Transition is the period of time between activities, like when some students are waiting for others to finish or students are waiting to wash their hands for lunch. It is very easy for transition times to get out of hand, especially for preschool age children. There are many tricks that teachers use to make things go smoothly between preschool activities.
Ideas for Transition Between Activities
Here are a few general ideas:
- Playing a simple game, like Simon Says
- Dismissing the students as each one answers a question
- Dim the lights and have them close their eyes while you help them "imagine" something for a minute or two.
When lining up, you might have the children wearing a certain color line up first, or select the ones whose name starts with a certain letter.
Teaching During Transition Time
Preschool children are taught many things in school other than the names of colors and their ABCs. They are taught to:
- Wait in line
- Listen to instructions
- Handle transition time without disrupting others
Many times children act out during transition times and the best way to deal with that is to give them something to do that they will enjoy:
- Make these transition times fun by doing activities like singing, chanting, clapping hands, etc.
- Teach the children certain phrases that signal what to do. Such as developing a system of responses where you clap or say something and they respond. For example, you could say, "Clap two times" and then clap two times. Then say "Clap four times," clap four times, and the children will join in. This engages them and pulls their attention away from any undesirable behavior they are doing or thinking about doing.
- Sing about the next steps. As a teacher, you may get really tired of singing something like "It’s time to sit on the rug" but remember that young children thrive on routine. Once they get used to the classroom routine, they will be much happier as will you.
Now that you have some transition ideas, here are some great sites to visit that will give you even more suggestions for preschool transition activities:
- Perpetual Preschool has a lot of reader-contributed ideas that they use themselves. Here you will find many rhymes and simple songs that will help with classroom organization and transition times.
- Childcare Resource not only has ideas but a large collection of poems and songs that you may want to use. Be sure to check out the special ideas in Nursery Rhymes for Transition Times and Terrific Transition Times.
Songs for Transition Time
SearchWarp has some good songs for transition time. Here’s a cute song that Searchwarp suggests that teachers use to help the children learn how to line up. The melody to use is from the song If You’re Happy and You Know It.
"If you're ready and you know it, face the door. If you're ready and you know it, face the door. If you're ready and you know it Then it's the time to show it. If you're ready and you know it, face the door." (From Searchwarp.com)
Music and Rhyme Station has 12 cute transition songs you can use in your classroom.
So, now you have lots of preschool transition activities at your fingertips to try.