How to Make a Visual Timetable

Mornings were very fraught in our house intil I made this visual timetable!


A visual timetable might help your child with the morning routine

Not a morning person myself I would often get impatient with Natty, trying to coax her into getting dressed and having her teeth done, which often resulted in an exasperated meltdown (sometimes from her, sometimes from me, sometimes from both of us!) 
I would despair at Mia who favoured playing the piano or drawing a Stegasaurus instead of brushing her hair or putting her shoes on.

Visual timetables are well know to be useful for visual learners, and those with short term memory processing issues, as children with Down's Syndrome or Autism. Your school should be using one with your child already.
But here's the secret...they work wonders for the whole family! How much easier to point to a chart, rather than think of what your children should be doing and ask them/ help them to do it. It provides a focus for the whole family and brings in an element of play to tricky activities.

So for us, the school mornings became less of a magical mystery tour, and much more manageable.

There are many ways to make a visual timetable, even software that will do it for you. Here's how I made ours.


You will need

Photographs or drawings of the activities you want to concentrate on. (I printed mine free online)
Scissors
Laminating sheets, adhesive book film or stiff card
A sticky-backed roll of Velcro
A small cloth bag or box

Instructions

1) Select pictures for the key activities. These could be general stages in the morning routine, after school activities that take place over the week or tiny steps in one process such as using the toilet.
2) Cut the pictures to size then have them laminated if possible as they will last a lot longer that way, or glue onto stiff card.
3) Round the corners of each card.
4) Attach pieces of velcro to the back of each card.
5) Decide where you want your visual timetable to be located. Ours is in the bathroom but others find the kitchen, or near the front door helps.
6) When using the visual timetable, as each step is achieved successfully, the child pulls it down and places it in a small bag that you could hang nearby. This means that they automatically see which stage comes next, but putting the card away serves as a reward.

(Oh, by the way, the wash and brush your teeth cards are currently wedged behind the radiator, so nothing is perfect!)

"I'm off to make one for the days of the week, showing a different activity to distinguish each day..."

12 comments:

  1. thank you for all the good information! have a happy day!

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  2. thanks for all the good information an have a happy day!

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    1. Thank you very much. It's early days and I have many ideas and little time ;) But I will try to make it a fab collection. Would you like to share any activities?

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  3. Thanks so much! Been meaning to do this for my kids for ages, now have resources to hand and will look forward to less shouting on schoolday mornings!

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    1. I can't guarantee it's foolproof, just maybe 75% less shouting on a shool morning ;)

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  4. These look wonderful but can I suggest that as she gets better at reading enlarge the words and use Makaton/Widgit symbols. Just to combine reading skills as well. I also used these timetables to great effect for weekly activities which was great in the holidays when time is not so structured and it gave my daughter things to look forward to. BUT you then can't change your mind about what is going to happen!!!!

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    1. Thank you, love the ide of labelling and mix of holiday activites. We label some furniture with words and symbols.

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  5. Hayley, I think you are an amazing role model to all of us parents out there, but I am secretly happy that your brushing teeth card is wedged behind the radiator
    ;-). Thank you x x

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    1. Bless you Alison. I am far from a role model, just forced to find ways to make life work better for Natty. Just so happens they work for all kids :)

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  6. Good afternoon,
    My boyfriend and I run a free teaching resources website called Early Learning HQ and we have a visual timetable here: http://www.earlylearninghq.org.uk/class-management/sen/

    What do you think of ours? Are there any improvements we can make? Maybe you can link to our website if you like our stuff. We make it all in a very small team in Swansea and it would be nice to share it with some new people.

    Thanks,
    Abby

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    1. Looks great. I will link to my essential website page on here and over at Pinterest. Just checking you don't use images from Sparklebox?

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    2. Thanks Abby we are near Cardiff and i'm off to check out your page

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