Helping Children with Transitions

By Leslie, Ebenezer’s Southside Milwaukee Center Curriculum Specialist

Transitioning, or moving between activities is something we do many times during the day. However, making changes can be difficult for a child. Children make many transitions each day—from parents to child care, from home to car or from play time to     bedtime. When and how often transitions occur are usually decided by an adult and children often act out with challenging behavior when they feel unable to control their routine.

Ways to help your child transition from one activity to another:

  • Choose one schedule for your child and keep it consistent.
  • Use a timer to give your child advance warning of an upcoming change.
  • Let your child pick out a special toy to transition with to the next activity or place.
  • Use a visual schedule to show your child the plan for the day.
  • Sing songs or tell a story as you transition from one activity to another.

When transitioning to child care, come into the classroom, take off your child’s coat, hang it in their cubby and spend a few minutes in the classroom with your child. When you are ready to leave, tell your child good bye and reassure them you will be back to pick them up later in the day. This simple routine helps your child have a successful day.