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Learn. Stop. Wriggle. Sing... Learn More! The importance of Transition Activities

We use Transition Activities in the early childhood classroom to move between activities; to bring learners together; to create joyous, body moving breaks; to refocus attention and to organise groups.  

We all know that ‘getting the wriggles out’ is a valuable exercise, but we also know that children need different types of ‘brain breaks’ .  Maybe our students look like they need a calming, settling activity. Or perhaps their yawns and wriggles are signalling to us they could benefit from an energising, fun activity. As teachers, we can think of ways to reset the energy in the room and help our students stay engaged with learning.

Here are some brilliant ideas for transition activities, combine them with your wise teachers’ eye and you will know which ones will be perfect to use today!

Sensory- motor breaks for energising brains and having fun! 

  • Imaginative Movements: Walk like a bear | Hop like a frog | Crawl like a snake | Walk like a crab | Walk backwards | Gallop like a horse | Skip high, skip low | Move slowly like a turtle | Fly like a butterfly!
  • Reward a student! Have them choose the next fun class action card!
  • Have fun learning a new dance or song- YouTube has terrific videos! 

  • Quick movements can improve attention: Jumping jacks | Wall push ups | Deep breathing | Running in place | Chair pushups | Push up High fives | Hand and shoulder stretches!

Activities to settle and refocus over-stimulated students

  • Turn down the ‘volume’ with action rhymes that inspire children to quietly follow actions and join with rhymes and songs:

  • Do a gentle tactile activity, such as a seated scarf movement to soft music, or have students participate in a fine motor activity, such as stringing beads, or arranging small rocks on a tray
  • Create a space of deep relaxation using a guided muscle and body relaxation exercise.  This is a wonderful example from Paradise Music - simply delightful!


  • And to be the ultimate Transition 'magician' in your school, check out a wonderful book in our resource collection, for endless ideas for transitions that will engage and inspire little learners.




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