Do you have "arrival activities" for when children arrive at your center? We have half an hour before lunch starts. Kids arrive and put away belongings and go and wash their hands. Then there are table activities to do and a puzzle area they may explore in the circle area. I allow as much as 15 minutes in arrival activities. Because they aren't as structured as small group activities kids actually seem to spend more time with them. I have a variety. One is wipe off name cards. Another is name cards with each letter of the name written in a grid with a blank grid below to copie letters into. Today we had some one inch squares of construction paper and a grid and asked kids what they wanted to do with them. Could they make a pattern? Could they write their own name. (without a model) This turned out to be very successful and lasted nearly 29 minutes. Or we might do a cutting activity. Sometimes it's drawing. Sometimes I put miniature felt boards out with felt stories and let them explore those. I might put out letter cards and let them copy them. The arrival activity has to be limited to the two eating tables. Other areas of the center are not open to children till the free exploration area. It has to be fairly self explanatory, or a quick statement to explain. It can't be work sheets or coloring pages. We have a journal time later in the day. Sometimes it will be unifix cube exploration, or mosaic tiles, or natural pattern materials. Does anyone else do arrival activities? And what are they?