Transition Time


I have really appreciated reading your blog and have been encouraged. I have three little ones 4.5, 2.5 and 16 months.

I am having challenges with "transition time": while I finish lunch clean up is a big one. The toys were put away before lunch, we are getting ready to read before naps, but the little ones are at loose ends while I read to others.

Do you have any suggestions? I try to avoid letting everyone drag out toys because the time can be quick- although if things go haywire, it could be 30-40 minutes before i read to the oldest. What can I give
someone to do while they wait their turn?

I am sure there is an easy solution, I just cannot see it from here in the trenches right now.

Thanks for all your helpful suggestions online. Your time in blogging is certainly appreciated.

~Annie McCorkle

Hi Annie-


Good question! From my vantage point, it seems like you're trying to do separate activities with each one, is that right?


With the ages of your young ones, I would say that the best thing you could do is to keep everyone together and everyone with you as much as possible. I am trying to think back to when I had three the ages of yours- what did I do then? Well, most likely the 16-month-old was confined somehow while I was cleaning the kitchen. He would have been in the high chair with blocks or some other diversion, or in the excer-saucer, or jumper. The two-year-old would have been sitting on our little step stool right at my feet, stacking Tupperware or something similar. And the four-year-old would have been given the title of “assistant”, clearing the table and doing other little helpful tasks- throwing away napkins or trash, wiping down the table, etc.


Once the kitchen was done to a reasonable state (I used to save the deep kitchen cleaning until after dinner when Daddy could supervise the kiddos), we would then all move on to reading and napping. Likely the 16-month-old would be ready to just go right down, while the two and four would be with me on the couch reading and cuddling.


As far as an easy solution, I really believe that keeping your little gang together will be the best thing both short term and long. If having them right near you is a daunting idea, take heart. I myself am an introvert who needs daily solitude and the idea of having my little ones at my side for the better part of the day was not initially appealing. The fruit, however, convinced me that the sacrifice was well worth it. Still is. My littles are at my side or the side of an older sibling most of the time, and my older ones get pulled in from time to time when the need arises. I’ll be blogging on that soon.


Hope that’s helpful!