Most families have routines or schedules they follow. Sometimes these routines can be a little overwhelming, especially when directing several children, of varying ages, at the same time.
In child care we often utilized picture cues with the children. The visual schedule helped each child know what to do and in what order. It’s also a fabulous tool for children who are forgetful or get easily distracted.How to create and use a picture schedule with children. #parenting Click To Tweet
While encouraging my own children to get ready to go outside, I realized that they were getting confused and lost in the process. My youngest daughter would put on her boots before her snow pants and then would get frustrated that she would have to take off her boots to put her snow pants on.
- It was then that I realized that I could use the transitional tool of visual cues with my children as well!
- The picture schedule I chose to make was a dressing chart.
- First, I took a picture of each item of clothing.
- Next, put it into a collage format on PicMonkey (but you can simply shrink the photos and put them into a regular document).
- I numbered each of the steps (make sure to use a clear, easy-to-read font).
- I printed it out and laminated it (use a great laminator like this one).
- Lastly, I hung the collage on the wall just inside the closet doors
You will have to demonstrate the use of the chart the first few times (i.e. point at the number one and tell them to put on their hoodie, then point to number two and tell them to put on their snow pants, etc.). However, after practicing this process a few times, your children will follow the schedule with ease!
Obviously picture cues can be used to navigate a variety of routines and schedules. A bedtime schedule could consist of: a picture of a tub, then PJs, a photo of a toothbrush, followed by the image of a book, and then their bed. A dinner schedule might show a picture of handwashing, followed by a plate, then the dishwasher, then another picture of hand washing.
Picture schedules help children assert their independence, they help parents accomplish routine objectives, and they are also a learning tool, as they expose children to print and numeracy!
As you can see, there are many benefits to using picture schedules with children and the possibilities are unlimited!