I came across a post this week (via Zooglobble) about the benefits of using music as a tool to make transitions and routines easier for young children. Getting dressed, taking a bath, cleaning up, brushing your teeth, nap time, story time, etc. Moving from one activity to another can at times be very frustrating for parents, children, and teachers alike. Music and simple songs help young children make the transition to these activities much smoother. Songs can grab a child's attention, create positive impressions of the new activity, and reduce the stress a young child may feel in stopping an activity that they have settled into comfortably.
The post features an enlightening interview with a music therapist (highly recommended listening). At one point the interviewer notes, "If you sing the words you might say to a child, they are more likely to respond." That's something that I learned early on when teaching young learners. In teaching young second language learners in particular, the music plays a double role of helping to teach new language AND signaling transitions to children who may not otherwise understand the directions of the the teacher due to a limited vocabulary.
Here are some examples of the Clean Up song from Super Simple Songs in action! (note that it works with puppies, too!)