Switch from Binaries to Forex – Tips and Tricks for a smooth transition

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  • Binarium
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    1st Place! Best Binary Broker 2020!
    Best Choice for Beginners — Free Education + Free Demo Acc!
    Sign-up and Get Big Bonus:

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    2nd place! Good choice!

Contents

Best tips for binary traders to transition into FX trading

The age of trading Binaries is coming to a close as more and more financial regulators are starting to ban the activity. Although there are some cases where companies offer actual good opportunities to trade binaries, the bulk of the market eventually turns out to be either a scam or something unprofitable. If you are a binary trader and are looking for new opportunities then FX is your best bet. Let’s look at what’s best to do when you are switching.

Learn order types

When starting out in Forex you will notice that contrary to the single trading style with Binaries, it has several orders you can make, according to the type of trade you are planning. In most cases, you’ll find guides on FX broker websites and their education pages. There are a lot of orders, but let’s cover the most important ones.

Market Order

This is the order that allows you to buy at the best available price. For example, if the bid price on EUR/USD is 1.2048, and the ask is 1.2050, you’ll be able to buy it at the 1.2050 price point. No machinations whatsoever. This is probably the most popular order type as it guarantees the absence of any unnecessary costs.

Stop Loss

A stop-loss is pretty much self-explanatory. For example let’s say that you just made a trade on the EUR/USD at a price of 1.2050, however, your predictions for the future were wrong and the price is now falling down to 1.2040. Thankfully, before making the trade, you set a stop-loss order on the 1.2045 point. Meaning that the moment the price hits that mark, your position will be closed and you will avoid any further losses. Yes, it’s never good to lose on a trade, but it’s best to limit your losses as much as possible. Besides the stop-loss order helps you not be attached to your screen 24/7 and helps you relax a lot more, knowing that even if things go wrong, you won’t lose much.

Take Profit

The take-profit order is also self-explanatory. It guarantees that if a price reaches a certain point, the position will be closed and you will immediately be able to take the profits. But why limit your profits? Isn’t trading about making as much money as possible? Well, yes but look at it this way. You set the take-profit order at 1.2060, knowing full well that the price will not surpass it. When the price hits that mark, your order is stopped and you make some money, but as soon as it hits the 1.2060 the price starts falling immediately. As you can see a human wouldn’t be able to have such quick reflexes and a take-profit order does. It basically helps you to ensure you’re in the green.

Study the brokers

Binary options brokers usually provide you with the same business model and features. With Forex brokers it’s completely different as their services vary drastically. You see finding a good FX broker that won’t scam you isn’t hard, but finding a Binary broker with the same features may be challenging. Therefore the binaries would copy the most trusted brokers to at least seem familiar. While FX brokers have a plethora of possibilities. Things that you need to pay attention to when studying an FX broker:

  1. Regulation
  2. Spreads
  3. Leverage
  4. Withdrawals & Deposits
  5. Minimum Deposits
  6. Bonuses
  7. Customer Support
  8. Provided analysis tools
  9. Software

And etc. There are a lot of things to pay attention to. These are the basics that you need to know. As to why you need to switch from Binary Options trading is up to you. But in my humble opinion, it’s the best decision you’ll ever make, both for your mind and wallet.

Conclusion

As you can see there aren’t too many details when it comes to learning FX trading. But remember that it is way more complicated than Binaries. When comparing the two, FX may seem like a jungle of information, but remember that it is safer, more effective and most certainly more rewarding. Start with the two I listed above and the next step will open itself up for sure.

10 Calming Techniques and Transition Strategies for Kids

Today, we’re taking a closer look at calming techniques and transition strategies that can help prevent tantrums in kids.

*This post contains affiliate links. Read more.

If you’ve worked with kids for awhile, you know all about transitions and transition strategies and calming techniques during transitions…those little magic tricks that creative teachers, therapists, caregivers, and others have invented to help prevent tantrums and promote self-regulation when kids need to move from one activity to another throughout the day.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    1st Place! Best Binary Broker 2020!
    Best Choice for Beginners — Free Education + Free Demo Acc!
    Sign-up and Get Big Bonus:

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    2nd place! Good choice!

Before I had my own kids, I used these strategies primarily with my students at school who had autism or other special needs that contributed to challenging behaviors during transition times. But, as time went on and I became an auntie and then, a few years later, a mom, I realized…”Wait a minute…these little tricks work with all kids!”

Like when we have to leave those beloved Legos behind in the morning to go to school or when it’s time to leave Grandma’s and they just don’t want to go home!

I won’t say that these strategies are 100% fail-proof, but I do know from experience that it feels really good to be prepared with a handful of ideas that can help ward off a potential tantrum when the going gets tough. Here are some of my favorite ideas and therapy tools for transitions…

10 Calming Techniques & Transition Strategies for Kids

1 || Make it clear to the child how much longer the activity will last.

Try using a visual timer. Bring the child’s attention to it when you set it and keep referring to it throughout the activity (e.g. “Look! We have 2 minutes left!”)

Offer a set number of turns with the activity before moving on and then count them out clearly (e.g. 10 more pushes on the swing, 3 more turns with the toy, etc.).

Give lots of warnings for how long the child has left to participate in the activity.

2 || Make sure the child knows and understands what is coming next and give her something to look forward to!

Picture schedules are perfect for this. Set up a visual schedule showing the child several steps of her day (e.g. get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, go to school) either in pictures or, if your child can read, using words. This Visual Schedule Planner app looks awesome too. Try to alternate between non-preferred and preferred activities so that the child sees that she has positive things to look forward to throughout the day.

As much as you possibly can, stick to your schedule like glue until it’s an easy routine for the child. If a child is struggling a great deal with transitions, try breaking it down into even simpler terms with a “First…Then” chart, showing that first the child must complete one activity before moving on to a more preferred activity.

You can find pictures of common everyday activities on sites like do2Learn, or if you have access to Boardmaker, you can find pretty much any picture under the sun.

3 || Use a transition object or toy.

Sometimes, bringing a favorite object along for the transition is comforting for a child.

Frequently, when I pick kids up to bring them to therapy groups, they will be playing with a favorite toy (cars, trains, blocks). Whenever I can, I allow the child to bring one of whatever they’re playing with along for the walk to therapy.

We make a special place for them to “park” their toys during therapy and they can pick them up when they’re finished. This also works for the bathroom – they can park their toy in the hallway outside and pick it up on their way back to class. I use this one with my kids at home on a daily basis. If they’re playing with Lego bricks and we have to run to the store – they can bring one Lego guy or vehicle along for the ride. Easy!

Try using a special toy, book, or other object that can be designated for use only on the bus ride to/from school if these are a difficult times of day. Sometimes this is all it takes!

4 || Practice the art of distraction.

I learned this calming technique from a true master of childcare…my grandmother! Staring into the face of a potential tantrum because your therapy session is over and it’s time to go back to class, or because you’re at the park and it’s time to go home?

Out come the bubbles! Yep…throw a little container of bubbles in your purse, pocket, or therapy bag and you’re in business. Can your kiddo stomp bubbles all the way to the car? Can they run through the bubbles to get all the way to the therapy room? Works like a charm.

Singing also tends to work wonders for distraction during transitions as well as movement activities that get you from point A to point B (e.g. “Can we hop all the way to the sink to wash our hands?”). I often hold my kids under their arms and “jump” them all the way to therapy (or the bathroom, or wherever else we need to go)! Or, we’ll play catch with a bean bag or bat a balloon back and forth as we move through the hallway. Lots of smiles and lots of successful transitions!

Have a child who struggles with transitioning in the hallway with his class? Bring along a big building block or other object to use as an obstacle. Place it on the floor and have the whole line of kids jump over it as they pass by – bring it back to the front of the line and repeat! Bring along a jump rope and have the entire line limbo under it or jump over it as they walk by.

5 || Make a sensory “pit stop”.

At our school, we have a mini trampoline strategically located in the hallway – actually, we just have no space so there’s nowhere else to keep it :) … but it actually works to our advantage. When kids are transitioning to the gym or to and from the bathroom or even to get on the bus at the end of the day, they can stop off with an adult to jump for a few minutes.

This could work with any sensory activity. If there’s a place in the hallway to leave a tactile bin, a few resistance bands, and a container of Theraputty – this is a great opportunity for kids to do a little “sensory drive-by” as they transition in the halls and it’s usually a good motivator too! Try these heavy work activities for small spaces.

6 || Have a consistent way of signaling that an activity is over.

Try singing a consistent song that lets kids know that a transition is coming – like a “Line Up” song or a “Clean Up” song. In some classrooms where I work, the teacher simply puts on a CD with kids music to let everyone know that it’s time to transition to the carpet for circle time. In other classrooms, they turn off the lights to show that one activity is ending and a new one is beginning. If there is a specific kiddo who is struggling with transitions, make it his job to turn off the lights, turn on the music, or lead the song.

I also have a lot of kids that simply like to make sure all of the pieces of the activity are cleaned up and put away before we can move on to the next thing. I think they like the feeling of completion and the clear indication that the activity is really over. All of these ideas can work at home too! Sing or play a specific song to show that it’s time to get dressed in the morning or time to get in the bath. Check out this Bedtime March to motivate little ones to head to bed!

7 || Make “wait” time less miserable and confusing.

Wait time: every kid’s worst nightmare. It’s boring, it’s confusing, and it’s usually kind of abstract. Kids hate it. My best advice is to minimize the amount of time kids spend waiting for the next activity to begin (see #10 regarding being prepared and organized!).

On the flip side, sometimes having to wait is inevitable. Why not give kids some tools to make it a little more bearable? One of my favorite speech therapists used to sing the “Waiting Song” (a comforting little tune she made up herself) to kids who were getting restless all lined up at the door waiting to go out into the hallway. Movement breaks and sensory activities like the ones discussed in #5 are also great time fillers.

Fidget toys and simple hands-on tasks (e.g. beads for stringing, adapted books, this cool fine motor threading activity, and this fun fine motor task) are also great tools for keeping little hands busy during downtime, whether you’re at home, at school, at the doctor’s office, or sitting at a table at a restaurant.

Visual prompts are also essential for wait times. Again, a visual timer can work wonders to show that the waiting is almost over! Or try a simple visual cue or sign that says “STOP” or “WAIT”.

8 || Don’t rush it.

If you know that a child is going to struggle with an upcoming transition, give him/her (and yourself) LOTS of extra time to make the switch from one activity to another. Most of these transition strategies take time, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of wiggle room. If you make it to your destination or get to the next activity early (hooray for you!), refer back to #7 (waiting!).

9 || Practice makes perfect.

Social stories are great for easing anxiety over new or difficult transitions. They allow kids to mentally “practice” the transition in a calm, non-threatening way. We use these in the classroom and then send the same social stories home for families to read in the evenings too.

Patience is key. Kids aren’t going to learn to make new transitions unless they have consistent practice – sometimes for many days (or weeks).

10 || Consistency, structure, and organization are key!

My favorite motto when it comes to working with kids…be prepared! Lulls in the action, waiting time, lots of shuffling around of papers/materials are all great ways to lose kids’ attention and invite problem behaviors.

The teachers and parents I’ve seen who have the best success with transitions are the most structured and consistent. Shoot for making the same set of transitions at the same times throughout the day as much as possible. This creates a comfortable backdrop for introducing new activities and transitions when necessary.

Clearly defined spaces and work areas also help. For example, try a specific area for homework at home, or a specific place where the child can find his clothes and get dressed in the morning. In the classroom, our teachers paint shapes on the floor or use tape marks to show kids where to line up. They also have defined spaces and activities for kids who finish snacktime early (e.g. puzzles or books on the carpet, sensory table, etc.).

What are your favorite calming techniques and transition strategies to use with kids? Leave them in the comments below!

9 Tips for New Traders to Trade Binary Options

From earning a little extra money to making a full time living, or making a lot of money in a short span of time, binary options trading is an excellent way to achieve all of this. As it slowly gains popularity all throughout the world, thousands are making good money with little or no prior knowledge of the subject, however, binary options trading isn’t a cake walk: success can be achieved and risks can be minimized by following the tips mentioned below:

9 Tips for New Traders to Trade Binary Options

  1. The first and foremost advice to be given to any beginner trader is to select a good binary options broker for your help in this field. A good broker, who knows his work, makes all the difference. There are various comparison websites available to make this choice easier for new traders, so one can quite easily consult these websites and choose a good binary options broker of their choice.
  2. Secondly, it is advisable to increase your knowledge in the field of binary options trading and to know that there is always more to learn. There are training courses available for imparting binary options trading knowledge to new traders. Reading new books on the subject matter and discussing with other traders about the matter also adds to the benefit. This type of trading is a constantly-evolving experience, hence knowledge on the matter is ever expanding.
  3. Thirdly, trading long term serves better returns, and binary options trading is a long term activity. Developing a long term plan for your binary trading and playing the right cards will ensure that you ultimately come out on top. Resist the temptation to get drawn into fads that do not fit into your overall strategies and strictly stick to your drawn plans.
  4. Fourth is to reduce your risks by resisting the urge to over-invest. Beginners tend to get carried away to make that one big score but they must employ some self control as that may be a game changer. New traders lose more money by getting carried away and over investing. Binary options brokers advise to invest not just with courage but also with rational thinking.
  5. Fifth, it is essential to keep a clear head while making any decisions about binary options trading. Beginners should avoid trading when they are emotionally disturbed, as emotions can create havoc with your trading. It is very easy to make the wrong decisions in an emotional state, so it is advisable to stay away from any form of trading until you’ve calmed down and cleared your mind.
  6. Prepping yourself before trading in binary options is the sixth advice. Studying the market and viewing graphs over time can help new traders predict behavior of any binary options asset, thereby helping them to make well-informed decisions.
  7. Another very important piece of advice would be to keep apprised of trading news. Keeping ears and eyes open to catch breaking news about the market condition can get the binary options trader a clear view of current situations, making it easier for him to trade during market crashes. By understanding the root cause for market changes, the new trader can help corner the market when it rallies or crashes.
  8. Hedging trades against each other just ends up decreasing the statistical probability of earning more profits as opposed to increasing them.
  9. Last, but not least, it is very important to have fun while trading binary options. Beginning binary options traders must ensure that it does not become a bore or a drag; if a trader has fun while trading, then he or she will be naturally inclined towards it and will pay more attention and make better decisions, thereby increasing profits.
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More by this author

Marie Nelson

More by this author

Marie Nelson
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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Serial entrepreneur and working towards Early Retirement Read full profile

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Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

Table of Contents

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

10 Calming Techniques and Transition Strategies for Kids

Today, we’re taking a closer look at calming techniques and transition strategies that can help prevent tantrums in kids.

*This post contains affiliate links. Read more.

If you’ve worked with kids for awhile, you know all about transitions and transition strategies and calming techniques during transitions…those little magic tricks that creative teachers, therapists, caregivers, and others have invented to help prevent tantrums and promote self-regulation when kids need to move from one activity to another throughout the day.

Before I had my own kids, I used these strategies primarily with my students at school who had autism or other special needs that contributed to challenging behaviors during transition times. But, as time went on and I became an auntie and then, a few years later, a mom, I realized…”Wait a minute…these little tricks work with all kids!”

Like when we have to leave those beloved Legos behind in the morning to go to school or when it’s time to leave Grandma’s and they just don’t want to go home!

I won’t say that these strategies are 100% fail-proof, but I do know from experience that it feels really good to be prepared with a handful of ideas that can help ward off a potential tantrum when the going gets tough. Here are some of my favorite ideas and therapy tools for transitions…

10 Calming Techniques & Transition Strategies for Kids

1 || Make it clear to the child how much longer the activity will last.

Try using a visual timer. Bring the child’s attention to it when you set it and keep referring to it throughout the activity (e.g. “Look! We have 2 minutes left!”)

Offer a set number of turns with the activity before moving on and then count them out clearly (e.g. 10 more pushes on the swing, 3 more turns with the toy, etc.).

Give lots of warnings for how long the child has left to participate in the activity.

2 || Make sure the child knows and understands what is coming next and give her something to look forward to!

Picture schedules are perfect for this. Set up a visual schedule showing the child several steps of her day (e.g. get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, go to school) either in pictures or, if your child can read, using words. This Visual Schedule Planner app looks awesome too. Try to alternate between non-preferred and preferred activities so that the child sees that she has positive things to look forward to throughout the day.

As much as you possibly can, stick to your schedule like glue until it’s an easy routine for the child. If a child is struggling a great deal with transitions, try breaking it down into even simpler terms with a “First…Then” chart, showing that first the child must complete one activity before moving on to a more preferred activity.

You can find pictures of common everyday activities on sites like do2Learn, or if you have access to Boardmaker, you can find pretty much any picture under the sun.

3 || Use a transition object or toy.

Sometimes, bringing a favorite object along for the transition is comforting for a child.

Frequently, when I pick kids up to bring them to therapy groups, they will be playing with a favorite toy (cars, trains, blocks). Whenever I can, I allow the child to bring one of whatever they’re playing with along for the walk to therapy.

We make a special place for them to “park” their toys during therapy and they can pick them up when they’re finished. This also works for the bathroom – they can park their toy in the hallway outside and pick it up on their way back to class. I use this one with my kids at home on a daily basis. If they’re playing with Lego bricks and we have to run to the store – they can bring one Lego guy or vehicle along for the ride. Easy!

Try using a special toy, book, or other object that can be designated for use only on the bus ride to/from school if these are a difficult times of day. Sometimes this is all it takes!

4 || Practice the art of distraction.

I learned this calming technique from a true master of childcare…my grandmother! Staring into the face of a potential tantrum because your therapy session is over and it’s time to go back to class, or because you’re at the park and it’s time to go home?

Out come the bubbles! Yep…throw a little container of bubbles in your purse, pocket, or therapy bag and you’re in business. Can your kiddo stomp bubbles all the way to the car? Can they run through the bubbles to get all the way to the therapy room? Works like a charm.

Singing also tends to work wonders for distraction during transitions as well as movement activities that get you from point A to point B (e.g. “Can we hop all the way to the sink to wash our hands?”). I often hold my kids under their arms and “jump” them all the way to therapy (or the bathroom, or wherever else we need to go)! Or, we’ll play catch with a bean bag or bat a balloon back and forth as we move through the hallway. Lots of smiles and lots of successful transitions!

Have a child who struggles with transitioning in the hallway with his class? Bring along a big building block or other object to use as an obstacle. Place it on the floor and have the whole line of kids jump over it as they pass by – bring it back to the front of the line and repeat! Bring along a jump rope and have the entire line limbo under it or jump over it as they walk by.

5 || Make a sensory “pit stop”.

At our school, we have a mini trampoline strategically located in the hallway – actually, we just have no space so there’s nowhere else to keep it :) … but it actually works to our advantage. When kids are transitioning to the gym or to and from the bathroom or even to get on the bus at the end of the day, they can stop off with an adult to jump for a few minutes.

This could work with any sensory activity. If there’s a place in the hallway to leave a tactile bin, a few resistance bands, and a container of Theraputty – this is a great opportunity for kids to do a little “sensory drive-by” as they transition in the halls and it’s usually a good motivator too! Try these heavy work activities for small spaces.

6 || Have a consistent way of signaling that an activity is over.

Try singing a consistent song that lets kids know that a transition is coming – like a “Line Up” song or a “Clean Up” song. In some classrooms where I work, the teacher simply puts on a CD with kids music to let everyone know that it’s time to transition to the carpet for circle time. In other classrooms, they turn off the lights to show that one activity is ending and a new one is beginning. If there is a specific kiddo who is struggling with transitions, make it his job to turn off the lights, turn on the music, or lead the song.

I also have a lot of kids that simply like to make sure all of the pieces of the activity are cleaned up and put away before we can move on to the next thing. I think they like the feeling of completion and the clear indication that the activity is really over. All of these ideas can work at home too! Sing or play a specific song to show that it’s time to get dressed in the morning or time to get in the bath. Check out this Bedtime March to motivate little ones to head to bed!

7 || Make “wait” time less miserable and confusing.

Wait time: every kid’s worst nightmare. It’s boring, it’s confusing, and it’s usually kind of abstract. Kids hate it. My best advice is to minimize the amount of time kids spend waiting for the next activity to begin (see #10 regarding being prepared and organized!).

On the flip side, sometimes having to wait is inevitable. Why not give kids some tools to make it a little more bearable? One of my favorite speech therapists used to sing the “Waiting Song” (a comforting little tune she made up herself) to kids who were getting restless all lined up at the door waiting to go out into the hallway. Movement breaks and sensory activities like the ones discussed in #5 are also great time fillers.

Fidget toys and simple hands-on tasks (e.g. beads for stringing, adapted books, this cool fine motor threading activity, and this fun fine motor task) are also great tools for keeping little hands busy during downtime, whether you’re at home, at school, at the doctor’s office, or sitting at a table at a restaurant.

Visual prompts are also essential for wait times. Again, a visual timer can work wonders to show that the waiting is almost over! Or try a simple visual cue or sign that says “STOP” or “WAIT”.

8 || Don’t rush it.

If you know that a child is going to struggle with an upcoming transition, give him/her (and yourself) LOTS of extra time to make the switch from one activity to another. Most of these transition strategies take time, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of wiggle room. If you make it to your destination or get to the next activity early (hooray for you!), refer back to #7 (waiting!).

9 || Practice makes perfect.

Social stories are great for easing anxiety over new or difficult transitions. They allow kids to mentally “practice” the transition in a calm, non-threatening way. We use these in the classroom and then send the same social stories home for families to read in the evenings too.

Patience is key. Kids aren’t going to learn to make new transitions unless they have consistent practice – sometimes for many days (or weeks).

10 || Consistency, structure, and organization are key!

My favorite motto when it comes to working with kids…be prepared! Lulls in the action, waiting time, lots of shuffling around of papers/materials are all great ways to lose kids’ attention and invite problem behaviors.

The teachers and parents I’ve seen who have the best success with transitions are the most structured and consistent. Shoot for making the same set of transitions at the same times throughout the day as much as possible. This creates a comfortable backdrop for introducing new activities and transitions when necessary.

Clearly defined spaces and work areas also help. For example, try a specific area for homework at home, or a specific place where the child can find his clothes and get dressed in the morning. In the classroom, our teachers paint shapes on the floor or use tape marks to show kids where to line up. They also have defined spaces and activities for kids who finish snacktime early (e.g. puzzles or books on the carpet, sensory table, etc.).

What are your favorite calming techniques and transition strategies to use with kids? Leave them in the comments below!

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