If you have kids at home you already know where I’m going with this. Getting toddler brains to transition from one activity to the next, one caregiver to the next, one expectation to the next - it can be one of the most difficult aspects of our day.
Lately I’ve been working hard to make transitions easier for the girls. Having a solid routine certainly helps (you already know I’m especially particular about bedtime because it makes all our lives easier if we’re well rested), but here are a few other tricks that seem to be making a difference in this house!
This has been the biggest game changer of all. Each night before bed we talk about what the next day holds. I make special note of anything that might be different from what they expect and then ask them to repeat it back to me so I’m sure they understand. It also gives them both an opportunity to ask questions (like the endless “why?”) and me answer them, hopefully preventing disappointment and arguments the next day.
Teaching about time
Meredith in particular is really interested in learning about time and how it works. She can count to 100 and is learning to recognize each of those numbers on paper, too, so a clock is a great way to get her practicing, too. Whether its a digital or an analog, I find telling her “10 more minutes” and then showing her what that will look like on the clock means she isn’t surprised or shocked with its time to stop what she’s dong and move onto the next thing.
I seem to be the queen of rushing about, shoving all the mandatory items into bags as I try and shuffle kids out the door, inevitably forgetting something and rushing back into the house in a scurry to grab it.
Since the school year started, I’ve worked hard to plan ahead when it comes to packing lunches and bags. If I can pre-pack any dried goods for lunches on Sunday (like DIY trail mix, chips or pretzels in mini containers) it means one less thing I have to do during the week. I’ve also been packing their lunches the night before, meaning I get to enjoy my coffee with them in the morning instead of cold in the car on the way to school.
What other things do you do to help ease toddler transitions at home? Give me all the tips, because I know when Lenora turns 3 in March we’ll need all the help to survive the sassy threenager stage!
Photo by Kelly Carey Photography