Tackling Transition Times
Renata Bursten, Dragonfly Staff
Tips for inclusive transition strategies in preschool.
Experienced early childhood educators know about transition. Transition is the process of changing from one activity set to another, let's say from painting time to circle discussion. How well the transition goes impacts the success of the next activity in a big way.
Transition can be especially hard for preschoolers because they are often reluctant to change activities. The hustle and bustle can be confusing, and acting up is common. Children with special needs often face extra challenges in maintaining their emotional balance, and the caregiver needs some strategies for accommodating these needs.
,Here are a few hints for accommodating certain issues during transition:
For children with visual impairments, set up tactile way-marker cues like a rug runners or tape strips down walls in a hallway that can be traced with the fingers. Describe the path ahead of the child verbally, and praise the child for independence.
,Children who have a hearing impairment will appreciate a consistent cue to signal an upcoming transition time, perhaps a shoulder tap or verbal cue.
Children with gross motor delays may benefit from the "buddy" system. Helper-friends can assist in leading the child to the lunch table or the outdoor activity area.
Build a little extra time into the routine for smoother transitions. Everyone will enjoy an unhurried changeover ... including the teachers!