04 Oct Manic Mondays Solution # 2: Embrace the Transition Object
Who among us does not have a cell phone? When you forget your cell phone at home – how do you feel? Cell phones are modern day conventional transition objects.
My son has had some unconventional transition objects throughout the years. At three, his favourite was the local newspaper (entertainment section). Later he would carry DVD boxes. As he got older his transition objects became more conventional such as, pen and paper, a computer and then later a cell phone. Transition objects for my child were and are anything that keeps him closely connected to his affinity for animation and movies.
We never discouraged him (even when he was taking newspapers from strangers in the local Starbucks) from carrying a transition object. We found that if he had a preferred transition object in his hands it made all transitions much easier.
At the Friend 2 Friend Play Centre we usually find transitions into play group are not difficult for most of our players, on the contrary they are usually very eager to arrive. However, the transitions out of play group can be a bit trickier. Therefore, we use many strategies to support the smooth transition out of play group, they are:
- We provide a highly predictable routine with a clear beginning, middle and ending
- We use a visual schedule and refer to the schedule throughout play group
- We have a well-defined area for our opening and closing rituals which are located as close to the door as possible
- We provide transition warnings, using transition cues such as songs, PCS, games etc.
- We lessen our language – we only provide language that is absolutely necessary
- We use “first/then” language such as, “first shoes, then stickers”
- We provide redirection by creating and reading a Social Story about what will happen next week, shifting the player’s attention to returning to play group rather than leaving play group. Copies are then given to players as transition objects.
- We will “wait them out” sitting quietly and calmly, not engaging until the player is “ready” to go
- And last, but not least, we provide a second transition object “a sticker” which the players get to choose (last thing before leaving)
Does your child have a transition object? How do you incorporate it into their day? – Please share with us in the comments below.
Want to learn more about the importance of transition objects? Click below: