I have found that creating a visual schedule for toddlers and preschoolers has had several positive effects on our household. In this post, I’m sharing how I made ours and how we use it, plus- there’s a FREE printable so you can make your own!
My toddlers and preschoolers are always REALLY busy little munchkins and they want to move from activity to activity really quickly. As a mom, I found myself having to repeat our schedule over and over throughout the day because they would want to color when we were supposed to be reading or they wanted to go outside when it was chore time. It led to a lot of frustration for me and them until I discovered the genius of a visual schedule!
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The benefits of a visual schedule
The first thing I noticed after implementing a visual schedule in our home was how much more peaceful our days became. The children seemed more content and were eager to place their visual schedule cards in the ‘done’ column. It was fun!
The second thing I noticed was that MY schedule became easier because I was no longer trying to occupy the kids constantly. After all, the schedule told us what to do. Morning, afternoon, and evening routines were all on the schedule and no one argued about it. The schedule became our core guidepost.
Third, we became more productive. When we followed it, all the important things got done. Bible reading, storytime, and fun activities were on the schedule. Preschool lessons and chores got done on time. We remembered to brush our teeth and get outside for fresh air.
Creating a Visual Schedule for Toddlers and Preschoolers
It takes a little bit of time to get it set up, but once you do, your visual schedule will order your child’s day for you. If they want to do puzzles when it is time to do lessons, all you have to do is ask, “What does the schedule say we should do next?” No more chaos! The schedule settles it all. This is how you make one:
You will need:
- Printer, paper and ink
- Your own images of tasks or the download available in this post
- poster board
- A laminator and laminating sheets
- Velcro dots with adhesive backing
- Sharpie Pen
- Print out the images you want to use in your visual schedule, cut to size and laminate.
- On your Poster board, make two columns: To DO, and DONE at the top. On the left side, make three rows: Morning, Afternoon, Evening
- Apply velcro dots to the back of each schedule card and the opposite hook and loop dot to the poster board in the To Do Column. You want to place the cards in the order that you want each task done. For example, in the morning row, the first three tasks for us are: Get up, Eat Breakfast, Get Dressed.
- Finally, apply more velcro dots to the DONE column so that your cards may be placed there as tasks get done each day.
First, explain to your kiddos what the new schedule is and how it is going to work. Then, start working through the tasks. The first week will probably feel a little weird, but I promise, if you stick with it, it will become second nature and the kids will love the sense of accomplishment that they get when they move a card from the To-Do column to the DONE column each day. You will too!
- Don’t be afraid to switch things up if the order isn’t flowing well for your household. I changed when we did our bible time, because it just wasn’t working for us where I had originally placed it . You’ll find your groove that works best for you within the first week or so.
- Be faithful, but not militant about the schedule. Remember, you want this to be a POSITIVE experience for your kiddos. I told my kiddos if they got all their cards to the done column each day for 5 days in a row, then we would bake cookies as a reward. It became a kind of game for them and we really enjoyed it!
- Feel free to add or take aways cards as needed, this is only effective if it is personalized to YOUR family.
Make your own with this FREE Printable! Just enter your information below for an instant download!