Five Minute Warning
Another great trick to get kids to cooperate when it's time to change activities or leave a fun event is to give them a "five-minute warning." With older children, this can be a great way to not only help them to transition between activities but also teach the passage of time. With my five year old, I will usually give ten, five, and two minute warnings (that are in keeping with time) so that she can better grasp what a minute really means. With my two year old, I usually give a basic five-minute warning that lets him know that it's time to wind down and get ready to leave. It doesn't always work, but it helps to let them know that the time to leave is coming rather than springing it on them.