A typical morning in child care might involve greeting children with hugs, high fives, and snuggles for those who are still waking up or having a hard time saying goodbye to loved ones for the day. However, some children (and adults!) are slow to warm in the morning, preferring quiet, space, and independent activities. Regardless of how children are entering your setting, it’s important to make space and time to acknowledge each other. Below are 15 creative greetings to support you in promoting safety, personal space, and rapport in your setting:
- Wave: Wave a hand side to side.
- Spirit Fingers: Hold both hands up and wiggle fingers.
- Thumbs Up: Hold both thumbs up and out in front of you.
- Salute: Raise a flattened hand to eyebrow and then bring it down again.
- Air Fist Bump: Make a fist with your hand and pretend to touch the fist of another without actually touching.
- Air High Five: Make a “high five” motion without touching hands.
- Peace Sign: Make the V shape with index and middle fingers.
- Heart Hands: Make a heart shape with both hands.
- Air Hug: Hold out your arms for a wide hug without touching the other person.
- Pinkie Wave: Make a fist with pinkie finger up and rotate wrist side to side.
- Hand on Heart: Place a flattened hand over your heart as you look at the other person.
- Elbow Tap: Tap elbows with another person.
- Shoe Tap: Tap shoes with another person.
- Silly Face: Make a silly face at the other person.
- Silly Dance: Create a silly dance move to perform in front of one another.
Print this poster version of the greetings and post it somewhere in your setting. Choose a new greeting each day or week to share with the children. Invite families to participate in using creative greetings during drop-off. Encourage children to use their favorites once they become familiar with them. You can even use the greetings as a transition tool or circle time game by calling them out and inviting children to demonstrate them.