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Joie de Vivvi


Transitions Made Easier

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One of the secrets to creating an easy flowing school day for young learners is helping children with the transitions from one part of the day to the next. The number of transitions that your child moves through are multiple.  Without transitional tools, the best laid plans rarely work out. Read on to create a repertoire of strategies to help you make transitions much smoother. It is never too early to begin incorporating transitional strategies into your child’s daily routine.

Transition with a timer:

Children’s sense of time is different than adults.  If you say, “ you have five more minutes to play” a young child probably does not understand what five minutes means.  Providing children with a kitchen timer can solve this dilemma. A timer takes away the element of surprise about when it is time to stop what they are currently doing.  When you are ready to start a transition you can say “ Can you hold this timer. I am going to set it for five minutes and when the timer rings let me know because that is when we are going to …” This technique can help children feel in control , be in charge of their schedule as they make a transition. 

Transition with a story:

You can start with this song and then cozy up with your child and read a favorite story before transitioning to the next part of the day.

Tune: “If You’re Happy And You Know It”

If you’re ready for a story, come sit down.

If you’re ready for a story, come sit down.

Let’s gather near, so you can hear.

If you’re ready for a story, come sit down.

Transition with Movement:

Take a few minutes between activities to “get the wiggles out” by incorporating movement and physical exercise as a way to break from one activity and start something new.  

Other ideas for transitioning:

– Dim the lights and then have your child close their eyes while you help them guess what the next activity of the day is.

– Put on classical music to refocus your child’s focus

– Have an exercise challenge- How high can you jump, how many jumping jacks can we do, how 

– Use a clapping response game where you clap and they respond. For example, clap two times and then your child parrots the clapping

– Set the Stage – Give children age-appropriate information so they know what’s happening and how it will affect them.

– Co-create plans by involving them in daily decision-making, like choosing the next activity or what they’d like for lunch.

Once you start thinking about your day in terms of blocks of time, transitions cues will come naturally to you and make these sometimes challenging moments of the day more fun and less stressful.

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