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"Engaging Transition Activities for Preschoolers: Making Smooth Transitions Fun and Easy!"

Engaging Transition Activities for Preschoolers

Transitioning young children from one task to the next can have its challenges. You try to move the kids outside or to whichever activity comes next, only to notice one running off to nowhere or another two wrestling. You feel like you lose complete control of your children's transition time.

Don't worry; there are several reasons why children often struggle with transitions, including not knowing what to do or being less prepared to end their activity. There are specific strategies to make the transition process easier for both you and your children, which we'll discuss below.

You're probably thinking, "But I've tried everything, and they won't listen." Trust me, the key lies in teaching children your expectations for transitions, intentionally planning ways to keep the children engaged, and simultaneously transitioning between activities. It works. Here are the best methods that work nearly all the time.

Singing A Song

Kids love to sing because the songs are often rhythmic and easy to follow. You can use this to help them transition from one task to the next. For example, you can have a "Clean Up" song that prompts them to transition.

Some of these songs can be found online with a simple search, or you can create your own catchy tune. What makes the song work is backing it with some activity that allows for a smooth transition. In this case, if your children sing a clean-up song, they should also pack up toys simultaneously.

The key here is consistency. Repeating the same song during wind-up time helps kids know what to do when they hear it.


There's something about a countdown that helps kids easily accept the transition from one activity to another. Kids have an innate ability to respond positively when they hear those numbers ticking down.

The key lies in prompting the kids to join in the countdown. Instead of a stern "pack up kids," try something more playful like "And now it is time for us to pack up and move on to something else, we are counting together-- 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, and off we go. To add more effectiveness, incorporate some fun gestures backed with slow count. Try to make it consistent when registering the prompt.


I like this method because kids love to pretend they are someone else. You can notice this when they play with their toys, pretending to be a police officer or a princess.

To use pretend play as a way of getting kids to move, ask them to fly like a butterfly as they move to a different spot. Ask them to flap their hands like a butterfly's wings and see how effortlessly they move. Another example is to ask them to put out a pretend fire with their hands while walking to the car.

Circle Time Transition

As for circle time Transition, it's as simple as using a poem to prompt them to move on to the next activity. A good, fun poem is "Shake your hands above you. Shake your hands behind you. Touch your nose. Try to use different speed variations to make it even more exciting. The kids love it - It gets them excited and eager to join the next task.

Cleaning Up

The clean-up method works well for children when you make it a fun game. First, gather all the students and tell them that they will be becoming vacuum cleaners and using their strong muscles to clean up the room. Let them practice flexing their muscles before they start picking up items. They can even make funny vacuum noises as they go about cleaning.



Featured online Course:

Transitional Techniques for Young Children

This course is designed to teach you fun and engaging transitional techniques for your preschoolers to be excited to navigate througout their day, whether it's in or outside of your classroom. You will receive tips on how to maintain classroom management while ensuring your students are always remaining on task. Using transitions throughout the day will decrease accidents and the number of interruptions for those students who may have challenging behaviors.


Sheika Petteway, Chief ENCOURAGING Officer

She provides educational and leadership training to individuals and organizations. She is the founder and CEO of Elite Educational Enterprises and has several years experience serving in the early childhood education industry.

Text the word "join" to 855-691-1749 to receive encouraging messages monthly.


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