SayPro Management of routines and transitions

Management of routines and transitions

Routines and transitions are necessary for building a child’s sense of security and control but they are also terrific times for language development.  The repetitive nature and frequency of these daily activities builds vocabulary, understanding and one’s ability to predict. Children build strong relationships and learn language when caregivers sing, laugh, and talk during daily routines.


  • Follow a predictable schedule each day.  This helps children know what will happen next.  When children know what to expect, routines go more smoothly and you can spend time talking to the children instead of managing challenging behaviours.
  • Use simple and familiar language.  Slowly add new vocabulary and more complex language.
  • Carry out routines in a similar way each time. Children learn what to expect.
  • Sing songs about daily activities. 


  • Give advance warning to prepare the children before the transition occurs.
  • Make sure you have the children’s attention.
  • Use a signal like clapping hands ringing a bell, flickering the lights or singing a transition song to announce transitions.  Make sure you pair the signal with words!
  • Keep language simple.
  • Repeat information or instructions.
  • Use a picture schedule or other visuals to help children understand what comes next.
  • Allow enough time for transitions. No one likes to be rushed.

Keep wait times as short as possible. If children must wait, do something!  Sing songs, make up rhymes, move like animals, play “I Spy”, or have conversations

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