Imagine that you are in the middle of your favorite hobby – cooking, reading, running, knitting, whatever. As you are deep into your activity, someone comes along and tells you, “Pack it up. We’ve got something else to do.” You’d be a little ticked off, huh?
When children have enough time to become deeply engaged in their play, they need a little warning before it’s time to switch. In our room, the easiest way is to turn off the lights and say, “I need your eyes and hands.” (They look at me and show me their hands.) Then, “We have five more minutes to play, then we need to clean up for ______. Five more minutes. Thank you.” It lets them know that we are almost done, but there’s still time to finish that block building, read another story, work on the painting, etc.