Countdown to Transition

boy playing with playdoh

Countdown to Transition

By Jennifer Scotton

Transitioning from playtime to naptime can be a bit of an issue for most toddlers and certainly for mine. To ensure our son knows what to expect and when to expect it, I’ve enlisted the assistance of my smartphone. When naptime is approaching, I tell him “okay, buddy — Mommy is going to set the timer on her phone. In five minutes, when this timer goes off, we have to go upstairs and take a nap, okay? After you wake up from your nap, we can come back down here and play with the racetrack again.” He somewhat reluctantly responds with “okay.”

When the timer goes off, he stops what he’s doing and looks to me for direction. I ask him “Guess what time it is?!” with excitement in my voice and he generally remembers what is supposed to come next– in this instance, naptime. Providing the predictability of what to expect and an approximate timeline helps to keep him from melting down when we ask him to move from having fun playing to settling down for a nap.

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