Child Adaptation Period: Complete Guide 2024

Child Adaptation Period: Complete Guide 2024

Child Adaptation Period: Complete Guide 2024

The childhood adaptation period is a crucial stage in children's development, as it marks the beginning of their school and social life outside the family environment, but it can become very stressful for our little ones. In the next post we will talk to you in depth about this topic, from what it is, how long it lasts and what it is done for, to what activities are carried out and what advice to follow.

What is the childhood adaptation period?


The childhood adaptation period is a necessary process that a child goes through when faced with a new environment, especially when it involves a separation from their maternal, paternal or primary caregiver figure. In this context, preschool is usually the most common setting where this experience occurs.

Phases of the adaptation period in children

Any period of childhood  maturational delay adaptation is characterized by the experience of different emotional phases, and although they do not have a specific duration and vary depending on each child, they usually occur in a general way in the following order:

Protest phase

This initial phase usually lasts the first days or weeks and is characterized by the open expression of negative emotions. These emotions could present themselves as intense crying, tantrums, tantrums, excessive attachment to parenting style, a strong rejection of school and difficulty separating when having to enter the educational center. The child may appear irritable, discouraged, with a lack of appetite or sleep, and with an evident regression in already acquired skills, such as eating alone or going to the bathroom.

Ambivalence phase

After the initial protest phase, the child begins to experience mixed emotions. In this stage, which can last several weeks, moments of crying and displeasure alternate with others of relative tranquility and acceptance. The child may show interest in some activities or peers, but still presents resistance to separation from parents and moments of irritability or apathy.

Acceptance phase

Finally, gradually, the child begins to adapt to the new environment and accept school as part of his or her routine. This phase is characterized by a decrease in negative emotions and an increase in positive reinforcement ones. The child is more participatory in activities, interacts with his classmates, enjoys school and separates from his parents without major difficulties.

How long does the childhood adaptation period last?

The childhood adaptation period does not have a fixed duration, as we have already said, it depends on each child and various factors such as:

  • Age
  • Personality
  • Previous experiences
  • Quality of interaction at school

In general, it usually lasts between two and six weeks. However, there are children who can adapt in just a few days, while others may need several months, either of which is perfectly normal.

What is done in the child adaptation period?


The goal of the child adaptation period is to facilitate the child's transition to a new environment, new people, new rules, etc. During this time, various strategies and activities are implemented to:

Familiarize the child with the space

To achieve this, guided tours are carried out throughout the different areas, such as multisensory classrooms, the patio, bathrooms, common spaces, and the child is allowed to explore freely.

Establish emotional bonds

Welcome activities and welcome routines are created, such as affectionate welcomes and farewells, and time is dedicated to discovery learning about the individual needs and interests of each child, strengthening the emotional bond with the educators.

Promote autonomy and independence

To encourage children's autonomy, self-care activities such as going to the bathroom alone, washing their hands and eating by themselves are promoted. Additionally, time is provided for free play, allowing children to make decisions and explore their abilities.

Create a safe and stimulating environment

The classroom is organized in an orderly and attractive manner, with accessible and safe materials for play and exploration. Clear and predictable routines are established to provide security and emotional stability.

Collaboration between family and school

Informational meetings are held with parents to communicate the child's progress and offer guidelines to support them at home. Likewise, parents are invited to participate in some school activities, strengthening the bond between family and school.

How is a child's adaptation period evaluated?

The evaluation of a child's adaptation period must be carried out continuously, since it involves the systematic observation of his behavior, emotions and progress in the new environment. Why is it done? Well, it has several objectives, such as monitoring the child's progress, identifying possible problems, informing parents and adjusting the strategies that are being implemented. To evaluate this period what is done is:

Direct observation

Educators observe the child's behavior at different times of the day, such as arrival, activities, free play, and goodbye. Their interactions with peers, educators and the environment, as well as their emotions and mood, are recorded.

Anecdotal records

Specific observations are noted about the child's behavior in specific situations, such as moments of joy, sadness, frustration in children, or difficulty interacting with others.

Observation scales

Standardized tools are used to evaluate different aspects of the child's adaptation, such as their comfort level, participation in activities, social interaction and emotional expression.

Individual meetings

Individual meetings are held with parents to discuss the child's progress, their needs, and the strategies that are being implemented to support their adaptation.

Analysis of the work carried out

The work done by the child in school activities is analyzed to evaluate their level of participation, interest and the development of skills they are having.

Activities for the child adaptation period


The list of activities that are usually done during this period is quite extensive and varied, since they are actually adapted to the needs of the group of children in charge. In any case, the most frequently performed are:

Adaptation activities for children from 1 to 3 years old

  • Sensory games: Offer the child materials with different textures, colors and sounds so that they can explore them freely. This stimulates your senses and familiarizes you with your surroundings.
  • Predictable routines: Establish consistent daily schedules and activities, such as mealtimes, bedtimes, and playtimes, to provide security and emotional stability.
  • Imitation games: Encourage role-playing and imitation of everyday activities, such as cooking, cleaning, or caring for dolls, so that children feel more comfortable with new experiences.

Adaptation activities for children 3 to 4 years old

  • Cooperative games: Encourage group word games that require collaboration, such as building block towers together or solving large puzzles, to teach social and teamwork skills.
  • Stories and dramatizations: Read stories and perform short dramatizations of the stories to help children express their emotions and understand new situations through characters and narratives.
  • Outdoor Time: Plan outdoor activities that include symbolis games and exploration, allowing children to develop gross motor skills and enjoy contact with nature.
  • Group projects: Start small group projects, such as planting a garden or building a model, so that children learn to work together toward a common goal.

Adaptation activities for children 5 to 6 years old

  • Story Reading and Discussion: Read age-appropriate stories and then discuss the stories, characters, and morals to improve reading comprehension and verbal expression skills.
  • Sports activities: Plan simple games and sports such as relay races, soccer or ball games to develop gross motor skills, teamwork and respect for the rules.
  • Structured, free play time: Alternate between guided activities and free play time so children can follow directions and also explore their personal interests.
  • Crafts and art: Provide materials for more complex art projects, such as collage, painting and modeling, encouraging creativity, concentration and hand-eye coordination.
  • Music and rhythm: Incorporate musical activities that include singing, playing simple instruments and following rhythms, promoting musical appreciation and motor coordination.
  • Nature Exploration: Plan excursions and outdoor activities, such as hiking, bug watching, or gardening, to foster a love of nature and learning through exploration.
  • Classroom Responsibilities: Assign small daily or weekly responsibilities, such as being the floor manager or line leader, so that children develop a sense of belonging and responsibility.

Tips to facilitate the adaptation period in a child

During the entire adaptation time, the child will experience different emotions and feelings, so it is essential to pay close attention and listen to them, this way they will feel content and safer. Some other tips to keep in mind during this process are:

  • Visit the school with your child: Familiarize yourself with the environment, classrooms, bathrooms and common spaces to help your child feel more comfortable on the first day.
  • Talk to your child about school in a positive way: Share happy stories about your own school experience and explain the fun things he or she will do at school.
  • Create a routine for saying goodbye and arriving at school: This will help the child know what to expect and feel more secure.
  • Teach him the time: If your little one is old enough to learn the time, teach it with an time teacher watch of Kiddus , this way he will have more of an idea of how long he has to be at school and his anxiety will decrease.

  • Prepare the child's backpack the night before: Assembling the backpack beforehand will help him avoid stress in the morning.
  • Say goodbye to your child with love and safety: Do not delay saying goodbye or convey your own doubts or concerns.
  • Reinforce positive behaviors: Praise your child for their achievements, such as greeting classmates, sharing toys, or participating in school activities.
  • Avoid comparisons: Each child has their own pace of adaptation, do not compare your child with other children.
  • Seek professional help if necessary: If your child has significant difficulties adjusting or if negative emotions persist over time, it is important to seek professional help from a child psychologist or pedagogue.


In conclusion, the period of childhood adaptation is a fundamental moment that significantly influences the well-being and future development of children. We must have the appropriate strategies and advice to turn this stage into a positive and enriching experience. If it is your child who is going through or is about to go through the adjustment period, remember to be patient, understanding and focus on reassuring him that everything is fine, to provide support.

Author: Kiddus Team

At Kiddus we take pride in creating high-quality accessories for kids that are both functional and fashionable. Our team is composed of professionals in the children's industry, including designers, engineers, and child development experts. We work together to create innovative and safe products that meet the needs of both children and parents. With years of experience and a passion for quality, we strive to exceed expectations and bring joy to families around the world.

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