Sunday, June 3, 2012
Tricks for Daily Transitions
Dear My Toy Garden friend,
Hands up! Count, if you well please, how many transitions does your child go through in a day? One of Newton's laws is an object in motion, stays in motion. This is so true of your child isn't it? Once they are in motion, they want to continue on their path and the energy required to guide them to a new path can be a challenge. Here are a few ideas to help make those transition times a bit easier. If you like these ideas, please share with others. Do you have other ideas? Please join in the conversation on our Facebook page!
#1 - Routines are your friend - THE most important advice I can offer is to have routines and stick to them as much as possible. Routines give a child comfort and security. They know what to expect and when. Have a routine for the morning, for meals, for bedtime and a "This is what we do" mantra. Using a visual planner like our Easy Dayies Daily Planners help the visual and tactile child know the plan. On the left, you put the agenda for the day using magnetic labels and, as they are completed, the child moves them to the right.
#2 - Quack! Quack! - A common practice in my house is to set the timer on my Iphone for transitions. "Let's see if we can pick these toys up before my phone quacks." Picking a silly sound is motivating for the child. "You can play for 3 more minutes until..." This way the timer is the bad guy and not you. :-) We have a great oversized timer at My Toy Garden perfect for this idea!
#3 - Pile it on - When transitioning from play to something else, make clean up a snap by gathering all the stray items into piles. Say, "I'll pick up everything in this pile and you can pick up this pile. Let's see who can do it first." This gives them a clear picture of what "clean up" means and a race is always more fun!
#4 - Red, blue, yellow - Another clean up transition trick that works for us is to focus on one color or another. "You pick up the red ones and I'll pick up the blue ones." It makes the task at hand less overwhelming.
#5 - What's that?! - Distraction can be your best friend. When battling a child with getting dressed or any of the many tasks that need to be done in a day, think outside the box. Pretend you found a cat in their shirt and they need to look inside to help you find it...put a sock on your hand and let a puppet smooth the way...start singing something silly. Doing something unexpected breaks the "I don't want to!" cycle and makes it more fun for all.
#6 - Choices, choices - We all like to feel in control. Give your child the feeling of control over things he/she can have a say in. Do you want to brush your teeth first or get your jammies on first? Do you want to wear the blue shirt of the green one? They pick, they feel empowered, you get to move on to the next thing...everyone wins!