Baby Doll Circle Time™

Written by Julie Bisnath, BSW RSW

“Circle time” has always been one of my favourite times of day—as a child and as an adult too.  I love to sing and to sing along with others.  When I was in elementary school we’d often have sing along assemblies and growing up, hymns were my favourite part of our weekly church service.  Family gatherings often included one or more instruments and I’m no stranger to a good old kitchen party.  I love to sing.  I’m not great at it but I love it just the same.

Last year, I wrote a more general Circle Time Resource Guide that CCPRN members received along with their 2020 memberships.  If you’d like to take a look, you can read it here:

Today, I want to focus more on a specific type of circle time called Baby Doll Circle Time™.  Baby Doll Circle Time™ combines my love for singing with my passion for teaching empathy, kindness, and caring.  Baby Doll Circle Time™ was developed by Dr. Becky Bailey and is a trademark of Conscious Discipline®.  The theory behind Baby Doll Circle Time™ is that children develop best within the context of caring relationships.  Baby Doll Circle Time™ provides the opportunity for young children to experience being the nurturer by interacting with their baby dolls (or teddy bear) in the same ways that we as caring adults might interact with them.  As the children play with their dolls, they relive and strengthen the attachment and connection that they have with their caregivers and parents.

The goals of Baby Doll Circle Time™ are to:

  • Enhance attachment
  • Increase self-regulation
  • Promote trust
  • Foster attunement skills

It also provides a wonderful opportunity for young children to develop, experience, and practice compassion towards others by building connection.

Baby Doll Circle Time™ focuses on building connection through:

  • Eye contact
  • Gentle, appropriate touch
  • Being present in the moment
  • Playful interactions


There are 5 main steps to a successful Baby Doll Circle Time™.  The first is to transition into the circle and to have the children “get their babies”.  You can transition to circle in your usual way—with a song or a visual cue, etc.  Next you can incorporate having the children “get their babies” by having them close by (I find a bin or basket works well) and then singing the song “Get Your Baby” written for this purpose:

Get Your Baby (tune of Oh My Darlin’ Clementine)

Put out a basket of baby dolls.  Use eye contact, joint attention, and gestures as you sing to invite the children to take a baby.

Get your baby, get your baby, get your baby, it’s time to play.

Get your baby, get your baby, get your baby, it’s time to play.

You may need to sing this more than once to give the children enough time to get their baby and then sit back down.

Once everyone (including you!) has a baby doll or stuffed animal, it’s time to sing the songs that fall under step 2 “beginning awareness”, step 3 “connection”, and step 4 “cuddling and soothing”.  You can follow along with my version here or make up your own.  The idea is that the songs all promote caring and gentleness.

Step 5 ends Baby Doll Circle Time™.  I always end by putting the babies to bed and then transitioning to Sleeping Bunnies but you can do whatever works for your group.

Goodnight Song (tune of Good Night Ladies) Use a soft and then an even softer voice.

Night, night, babies. Night, night, babies.  Night, night, babies, it’s time to rest your eyes….shhhhh

Night, night, babies. Night, night, babies.  Night, night, babies, it’s time to go to sleep….shhhhh

“Goodnight baby, I love you”.  (Place the babies back in the basket)

Transition to Sleeping Bunnies: “Now that the babies are sleeping, you can find a spot to lie down and we’ll do Sleeping Bunnies!”


It may sound a bit complicated but trust me it’s not.  It’s fun and lovely.  Most children really enjoy the interactive component of having a special doll or stuffy to care for during circle time.  Here are some simple strategies for implementing Baby-Doll Circle Time™ with your group:

  • Be consistent, follow the same circle time routine, especially in the beginning while the children are getting used to the concept.
  • Model the actions and attunement by having a baby doll for yourself too.
  • Use familiar songs, rhymes, and social games—those that you might use with an infant or toddler in your care–or ask their parents for ideas.
  • Talk about gentleness and the importance of being kind and caring.
  • Notice and comment on the children’s participation: “I love how you are holding your baby doll so carefully. Your baby will feel safe with you”.


If you’re still feeling a bit unsure, you can view my Baby Doll Circle Time™ demo video here: and/or access my full song list (and lyrics!) here:

For those of you looking to do a French version, Lise Beauchemin has created a lovely “Le cercle avec poupée” which you can find here:

If you’d like more information on Conscious Discipline® or to see official Baby Doll Circle Time™ promotional videos you can take a look at these resources:

I really do hope that you’ll give it a try—whether you are a parent with one child or a home child care provider with a full group, Baby Doll Circle Time™ is a wonderful activity to enjoy together.

Yours in caring and sharing.