Preschool Transitions Between Activities


I Have Something In My Pocket

This transition works great for my preschool class!! it’s sung to the tune of

“I Have Something In My Pocket”

I have a special little blue (pick a color the child is wearing) box,

I’d put (child’s name) in,

I’d take him/her out, and X X X(smooch kiss, 3X)

And put him/her back again,

(child’s name), (child’s name), go and wash your hands.


I Spy

When you want one or two children at a time to transition to another activity, play I Spy. For example: “I spy someone who is wearing……….”. When the mystery person is revealed, they can then go to the next activity.


Clean Up Time

If you have windows in your classroom (you would not want to do this if there was no outside light source) try turning off the lights and sing this song:

(Sung to Oh My Darlin Clementine)

Freeze freeze

Time to clean up

Time to clean up pleeezzzeeeee

Let’s all help to clean our classroom

So we can go to circle time (or next activity in your schedule)

Turn the lights back on.


Two of my favorite transitions (from a Head Start workshop in 1994). These worked well with my preschoolers then and worked well with my 1st graders last year. Both of these are chants-clapping or snapping fingers helps.

If you want to hear a story this is what you’ve got to do,

Got to sit on the rug like the pretzels do.

So find your place, and clap your hands,

so your teacher’ll know that you understand

That’s Right! (That’s right)

That’s Right!

You need to listen, need to look and see, if your name

is _________, come and stand by me!

(or “if you’re wearing (color), or many other variations)


Transition Songs

One little, two little, three little children

four little, five little, six little children,

seven little, eight little, nine little children,

All in the circle. (we have a circular rug we call “the circle”)


To*( large group) time we go,

To large group time we go,

Heigh Ho, the Dairy-oh,

To large group time we go.

(change times of the day as appropriate)


Another song they love to sing as we’re walking back inside from outside

time is:

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…


Time For Circle: Sung to Oh, My Darling Clementine

Time for circle, time for circle,

Time for circle time today,

Let’s sit down, let’s be quiet,

Wonder what we will do today?


If Your Are Wearing Green, Wash Your Hands: Sung to If Your Happy And You Know It

If you are wearing green, wash your hands,

If your are wearing green, wash your hands,

If your are wearing green,

If your are wearing green,

If your are wearing green, wash your hands!

(Substitute other colors for green. You can also substitute other activities.)


It’s Time To Clean Up: Sung to Happy Birthday

It’s time to clean up Let’s pick up the blocks

It’s time to clean up Let’s pick up the blocks

It’s time to clean up Let’s pick up the blocks

It’s time to clean up Let’s pick up the blocks

(Substitute other areas in your classroom)

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