How Simple Sounds Trigger Happy Transitions

Do you ever find it difficult to get a child’s attention when he is in deep play?

It’s tempting to break through by increasing the voice volume. For an even more effective attention-grabber, try using one of these two powerful sound techniques:

  • Sounds Cues
  • Call and Response

Sound Cues 

Use a special sound for each type of routine activity. The sound announces that it is time to clean up, go outside or have a snack.

For example, teach your children that when they hear a certain drum beat, it is time to pick up toys. Or, play a few notes on a recorder to signal that it is time to stop what they are doing and look at you.

Using sounds and instead of words breaks up the monotony of hearing the same phrases or instructions every day. It also saves you from raising your voice or repeating a shushing sound that, as all educators know, easily become “white noise” to children.

Call and Response 

When you need to signal the beginning or ending of an activity, create a musical game, like the ones in these downloadable Chant Cards, that children can play with you. Invite children to join you as you repeat a chant or clap a rhythm. Try clapping as a call and response.

For example, teach children at the beginning of the year that when they hear you clap 3 times (or any other rhythm) they will stop what they are doing and clap 3 times back to you. Continue to clap until all children are participating. You can also clap the syllables to a question prompt, such as (clapping 5 times), “Are you lis-ten-ing?” Children respond (clapping 3 times), “Yes, I am.” Repeat the clap and chant in a softer voice each time until the room is quiet.

The call and response will engage children and capture their attention.

Sounds for Security:

As adults, we sometimes forget how much children love repetition. Repeating the same predictable sound or chant like the examples in these Free Chant Cards each day helps them develop self-confidence surrounding that routine. Children like to know what is coming next. Sound or musical triggers can give children a sense of security and reassure them about what to expect within the daily schedule.

Looking for quick and easy transition chants to use throughout the day?

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 What is Inspired Learning? Inspired Learning is the blog written by the Experience Early Learning Co. – publishers of the Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum – to support all early childhood educators. In addition to preschool curriculum, the Experience Early Learning Co. publishes * children’s books * preschool music & dance and * authentic assessment tools.These materials have been serving child care directorsfamily childcare providers, preschool teachers, homeschoolers and parents of young children since 1984. All materials are crafted to inspire both the educators and the children to experience learning through creative expression, play and open-ended discovery. Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum supports a child’s social-emotional, physical and cognitive development. 



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