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Teacher sitting at a classroom table surrounded by young students as they pretend to serve food.

In a single day, young children experience many transitions. Transitions occur between activities or routines, and they can be a difficult time for both adults and children. But transitions are also powerful tools. They guide children gently through the day, provide special attention to individuals, and help children move from one area to another smoothly.

The following ideas will help you reduce the number of interruptions and encourage activities to flow from one to another with ease;

  • Cue children to move from free choice time to organized activities by flashing the lights, strumming an instrument, or playing music.
  • Sing a song that tells children what they are to do or where they are to go.
  • Move to the area where you would like the children to gather and talk quietly - they will notice and come to see what you are doing.
  • Prepare the environment by placing carpet squares, cardboard, or pieces of tape on the floor to designate a personal space for each child. And note that children are more connected to their name plate if they decorate it themselves!
  • Put a blanket on the floor and invite children to sit around it. The blanket makes a great rectangle for large group time.
  • Excuse the children according to physical or clothing characteristics, likes and dislikes, or by the initial letter of their names. Or excuse children by asking them to answer a question, creating individual rhymes, or giving them each a turn with an interesting item, prop, or gadget.