For toddlers, songs, finger plays, rhymes and chants can be effectively used to help a child transition from one activity to the next. When a toddler associates a song with an activity, it can make transitioning easier. Songs sung at nap time and cleanup time can help to facilitate a smooth transition to those activities.
In the evening having a consistent and predictable routine can help a toddler to feel calm and secure as he transitions to bedtime. A bath followed by the reading of two stories, saying a short prayer and getting tucked into bed with a comfort item can help a toddler to feel safe and secure.
Another tool to effectively help toddlers transition is to give the toddler some control by providing two acceptable choices. “In five minutes we are going to get ready for bed. Do you want to read Good Night Moon or How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight as your bedtime story?” When given acceptable choices, a toddler will be able to prepare for the transition, predict what’s going to happen next and feel good about playing a positive role in the transition. Providing too many choices or asking open ended questions like “What book do you want to read?” however, can make the transition more difficult.
Having regular routines, predictable patterns and visual and auditory cues can help toddlers effectively manage transition times.