5 Toddler Transition Tips

Transition times can be some of the most difficult periods of time throughout the day for preschool teachers to manage. Seamlessly moving a classroom of energetic toddlers from one activity to the next can seem almost impossible, especially when you’re transitioning from activities to nap time, or from a loud and boisterous task to a quieter one. It can be incredibly challenging to move preschoolers away from an activity they’re having fun with and get them to focus on a completely different lesson!

By carefully planning your daily schedule and incorporating clever transition time activities into your routine, you can better manage this switch in focus within your classroom. We’ve assembled this list of creative transition activities for toddlers, designed to help facilitate periods of movement between tasks, stations, activities, mealtimes and more.

  1. Transition Song
    One of the most tried and true transition activities for toddlers is to make use of a transition song. Whether you create your own rhyme or choose a pre-existing song, a short tune that indicates what’s coming next will ease the transition. Using the same song repeatedly will give toddlers a sense of routine and signal to them that it’s time to make a move. Encourage the class to participate in the song with you!
  2. Countdown
    A countdown is a simple way to give preschoolers warning that it’s time to switch to a new activity. Your countdown from one or two minutes gives children time to prepare for the change, indicating that they will be switching gears very shortly. Together, count down the final ten seconds before it’s time to switch.
  3. Follow a Schedule
    Display the daily schedule prominently in your classroom, complete with visual illustrations of each activity throughout the day and when they will occur. When it’s time to transition to a new task or activity, gather the class and together point out what’s coming next. Toddlers thrive on routines and can better handle transitions when they know what to expect.
  4. Play Simon Says
    When transition time comes, play a quick game of Simon Says. This game is designed to capture toddlers’ attention and will make them focus intently on what you, their teacher, are saying. Start with simple directions like, “Simon Says touch your nose!”, then move on to things like, “Simon says sit for circle time” to make your move into the next activity.
  5. Use Movement
    Get moving between activities. Ask toddlers to reach up high in the air, touch their toes, or even do a few jumping jacks. Whatever type of movement you choose, establish a routine that children will get used to performing in between activities.

For more on managing your lesson plan and daily routines, take a moment to learn more about HiMama child care software. Our innovative platform offers a range of features to help you plan your daily schedule and slot in these crucial transition activities for toddlers!

Have any ideas for seamless transitions in the classroom? Join the conversation at @HiMamaSocial and make sure to sign up for updates from our HiMama Blog for updates on similar content in the future!

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