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Hacks To Help Children Transition To Another Activity or Place

Team StoryWeavers|December 24, 2020| 1

transition strategies for children from one activity or place to another

A lot of time is spent every day getting children to move from one activity or place to another. Many parents will attest to facing resistance from their children along the way. This could range from something as mild as whining to a full-blown temper tantrum. In such a situation, managing a child’s routine gets that much harder. 

In this article, we will discuss different ways to help your child transition from one activity or place to another. 

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Tips To Help Children Transition From One Activity To Another

A paper published by The Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI) for Young Children suggests a few ways to help children transition smoothly from one activity or place to another. 

  1. Let children know that the change is coming. Help children understand that the current activity is about to end or it is time to leave the current place. It could go like, “In another five minutes, we will be leaving the garden” or “in another ten minutes, we will stop colouring the book.”
  2. Use ‘first-then’ statements to help children understand the sequence of events. It will help children understand what is going to happen next and reduce the probability of challenging behaviours. It can look like, “First we are going to say bye to the garden and then, we are going to have dinner.” or “First we are going to tidy up this place, and then we will start the story class.” 
  3. Help children feel in control of the next activity. Children like to be in charge. Ask them to alert everyone about the next activity or ask them if they would like to bring any special object or toy to the next activity. It could look like, “Would you like to bring a spoon to help us with dinner?” or “Would you like to sit on a yellow or blue chair for the story class?”


The script for could look something like this – 

  • Alert — “In another five minutes, we will stop colouring the book.”
  • First Then Statement   “First we are going to tidy up this place, and then we will start the story class.”
  • Participation — “Would you like to sit on a yellow or blue chair for the story class?”

The children are less likely to resist transitioning to the next activity if they know what’s going to happen and feel in control of their environment. If the child still resists transitioning to the next activity, you can hold the boundary repeatedly and consistently. Try not to accidentally reward the whining or tantrum by extending the time limit for the previous activity. 

Have you used these hacks before? Did they work out for you? Let us know in the comments below. 

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About the Author

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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as complements unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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Manishkumar Bhagubhai Patel

December 25, 2020

Very nice information for parents and teachers.


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