Preschool Transitions Between Activities


Preschool Transitions Between Activities


Preschool Transitions Between Activities

Moving a group of children between one activity and another can be a source of incredible stress.  Never fear, check out the 210+ transition ideas and watch your stress level go down!


Clean up times can be frustrating! Try this fun tip: Ask children to turn themselves into vacuum cleaners! Put out your arms and make vacuum cleaner sound effects while the hose (your arms) pick up all the toys, paper or anything else you need to be picked up! The children forget they are cleaning!


Cleanup time works really well for us when we turn on a piece of music and try to finish clean up and be sitting by the end of the music. You can change it each month or use the same one all year. I used A Spoon Full of Sugar from Mary Poppins.


Only one can talk at a time
And this is what I’ll do
I’ll be as quiet as a little mouse
Till other folks are through.


I put my hands upon my head
On my shoulders
On my face
At my waist
And at my side
Then behind me, they will hide
I lift them way up in the sky
Let my fingers fly fly fly
Clap clap clap…and one two three
See how quiet they can be.
(I make a big deal of interlacing my fingers and they do it with me.)


As many of you know one of the hardest tasks for young toddlers is simply walking from the classroom to the playground. I have found that toddlers love 3 things most, repetition, music, and hearing their names. So on the looooong walk from the classroom to the playground we sing…

Merrily we stroll along, stroll along, stroll along.
Merrily we stroll along on our way outside.
Hello, Parker, Hello Taylor, Hello Garrett, how are you today? (continue singing the children’s names all the way down the line and finish with)
Merrily we stroll along, stroll along, stroll along.
Merrily we stroll along on our way outside. (or inside on the way back)

Something else I found to be rather helpful with this age is to have a walking rope, the children are still learning what a “line” is this will help be a physical and visual reminder of that concept! Happy Strolling!!


I had problems with my 3year old class at clean-up time. I made up a song to encourage all of my children. I sang ” who is going to pick up blocks, pick up blocks, pick up blocks, who is going to pick up blocks, and be a classroom helper?” and repeat with child’s name ” Sally is picking up blocks, and repeat above. It is a simple song and it really works.


While everybody is getting ready to go into line up, have short rhymes with action to do with the children that are waiting in line.


To get the children faster in a line up, do the train but add a real sound of the train with the train whistle. The children love it!


If you know another language than English, teach the children to count in that new language (1 to 10). If you have children that speak polish, Italian, etc. ask these children to count for the classroom while other kids are getting ready.


To get ready for religion or story time, have a little song to announce that special time. Here is the song I sing for religion (melody: Brother john):

I am special(x2)
Look and see(x2)
I am very special (x2)
God loves me (x2).

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.