensory needs. The only patterned rugs in my room are my circle time rug and my car center rug that has roads drawn on it.
There are hundreds of options for solid colored center rugs. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the quality. You want something that will stand up to daily play. I also try to coordinate my center rugs with the rug I use for circle time. I wouldn't want a bold primary colored circle time rug and pastel colored center rugs. It would clash and not be visually appealing. Remember, you want to pick a look and stick with it.
Here is a good example of a center rug:
If you are looking for a rug to teach on, hold your morning circle time meetings, etc then you have a few more things to think about....
I've personally used several different rugs over the years, but these are by far my two favorites for two different reasons.
If you have a smaller class and want to sit in a circle so that everyone can see each other, I recommend this rug:
Depending on how many kids were in my class some years I would assign them a letter to sit on and some years I would assign them a number to sit on. Both options worked well for my preschool classes during circle time. I love the bright colors, high quality and that this rug had the entire alphabet and numbers from 1-10 written in an easy to read font.
I love that this rug had a lot of options. We were able to use this rug not only for circle time in the mornings, but for a TON of games as well. I can't express how much I have enjoyed this rug.
If you have a larger class and/or don't want something so busy... I would recommend this rug:
This was actually my very first classroom rug when I started teaching. It was passed down to me from another teacher who had moved to an older grade and no longer needed it. It was a happy accident that I ended up with it.
Besides the obvious bright, bold colors that will brighten up any space... It also has extremely convenient squares that offer a wonderful natural boundary for kiddos that haven't yet learned how to maintain their own bubble or who need the extra reminder. My kids actually got really possessive of their assigned squares. They saw those as their own personal spaces. I first used this rug as a first grade teacher in a classroom of 28 kids. This rug has 30 squares and worked beautiful for a class that large. Each square was big enough for a first grader so it will have more than enough room for your preschoolers. If you have a smaller class you can sit your kids in every other square, stager them and/or buy the smaller version of the same rug. There are several different versions of this rug. This rug is also high quality and comfortable. I was very pleased with it as well.
Classroom rugs aren't cheap. I totally get that. It kills me to shop for these rugs because I hate spending so much money... but... These rugs are a huge asset to your classroom. If taken care of they can last for years and years and years. Think of them in the same way you would classroom furniture. Essentially it is just as important and will last just as long. In the long run it is absolutely worth buying a more expensive rug that is designed for the wear and tear of a classroom.
Check out other classroom essentials by viewing these blog posts or my Classroom Essentials page. Each product will be linked to Amazon to save you time searching.
Melissa from edlah.com