Changes in daily activities and routine, especially if it’s one you enjoy or prefer, can sometimes be difficult to understand or frustrating. Classroom transitions are just that for children—they are changes throughout their day that they may not understand or want.
Imagine a child exploring music and enjoying dancing. How hard would it be for that child to understand that music time is over, and it is time to move on to a calmer activity, such as meal or nap time, if it’s announced suddenly, without warning? Follow these six suggestions to help children understand changes in classroom structure to make transitions just another fun part of their day.
- Offer a reminder every 5 minutes, starting 15 minutes in advance of the end of an activity.
- Mention something interesting or exciting about the next activity in short, clear sentences.
- Use pictures to create a visual schedule for a better understanding of the different daily activities.
- Work with children on choosing a song to sing or a rhyme to recite during transitions.
- Assign children turns to lead the group from one activity to another.
- Use a key word or a specific sound as an easy cue to call children’s attention before or after a transition.
Good transition strategies can make a difference in managing daily challenges and behaviors in the classroom. You can find more suggestions in our Curriculum Guides or our blog post 30 Transition Time Tips. Follow these ideas to manage children’s impatience. Soon, transitions will be short, easy, and fun parts of the day that children look forward to.