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Prevent Toddler Transition Tantrums with Song and Rhyme

By Edited Nov 13, 2016 0 0

For most parents transitioning their toddler from one activity to another, such as playtime to bath, prove to be the most trying times of the day. Keeping a predictable rhythm to your day (for example breakfast and clean-up followed by playtime then snack and so on...) will definitely help things run smoother as will giving advanced warnings and perhaps using a timer or clock as an ally, but you’d be amazed at what adding a little song, dance, or rhyme into your routine can do too. If you take a peek in a preschool class you’ll often find transition times are marked by fun activities and songs. It seems that children can’t help themselves when they hear a familiar song, rhyme or a good rhythm to move their bodies, sing along, or try to imitate the actions they have been taught. So, take a cue from the pros and adapt those preschool transition activities for home. Songs can vary from made up verses to common nursery rhymes, to new children’s songs, or even songs from your favorite kids’ show. If you can find a song or action that incorporates the interests of your child it will make things just that much easier. Here are some ideas:

Getting in the Car/Leaving the House

1.Say Goodbye to the House (To the tune of “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain”)

Oh it’s time to say goodbye to the house

Oh it’s time to say goodbye to the house

Oh it’s time to say goodbye

Oh it’s time to say goodbye

 Oh it’s time to say goodbye to the house

2. Choo Choo (Pretend the Car is a Train)

Choo, choo, choo, choo, come and ride the train

Choo, choo, choo, choo, all aboard the train

Choo, choo, choo, choo, come and take a ride

Choo, choo, choo, choo, across the countryside

3.Other Ideas

“Come on! Vamanos!” From Dora (you can insert destination into song), Little Einsteins theme song (pretend the car is Rocket), “Hop Up! Jump in!” from Handy Manny

Leaving the Playground

1. Time to Say Goodbye (To the tune of “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” )

I had so much fun, playing in the sun

Went down the slide and a had a little run

Climbed up the ladder, swung in the swing

But now it’s time to say goodbye and do other things

2.Sing Goodbye to the Park (To the Tune of “Brother John/ Where is Thumbkin”)

Goodbye Swings, Goodbye Swings

Goodbye Slide, Goodbye Slide

It’s time to say goodbye

It’s time to say goodbye

Goodbye Goodbye

(You can change out the words for other objects in the park)

3.Other ideas

 Go on a bear hunt on the way to the car using the famous book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen as a guide

Naptime and Bedtime

1.Morning's Over (To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”)

Morning’s over time to rest

Time for nap inside my bed

Had my lunch and lots of fun

When I wake there’s more to be done

Morning’s over time to rest

Time for nap inside my bed

2.Do You Know What Time it Is (To the tune of “The Muffin Man”)

Do you know what time it is

What time it is

What time it is

Do you know what time it is

It’s time to take a nap

Clean Up Time

1.Clean Up Song

Clean up, clean up

Everybody everywhere

Clean up, clean up

Everybody do your share

2. Cleaning Up (To the tune of “Where is Thumbkin/Brother John”)

Where do blocks go

Where do blocks go

In the basket

In the basket

We are cleaning up

 We are cleaning up

Cleaning Up

Cleaning Up

*Replace blocks/basket with other words as necessary*

3.Other ideas

 Choose a song to play for cleaning up, like “Whistle While You Work” or “High-Ho” from Snow White or even an upbeat child- friendly song you wouldn’t mind listening to on a daily basis that can always be used for clean-up time.

Bathtime

 1.It's Time to Get in the Tub (To the tune of “Farmer and the Dell”)

It’s time to get it in the tub

I need a soapy scrub

Wash from my nose to my toes

It’s time to get in the tub

2.Bath time Version of Loopty Loo (Fun to sing on the way to the tub and in the tub too)

Here we go loopty loo

Here we go loopty li

Here we go loopty loo

Now it’s our bath time

Here we go way down low

Here we go way up high

Here we go way down low

Now it’s our bath time

Here we go round and round

Here we go fast and slow

Here we go round and round

The bath is where we go

Here we go loopty loo

Here we go loopty li

Here we go loopty loo

Now it’s our bath time

 

Most of the songs from above can be reworded to fit any transition situation. Be creative and have fun! With a little repetition you’ll find that most of the time your child will respond positively to the transition taking place.

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