Preschoolers can become deeply involved in play and activities. Providing warnings like “In five minutes we need to clean up” can help a preschooler to understand that she is going to have to stop what she is doing soon.
A song, chant or rhythmic clap can also be used to help alert a preschooler that an activity time is coming to an end. For children who have difficulty transitioning, visual cues like an egg timer or sand timer may also help to encourage smooth transitions.
Having transitions and routines help preschoolers to develop a sense of time so that abstract concepts such as “five minutes,” “one hour,” and “this afternoon” have meaning to them and their day.