Using poems and chants as transition songs for the classroom is a great way for young children to learn daily routines.

As you come up with a classroom management plan, you will find the use of structure, routine, prompts, and positive reinforcement are key factors.

Whether you are a veteran or first year teacher, you will appreciate these fun songs to keep a positive classroom environment.


Singing is a wonderful way to increase the mood of your classroom.

If relating transition songs for the classroom to brain-based learning, it’s important to know singing releases endorphins, and endorphins are what makes us feel happy.

More specifically, we’re going to focus on how to grab the students’ attention for easier transition times.

Transition Times

If you stop and think about all of the times you have the students transition to the next activity throughout the day, it can be overwhelming.

But, we are teachers. We have superpowers to handle it all. Ok, that may be a bit dramatic, but you know just as much as I do, that teachers are incredible.

Let’s talk about the many times you transition activities during a school day.

The younger your students are, the more brain breaks and transitions they require. This will also help improve your classroom management.

Transition Songs for Kids

Here are a list of common songs elementary teachers use for smooth transitions.

  • hand washing song for bathroom procedures
  • riding the bus
  • Welcome songs
  • Calendar songs / moving into calendar time
  • Good morning songs or hello song
  • clean up songs
  • movement song for brain breaks
  • end of the day
  • beginning of the year or first day of school routines
  • learning about personal space
  • making good choices
  • hallway procedures
  • circle time songs
  • transitioning to story time
  • line up song
  • leaning the child’s name at the beginning of the school year
  • short song for using scissors
  • math meetings
  • dismissal

Hand Washing Song

This is a short chant for young kids to use as a reminder to wash their hands.

Wash hands well each day,

to keep germs away.

Scrub with soap and water,

and be on your way.

Riding the Bus

Teach your kids this new song so they can used to riding the bus, following bus rules, and making a new friend.

We are on the way to school

riding the bus!

We are on the way to school

riding the bus!

We are listening to the driver,

and we are sitting down.

We are on the way to school,

riding the bus!


Grab this fun bus poem, and over 115 poems for the entire year, HERE.

Spread a Little Sunshine Lyrics (Welcome Songs)

This simple song is a powerful tool to help the children start the day with a positive mindset.

Jack Hartmann is a go-to for kid friendly songs to use for different activities throughout the day.

Spread a little sunshine to start this day off right

I’m gonna spread a little sunshine with my own special light.

Spread my light with my hands, I can clap. (hands I can clap)

Toes I can tap. (toes I can tap)

Eyes I can wink (eyes I can wink)

Brain I can think (brain I can think)

Hands I can shake (hands I can shake)

Friends I can make (friends I can make)

I’m gonna let my light shine all around.

All around.

Oh, I’m gonna let my light shine all around.

We Won’t Be Late

Change is cool, change is grand,

Moving on, hand in hand.

We’ll explore and we’ll create,

With smiles on, we’ll never be late!

Good Morning Songs (Lyrics)

Again, written by Jack Hartmann, this little song is a sure way to have a fun time singing good morning with the kids.

Have a Good Morning, Have a Good Day Song

Have a good morning.

Have a good day.

Do your very best as we work and play.

Have a good morning.

Have a good day.

Be kind and helpful.

Put a smile on your face.

Everybody clap your hands.

Clap your hands. Clap your hands with all of your friends.

Clap your hands. Clap your hands.

Have a good morning.

Have a good day.

Everybody sway your hips.

Sway your hips

Sway your hips with all of your friends.

Sway your hips

Sway your hips

Have a good morning.

Have a good day.

Everybody swing your arms.

Swing your arms

Swing your arms with all of your friends.

Swing your arms

Swing your arms

Have a good morning.

Have a good day.

Rise and Shine by Dr. Jean

While teaching kindergarten, I started almost everyday off with Dr. Jean songs.

I absolutely love her tone and energy, and so did the kids. Here’s a fun song to sing during morning meeting to greet the kids.

Rise and shine

and welcome to school today.

Rise and shine

and welcome to school today.

Rise and shine

and welcome to school today,

we’re so glad you’re here.

Clean-Up Songs

For preschool and kindergarten, clean up songs are an effective way for quick transitions when it’s time for kids to clean up their area or center, and quickly return to the carpet for a whole class activity.

This song was passed on to me years ago. The author is unknown, but you can search on Pinterest and find this song redone on several printables.

Sung to the classic nursery rhyme, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

If you’ve been around Little Learning Corner for a while, you know much I LOVE teaching kids how to read using nursery rhymes.

Here is a printable resource with the most popular nursery rhymes, and a blog post with the popular nursery rhyme lyrics.

Twinkle twinkle little star,

time to clean up where you are.

Put the toys back in their space,

keep a smile on your face.

Twinkle twinkle little star,

time to clean up where you are.


Clean up, clean up,

everybody, everywhere.

Clean up, clean up,

everybody do their share.

Line Up Songs

Getting young children to line up in a straight line, facing the front, with their hands to themselves can be a challenging task.

Here is a wonderful way to turn what could be chaotic into a great time. You can also use colorful spots to mark where the kids should stand.

The spot markers will help with personal space. You can check out more items that are included in my Classroom Must-Haves, HERE.

Ready for the Hall

My hands are hanging by my side.

I’m standing straight and tall.

My eyes are looking straight ahead.

I’m ready for the hall.

Say No More

Eyes on the door.

Feet on the floor.

Hands at my side,

and say to more.

Tootsie Roll Stop

Tootsie roll,


We’ve been talking,

now we stop.

Line Right Up

Line line line right up

Line up in a row

Quietly quietly quietly quietly

Out the door we go!

Ninja’s On the Street

Peanut butter lips

and marshmallow feet.

Quieter than a ninja

walking down the street.

Circle Time Songs

When it’s time to bring the whole class together to teach important concepts, you can start singing this song to get the students’ attention.

Then, rather than talking to one another, they will sing along and begin making their way to the carpet area.

I loved when this call and response song would fall into place, and would reward them with a smelly-spot on their hand.

You can read more about how I use Chapstick to reinforce positive behavior, here.

Teacher: Hey, kids, it’s carpet time.

Kids: Hey, Mrs. ____, it’s carpet time.

Teacher: Are you ready?

Kids: We are ready?

Teacher: Come to the carpet.

Kids: We are at the carpet.

Teacher: Hands in your lap.

Kids: Hands in my lap.

Teacher: It’s carpet time.

Kids: It’s carpet time.

Personal Space Songs

Since the pandemic, there has been a big emphasis on teaching kids about personal space. I found this cute song about personal space on pinterest.

Walking in a line

I have a space bubble.

When I get out of my space,

POP goes the bubble.

I keep my personal space

in front and behind me.

I help keep my body safe.

I stay in my bubble.

Scissors Song for Learning How To Cut

Practicing cutting on a regular basis will help build the children’s fine motor skills.

Open, shut

Open, shut

That’s the way we cut, cut, cut.

Fingers on the bottom,

thumb on top.

Do not let the paper drop.

Open, shut

Open, shut

That’s the way we cut, cut, cut.


Name Song (Transition Songs for the Classroom to Learn Names)

At the beginning of the school year, we would do activities to learn each others’ names and name writing activities.

I found a cute set of bumble bee cutouts, and wrote each students’ name on a bee. Then we would sing the Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee song.

We would sit in a circle, every kid would hold on to their name card, and we would pass around the Queen Bee.

For each student, we would sing the following song.

Since I had over 25 students in my class, I would break this up into several times throughout the day to get to the whole class.

Hickety pickety bumble bee,

Won’t you say your name for me? (child says name)

Hickety pickety bumble bee,

won’t you clap your name for me? (clap syllables)

Hickey pickety bumble bee,

Won’t you whisper your name for me? (child whispers name)

Pass the queen bee to the next person in the circle.

If you don’t have a queen bee, you could use a stuffed animal, or do a random selection of student names.


Dismissal Song for End of the Day

Sung to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”

Pack, pack,

pack up my backpack.

Clean, clean

clean up my things.

Help, help,

help friends in need.

Pack up my things,

it’s time to go home!


Math Meeting Songs

Engaging kids with familiar tunes is a fun way to start your math meetings.

When we come together for math, we sing songs and engage in fun math talks before starting what’s next on the lesson plan.

Rote counting is the foundation of early math skills taught in preschool, prek, kindergarten, and first grade.

Since rote counting to 100 and 120 is a common core math standard, it’s a good idea to start your meetings off with a fun counting song.

Jack Hartmann has a counting to 100 song and video that incorporates movement. As we know, movement also increase brain neuron connectivity!

I hope you enjoyed these transition songs for the classroom.  If you have a favorite, and want to share, type it in the comments below!

Before you go, here are a few blog posts you will enjoy:

122 Knock Knock Jokes Kids Love

The BEST tip for cut and pate activities

Benefits of Math Talks with Kids

115 Fun Poems for Kids

Fun Sight Word Activities


Transition Songs for the Classroom