Girl with finger paint

Easing Transitions

February 18th, 2014


Most young children are challenged by transitions. Stopping one activity and moving to another activity can be difficult. Following are several techniques to help children switch gears. Get up close and personal with your child—bend down to their height and be in their vision and try….

Finger Counting: Most young children benefit from a five minute warning prior to stopping an activity. Say, “There are five minutes left until play time is over.” As you say this, put up your hand with five fingers spread out in view of their eyes and count each finger, 1-2-3-4-5, with your child. Repeat this at four minutes, three, two, and then one. This visual and time preparation can ease the transition.

1, 2, 3–Freeze Please: Say “1,2,3, freeze, please.” Freeze your body yourself as an example and speak at most two sentences. You might say “Good freezing,” then “We will be getting coats on to leave after we melt,” and  then say “3 ,2, 1, Melt, and get coats on.”

1, 2, 3, 4, 5–Pretend You are a Statue and Not Alive:  Say “1,2,3,4,5, pretend you’re a statue and not alive.” Be a non-moving statue yourself. Give one or two sentences of simple instructions. Then say “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, now  our statue time is done” and continue to the next activity.




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