Think about how you go about your day to day life. When there is chaos and confusion do you feel like your day flows properly? What are some of the strategies you use to organize your day to avoid feeling all over the place? Maybe you use a list? How about a planner or even a calendar reminder? Now, try to imagine someone who doesn’t even have the strategies to organize their days. Candidly speaking, kids need structure and routine to help them get through the day. They rely heavily on parents and caregivers to let them know what the day will entail. It is important for them to know when they’re going to eat, take a bath, or limit their screen time. Because if they were in charge of their day, they would probably do all the fun stuff! You know, like playing PS4, watching Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig on the TV or tablet, or even throwing a messy party in the living room with their toys. You can also tell if kids need help with routines when they are having difficulties transitioning from one task to another. By developing a visual schedule you and the child will be able to see reminders of tasks they need to complete for the day, and possibly the duration of each task/activity. They also help with smooth transitions and lowering inappropriate behaviors because the child will know what task to expect next.
Below are a few ideas of what a visual schedule can look like, but will depend on what works best for you and your child.