Transitions are periods of time when children move from one activity to the next, one school to the next or experience a change or challenging time. It's the period between something finishing and something beginning.
Creating short, smooth transitions throughout the day and throughout a child's life provides more time to be spent on meaningful activities. Good affective transitions allow children and young adults to know and understand what is expected of them and makes these periods of change less of an anxious time.

Transitions children go through in different age groups

0-3 years

Appropriate transitions help children move through the day with ease. At this age range a child is likely to be starting at nursery so their first transition would be leaving mum for the first time. To make this a less worrying time for mum and child a visit should be arranged to the nursery for the child to get used to its surroundings. They can meet their play workers and get used to the new smells and noises.   It's a good idea for the child to spend a short amount of time there at first and extend their stay over time so that when they spend a full day there it won't feel quite so daunting.
Once settled into the setting there are daily transitions:

- Tidy up time
- Circle time
- Leaving circle time
- Wash hands/lunchtime
- Going outside
- Coming inside

Tools to use to make successful transitions are, 5 minute warnings before it is time to tidy up, clean up songs, come inside songs and come sit down songs. Acknowledge that a child is cleaning up and sing their name and what they are cleaning “everybody tidy up, just like Daisy”.

3-7 years

Children aged 3-7 have a better understanding of what is happening. Hopefully they would have had good experiences of being separated and they will adjust more easily. But it is still important that they make visits to the new setting and meet the adults there. It is helpful when moving to infants school...