Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Just Give me 5 Minutes: Toddlers Transitions within the Daily Routine

Kathleen Tuite

By: KATHLEEN TUITE

Tuesday 09 August 2016

Have you ever heard a toddler say ‘I’m right in the middle of something, just give me 5 minutes’?

In early childhood settings we recognise that toddlers are capable and competent, with interests, emerging interests and needs all of their own. They experience many changes throughout their lives, some small, some big and learning to manage these in childhood is an important foundation for later life. Toddlers move in, move up, move through and move out of lots of situations, often guided by family, culture, policies and procedures and learning to manage transitions/changes is an important skill that all children require for emotional and physical well-being throughout their lives.

 

Early childhood settings create lots of possibilities for children to cope with change and to learn how to manage themselves through change. Daily routines, which provide structure (without clock watching), predictability, lots of flexibility and playfulness can support toddlers cope with transitions and change. Care routines are necessary and form a large part of a toddlers’ day, from nappy changing, meal/snack times, to sleep and rest. Carrying these out involves transitions for the toddler, having to leave something they were interested in to have perhaps a nappy changed, otherwise their day would be free of interruptions. For some toddlers these represent small or big interruptions to their day and there are different displays of emotion.


What would you say as an educator when you approach a toddler looking to change her nappy and she replies - ‘I’m right in the middle of something, just give me 5 minutes’? You might be very surprised to hear this, but it would also tell you something about toddlers, that they need time to process and adjust to change. Toddlers may not have the words to say this, but when we are tuned in, we will know by their non-verbal cues that this is exactly what they want to say! Creating a predictable environment, such as naming your own actions, ‘I’m coming over to you now Harry to change your nappy in a few minutes’ and waiting for a few moments until they absorb what you have said, helps the toddler to prepare for change. Employing some playful actions, use of transitional objects (like puppets, timers), some fancy footwork, dancing over to the toddler or singing a little song, lets them know that a change is about to happen and creates predictability too.

Any of the transition times within the day can be handled by toddlers, firstly knowing there is some level of predictability, having adequate time to prepare for a move and minimising waiting times when a change is indicated. Naming their feelings connected with the action, I know you feel a little ‘frustrated’ now because I have to bring you in to change your nappy. All these processes help the young child to cope with change and to manage their feelings in the early years, laying foundations for the future.


Through well planned, flexible, yet predictable routines toddlers can be supported and empowered to develop resilience, cope with frustrations and develop positive attitudes towards change. Backed up by adults, who spend a lot of time getting to know the child, paying attention to what the child is feeling, noticing and doing.


How do you support toddlers to cope with change throughout the daily routine? Have you ever counted the number of transitions toddlers have during the day? How do you ensure a routine that is highly flexible, but gives the security that a predicable routine should have? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. 

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Party(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Maternity Leave(1) Exclusion(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) learning hub(1) play pod(1) Easter(1) Scents(1) Siolta blog(8) Early Childhood Ireland(6) Our Little Seed(1) CCTV(1) Consent(1) Care routines(1) toddlers(3) relationships(18) Identity(5) Buddies(1) Through the looking glass(1) democratic citizens(1) Fabric(1) Affordability(1) Research Seminar(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Home Corner(1) Flowers(1) Buddy Bench(1) Engineers Week(2) art of the relationship(1) transitions(10) Gardening(1) documentation(4) Self Help Skills(1) scéalta(50) budget(1) Mindfulness(3) Mayo(1) Santa(2) Building Resilience(1) Budget 2018(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Whole Group(1) Xbox(1) Map(1) New Appointments(1) overhear(1) Routines(2) supportive environments(2) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) reopening ireland(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Academic Skills(1) show and tell(1) Arts(1) UNCRC(2) MA(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Human Resources(1) june29(1) Inspiring Practice(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Sustainable(1) play pods(2) United Nations(1) Online(1) Limerick(1) Facebook(1) Summer(1) ECCE(7) Educators(2) outdoor space(3) Mark Twain(1) early years research(2) Capable(1) Independence(1) Obesity(1) Pen green(1) youdoodle(1) Engagement(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Running(1) Event Guide(1) Document Learning(1) early childhood educator(2) value(1) Visual Impairment(1) Kids Own(1) Line-ups(1) INTO(1) child-centred approach(1) pablo(1) Treasure(1) Albert Einstein(1) Death(2) Montessori(3) Design(1) Interactions(3) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Window(1) Support(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Staff Motivation(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Participation(2) Magnavacchi(1) Meet the Members(1) Child mental health(1) development(8) listen(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) behavioural science(1) healthy eating policies(1) inspiring interactions(1) Italy(1) christmas(9) routine(2) Inter-generational(2) Self-Esteem(1) dining(1) AIM(2) Frosty the Snowman(1) Workplace well-being(1) Titles(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Investment(2) Infectious diseases(1) Yoga(1) Síolta(131) Creativity(5) CIT(1) Belonging(3) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Maths(6) RTE Investigates(1) Confidence(1) Reflective Practice(1) Culture(2) racism(1) Sleep(1) Maria Montessori(1) Cognitive development(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Valentine's Day(3) maternity health(1) Cork(1) Visitors(1) Vertical grouping(1) role playing(1) Universal Design(2) Supernanny(1) Interests(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Art(6) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Sustainability(3) Dance(1) code of ethics(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) College(1) Names(1) Irish guidelines(1) Plastic(1) Learning Stories Award(3) stories(3) emotional environment(2) Trick or treat(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) NAEYC(1) The Jelly King(1) Return to Work Training(1) Upcycling(1) Wesco(1) DES Inspection(1) gender bias(1) Administrative Burden(1) Children's Voice(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Maynooth(1) Touch(1) Ceremony(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) TOY Programme(1) Glitter(2) Autism(4) Playdough(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Twitter(1) Vietnam(1) Exploring(1) Wonder(1) Recycle(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Inspirational(2) Afghanistan(1) EM Standing(1) Fantasy play(1) environments(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) curiosity(3) Change(1) dining experiences(1) Japan(1) National Awards 2018(2) Equality(1) Little Buddies(1) Spiders(1) continual professional development(1) blog(47) Thank you(1) First 5 strategy(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Empathy(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) social media(1) University(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Pedagogy(2) story time(2) Inclusion(3) Mount Everest(1) under 3's(3) Plants(1) EECERA 2016(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Trade union(1) Environment(2) feisty(1) PIP(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) educating(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) reopening(1) research submissions(1) coronavirus(1) Sculptures(1) Behaviour(3) Aistear(128) Drawing(2) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Adoption(1) Oireachtas(1) Budget 2020(1) ERASMUS+(3) Technology(3) conference(1) keezy(1) Treasure Chest(1) movement behaviours(1) Time Out(1) Leargas(1) Early Years(1) Children's Rights(3) Proceedings Journal(1) EECERA(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) experience(1) awards 2020(1) Children's Research Network(1) Academics(1) Arithmetic(1) community(5) imotion(1) Irish(1) Light table(1) Impact(1) Body Language(1) Fee Play(1) National Holiday(1) Counting(1) Mathematicians(1) emotional well-being(1) Mealtimes(1) creche(1) Kerry(1) books(4) Magic(1) Creative(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) dublin(2) Youtube Series(1) Pobal sector profile(1) communication(4) National Awards 2019(1) Thanks(1) Mental Health(4) learning bias(1) Book Review(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Grief(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Magda Gerber(1) HR(1) Reading Time(1) iOS(1) RIE philosphy(1) journey(1) Opportunities(1) Workforce(1) Snakes(1) Anxiety(2) Masterclass(2) Stress(2) Laughter(1) Learning Story(1) Awards Night(1) National Pyjama Day(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Mo Scéal(1) Inspections(1) Sport(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Penguins(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Craft(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) conversations(1) meals(3) memories(1) Digital(1) Iraq(1) education system(1) ICBN(1) emotions(2) Health(2) DCYA(6) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Professionalisation(5) Sweets(1) man up(1) Community involvement(1) primary education(1) Anthony Semann(1) Brain(1) Covid pandemic(2) ears(1) trust(4) Department of Education and Skills(1) reading(5) Snack Time(1) learners(1) Favouritism(1) Digital Devices(1) Blocks(1) Music(3) Motor neuron disease(1) Budget 2019(2) Learning Stories(9) Pre-School Services(1) Pretend Play(1) Time(1) family time(1) Learning journals(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Iceland(1) Norway(2) aistear blog(3) Leaders in Practice(1) lockdown(1) online training(1) Reggio Children Network(1) bloom app(1) play(35) Imagination(3) Scéalta Book Review(1) Infection Control(1) preschool(4) Maths Week(1) Giraffe(2) Seas Suas(1) Meal time(1) Intention(1) Rich Documentation(1) IGL(1) peer group(1) purpose(1) keep in touch(1) Reggio Emilia(2) babies(7) staying connected(1) Painting(1) AsIAm(2) Role play(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Patterns(1) Qualifications(1) UD(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) UN(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) early years learning(1) Reggio(1) Challenges(1) Potential(1) Advocacy(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Maynooth University(2) MECPI(1) Elders(1) Story(2) Confident(1) Quality(4) Children and families(1) Syria(1) Winter(1) social science(1) collaboration(1) SAC(1) education(2) Communications(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) dogs(1) Awards 2019(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Feeding(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Training(2) International Narratives(1) risky play(2) GDPR(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Exercise(1) E.coli(1) risk assessment(1) outdoor environment(1) Decisions(1) ReCreate(2) Arlene Forster(1) Gratitude(1) Sessional service(1) TRAP(1) science(3) Competent(1) Nutrition(1) Awards(2) baby room(1) ECEC(3) Bereavement(2) phone apps(1) Storytelling(7) Playschool(1) Wrapping paper(1) SPICE Framework(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Margy Whalley(1) Snacks(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Certificate(1) play therapy(1) Family(1) Children(4) Care-giving routines(1) Study Trip(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Performing(1) Weather(1) Relaxation(1) Awards 2018(3) Social Skills(1) Graduation(1) Online Research Symposium(1) Exit interview(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Traditions(2) mushrooms(1) CPD(1) Graduate(1) Family wall(1) San Miniato(4) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Self-regulation(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Primary School(2) Leprechauns(1) European Project(1) Diversity(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Pobal(1) School Age Childcare(1) Laugh(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) planning(1) Book Club(2) curriculum(5) Well-Being(10) Small World Play(1) Child Care(1) Síolta QAP(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) GoToMeeting app(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Childhood(1) children’s learning(1) Wilenski(1) play stories(2) Socioemotional development(1) Communicating(1) Builders(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) mental health problems(1) Kilkenny(1) STEM(3) Reopening Childcare(1) responsive relationships(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) pets(1) early life(1) Orla Kenny(1) bonds(1) Teamwork(1) Covid response(2) Photographs(1) Rituals(1) Shapes(2) Trade Unions(1) Decision Making(1) NCCA(3) Early Years Educators(3) Leadership(1) refugees(1) Funding(1) apps for children(1) listening(1) Appreciation(1) life long learning(1) Breathing(2) Mixed age groups(3) Love(3) developing motor skills(1) First 5(1) Mud kitchens(1) Interaction(1) gender stereotype(1) Childcare(3) Maths Week Ireland(1) Settling in(4) COVID-19(13) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Learning through Storytelling(1) Learning Journal(2) UNICEF report(1) Engineering(3) Loving Relationships(2) child-centric(1) annual conference(1) respect(5) Nuturing interactions(1) Positivity(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) World Health Organisation(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Workplace Relations(3) Sequins(1) Shoes(1) animals(2) Performance Management(1) Mantra(1) Large Doll Play(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) worries(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Games(1) Engineering Ireland(1) democracy(1) learning(19) ELC(1) Halloween(2) interacting(2) Seanchaí(1) Traffic Lights(1) Jenga(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) science week(2) Hand Hygiene(2) Cork Institute of Technology(1) preschool settings(1) Celebrate(1) friendships(1) food(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) early childhood(1) children development(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) eating(1) Frustrations(1) Malaguzzi(1) Recycling(2) Loss(1) Exploratory Play(1) Degree(1) outdoor play(6) Early Years Education(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) educarer(1) Scéalta Blog(103) Your place(1) linc(1) structure(1) Smiles(1) Biting(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Trigonometry(1) Eritrea(1) Thinking(1) Horizon 2020(1) Wendy Lee(3) childcare services(1) research(6) Employee(1) grandchild(1) Celebrations(4) outdoors(4) Queues(1) parents(6) Prexit(1) ECEC Setting(2) risk(2) Policy(2) Lego(2) Nonverbal(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine