The Clean Up Blues

It's hard for children to stop what they're doing and move to another activity, especially when they're busy creating.

Try these tips to help with the stress of transitions:

  • Give multiple warnings that a transition is about to happen.
  • Talk to them about what to expect during transitions before they occur.
  • Give children enough time to complete the task they've been given.
  • Balance a quiet activity with a more active one.
  • If waiting is involved, sing songs, allow them to read a book independently, or play a game to help keep your child's mind occupied.
  • Find or make up a song, such as the one below, that will signal to your child that it's time to move on.

"It's Time to Put the Toys Away" (sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb")
It's time to put the toys away,
Toys away, toys away.
It's time to put the toys away,
We'll see them again real soon.
Substitute: go to bed now/I'll see you in the morning, go and eat our food/to help us grow big and strong, or go to the grocery store/to buy some yummy food.

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