kids on the floor

These ideas came from one of the discussion groups at the Big Night Out, a training event run jointly by Christian Playgroup Network and Baptist Early Childhood Team at Glen Waverley Anglican Church on 22 August 2007. Thanks to the group members for sharing your experience and road-tested ideas.

Options for placement of mat time in programme

  • After morning tea, 15 minutes total: 10 minutes singing, 5 minutes story
  • Before morning tea after playtime: can cause a problem at this time as mums are clearing up while story is on, so ask them to join in and tidy up later
  • Craft/indoor/outdoor time then call the children in for 5-7 minute song time, followed by morning tea. After a second playtime outside have mat time with instruments and a music CD before the children go home

Ideas for mat time

  • Musical instruments with the parents/carers joining in
  • Have tapes/CD of modern songs, e.g. “Wiggles”
  • Have someone from the church who can play an instrument, e.g. guitar, accordion
  • Use a ‘Kaye Plowman’ song trolley, with fabric around it and song cards or instruments hiding inside which are brought out at appropriate time
  • Handmade song cards; children can choose which song to sing next
  • Tic Tac Toe game: put song cards face down in middle of circle and say, “Tic Tac Toe, here I go, where I land I do not know,” with a child walking around, pointing to the cards. The card you land on is the song you sing


  • Children lie down on the floor under the parachute with all heads towards the middle “sleeping”. Sing “What shall we do with the sleeping children?” to the tune of “What shall we do with the drunken sailor?” Next verse: “Wake them, shake them, set them moving”, etc. Children stand up as parachute is raised and lowered: “Hooray and up she rises”, etc.
  • “Ring a Ring a Rosie” played with everyone holding onto the edge of the parachute
  • Roll a ball around on the top of the parachute
  • Call out a colour and the children wearing this colour run underneath the parachute into the middle
  • “This is the way we wash our clothes” to the tune of “Here we go round the Mulberry Bush”- round and round, dry clothes up and down

Download the "Music and mat time" playgroup resource to continue reading tried and tested ideas for your playgroup mat time.