Friday, May 11, 2012

"My Day" Schedule Board

I've been struggling lately with my 2.5 year old. She's been really resistant to anything that appears to be a command. Like most 2.5 year olds. Like most humans. She has many opportunities each day to decide independently how to spend her time, but sometimes we need to run to the grocery store, which necessitates wearing more than underwear and 15 necklaces. Or she needs to brush her teeth. Or she needs to not sit on the baby.

I've found that she's a lot more willing to cooperate when she knows the day's schedule and has some warning, rather than, "Hey, get some clothes on. We're going to the store." So I decided to make up a simple schedule board for her. I wish I'd thought to take "in progress" photos, but it was pretty simple.

I started out by making a list of her daily activities (meals, care of self, etc.) and activities we do frequently (story time, grocery shopping, play with toys, read books, art, etc.). I searched free clip art on the internet for pictures to represent each activity. (You could draw the pictures yourself if you're skilled in that area.) I tried to make sure each picture would be easily recognizable to her (so I used a teddy bear to represent story time rather than a picture of a library, since singing "the teddy bear song" is her favorite part of that activity). I printed them out in "coloring book" and colored them in with colored pencils. Then I laminated them with contact paper and stuck the "hook" side of Velcro dots to the back of each picture.

I used a sheet of foam board I had laying around (I think it came from the dollar store) for the board. I wrote out the hours of the day she's awake for (7 am to 7 pm) with a chalk marker and added the "loop" side of Velcro dots beside them. The hours are mostly for my own reference, because she can't tell time yet. On the back, I glued a piece of felt to hold the pictures not in use.

Anyway, here are some pictures that are probably a lot easier to interpret than my sleep-deprived descriptions.

Ride in car to have lunch with Daddy and go grocery shopping.

In the evenings after she's in bed, or the mornings before she wakes up, I fill in the board with any "non-negotiables" (meals, errands, etc.). At breakfast, we decide what activities we'd like to do that day and fill in the rest. We've been using this board for a week now, and I'm really happy with it. I think it'll grow with her, and it's super-easy to maintain.


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