Behaviour Guidance Tip – Preparing Children for Transitions

Did you know that preparing children for upcoming transitions saves time, energy and reduces challenging behaviours from occurring?

Examples of transitions include:

  • Getting ready to leave home to go to child care or child care to go home.
  • Leaving play for lunch.
  • From outdoor play to indoors.
  • Getting ready for sleep time including nap and night.

By planning and organizing your transitions, it creates a plan that can be implemented by anyone.

Tips to create effective transitions throughout your day

  • Plan to keep the waiting time as short as possible.
  • Identify, reduce and simplify the number of steps to complete a transition.
  • Organize all the materials needed prior to the transition occurring.
  • Remove any distractions such as music, TV, preferred toys etc.
  • Ensure that you are modelling a calm and neutral demeanour throughout the routine.
  • Provide the child with an attention cue and warning prior to the transition occurring.
  • Give your instruction by using as few words as possible (e.g., time to get dressed; daycare).
  • Allow sufficient time for the transition to occur.
  • Allow sufficient time for the child to process the information provided.
  • Support the child as needed by using visual prompts, gestures, cues, simplified language etc.
  • Always keep in mind that different children have different needs and may require additional support such as; helper jobs, concrete props, visual sequences etc.

Brooks Hachey and Jocelyne Desbiens, Behaviour Consultants
Children’s Integration Support Services