Preschool Transitions Between Activities
General Tips For Transition Times
1. There is no one right way to carry out transition time. There are many ways to make things easier, more pleasant, depending on your situation. Experiment!
2. Think through transition times and problem-solve what might go wrong. Be preventive.
3. Make sure children know the routine. Follow the routine long enough so that the children are familiar with it and know what they are supposed to do.
4. Be sure the daily routine has a minimum of major transitions. Many of the transitions in your program are unavoidable, but there might be some you could change which would make the day a little easier.
5. Designate meeting places for major transition times so that children know where to go next.
6. Let children help you make up ways of moving from one place or activity to the next. Tie in moving with your theme or topic for the week. The transition is more fun this way.
7. Begin activities without long, initial waiting periods; have your materials ready or let children help you prepare the activity.
8. Use make-believe as a means of dealing with transitions and periods of waiting; when absorbed in make-believe games, time passes rapidly for children.
9. Fingerplays are great at any time of the day to get wiggles out and to release pent-up energy, and to keep children active and interested while waiting.
10. Give a 5-minute warning about the transition. Help the children finish activities by alerting them to the reasons for a change. Respect the children’s time and work by giving opportunities to finish work later on or to repeat an activity.
11. Try not to announce a change. Sometimes announcements cause chaos; everyone moves at once when it is not even time. Mention your change to a few children at a time and help them to get ready for the transition.
12. Make the best use of staffing and helpful children to avoid everyone changing at exactly the same time. Children can learn to help each other and you, and make the transition a time of working together.
13. Talk to the children about what is happening next, especially if there is a change in the routine.
14. Develop your own bag of tricks for the times the unexpected occurs, when a planned activity does not last as long as you thought it would or does not interest the children.
15. Flexibility and a sense of humor can help when nothing goes right! Think about how you will handle it the next time.