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8 Transition Rhymes to Keep in Your Parenting Arsenal

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8 Transition Rhymes to Keep in Your Parenting Arsenal

Rebecca Brown-Wright

The biggest tantrums seem to come during transitions.

"Oh, you want me to turn off the TV, and SET THE TABLE?" Suddenly, your adorable child turns into the Hulk, and everybody runs for cover.

It's unpleasant, to say the least.

Our kids' moods can sour faster than a cheetah running the 100-meter dash. What to do to make the transition easier? How can you ensure the mood between: "Hey, stop doing that thing you love," and: "Start doing this other thing" doesn't get destroyed?

Try some transitions to get your kids moving along (happily!). These are admittedly for the younger crowd (what preschooler doesn't love a rhyming game?), but don't be surprised if a preteen or two rolls their eyes and gets in line when you use these silly transition rhymes.

Do You Know What Time It Is?

Sing to the tune of "The Muffin Man." 

Do you know what time it is, what time it is, what time it is?
Do you know what time it is?
It's ____ o'clock in the morning (time to do the dishes/time to finish homework, etc.)

Tidy Up

Sing this to the tune of "Jingle Bells"

Tidy up, tidy up. Put the toys away.
Tidy up, tidy up. We're finished for today.
Tidy up, tidy up. Put the toys away.
For we'll get them out again the next time that we play.

Time to (Do a Chore)

Sing to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It"

It's time to do the dishes in the sink (vacuum the carpet in your room/sweep the floor in the kitchen, etc.)
It's time to do the dishes in the sink
It's time to do the dishes, oh, it's time to do the dishes, oh it's time to do the dishes in the sink

Are You Helping

Sing to the tune of "Frere Jacques"

Are you helping,  
Are you helping
Pick up toys, pick up toys?
Let us all be helpers, 
Let us all be helpers. 
Girls and boys, girls and boys.

If You're Ready

Sing to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It"

If you're ready for a story (for dinner/for your schoolwork, etc.) come sit down.
If you're ready for a story, come sit down.
Let's all gather near, so everyone can hear
If you're ready for a story, come sit down.

The Ants Are Marching off to Bed

Sing to the tune of "The Ants Go Marching"

The ants are marching off to bed... hurrah hurrah!
The ants are marching off to bed... hurrah hurrah!
The ants are marching off to bed
The little ones get a kiss on the head
And they all go marching off... to bed... to have sweet dreams

The Getting Attention Song

Sing to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It"

If you're listening to me, go like this (make a funny face)
If you're listening to me, go like this (do an action that gets them on their feet)
If you’re listening to me, if you’re listening to me, if you’re listening to me- (get up to the table/start your Brili routine/get in the car/get your homework done... as you march to the place they need to be).

Heigh Ho

Sing to the tune of "Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's off to Work We Go"

Heigh Ho Heigh Ho
It's off to chores/bedtime/school we go!
We'll have some fun
Until we're done
Heigh Ho Heigh Ho

Your turn! Tell us what silly things you do to help your kids transition. Leave a comment below, or join our closed Facebook group, Honest Parenting Talk.