Songs to Support Young Children Through Transitions and Routines 


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With so many of us sheltering in place and out of our daily routines, it can feel challenging to follow our usual schedules. Sleeping, eating, and even self-care habits might be tough to stick with when you are at home full-time. However, during this time it is especially important for children to stick to a consistent schedule and routine so that they feel safe and secure. Children feel comfortable when they know what to expect. When they do not follow a predictable routine, they can feel anxious and even act out. 

Singing songs during these routines can make transitions fun, even for young children who are sometimes resistant to transitions or caregiving routines.  You might want to incorporate these songs into your daily activities, or, if your work is closed and you are not teaching, share them with parents who are now caring for their children full-time. If you have other songs that you typically sing in your classroom, you might want to share those with parents too! 

How Songs Help Transitions & Routines

When we are doing something less enjoyable,  such as cleaning up legos to get ready for a nap or washing hands before eating snacks, songs can provide a fun distraction.  Transition songs can help kids stay motivated, remember things better, and feel more secure. 

Research from West Virginia University has found that the challenge of transitioning from one activity to the next is much easier for children and teachers when music is used. “Music, when designed and used in a systematic manner, provides a way for students to work through change while maintaining positive engagement with their classmates, teachers, and environments. This, in turn, eases the burden on the teachers, thereby making the process more pleasant for all involved.” 

Songs for Transitions and Routines

Welcome/Good Morning Songs 

Welcome Song: “Hello, everyone, how are you?”

You are Here Today! Welcome Song

Spanish Welcome Song: “Hola Hola”

Washing Hands Song

The Wiggles & Unicef Wash your Hands Song

Wash Your Hands to the Tune of Baby Shark

Wash Your Hands in Spanish to the Tune of La Bamba: “Yo me lavo las manos”

Clean-Up Song

Clean Up Song from Barney

Clean Up Song for Children from Elf Learning

A guardar: Spanish Clean Up Song

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