A meaningful learning activity for many wee ones is sticking to a visual schedule. Creating a visual schedule for your child is simple and can really help your little one with routine and change.
I decided to create a visual schedule for my 3 year old because he was having some trouble with his routine. He would get up from his rest time (at around 2:00 pm) and ask for breakfast, or ask if it was tomorrow. Clearly a bit confused. He was also beginning to struggle with bedtime, having trouble with getting his pajamas on and settling in for stories.
We use our visual schedule to show the order in which things will happen. It is a visual reminder of what our day looks like.
Making this schedule is very easy:
- construction paper
- little pictures
- velcro (or tape)
- clear shelf liner (optional)
To begin I wrote down all of the things I would want on our schedule. I did this over one day, jotting down the little changes in routine or activities we generally do in a day. Our schedule includes pictures for: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack, Outside play, Inside play, Quiet play, Story time, Colouring/Art, Movie/TV, Mommy and Sammy Learning Time, Bike, Cooking, Car, Shopping, Daddy coming home from work, Getting dressed, Pajamas, Brushing teeth, Bath, Bedtime, etc.
Next I found each picture using Microsoft Clip Art and printed them. You could also find them in Google Images. The simpler the pictures the better. Here are the ones we used: Visual Schedule Pictures
I then cut out these pictures and glued them onto construction paper and then cardboard. You could simply use cardboard too. I covered with clear shelf liner (which I love and purchase at the Dollar Store – it is my at home cheap and simple laminater).
After I attached velcro to the back of each picture and put the other side of the velcro onto the construction paper (which I had also fake laminated using shelf paper). You could make this look very fancy and beautiful. But … I didn’t.
That’s it! We added magnets and keep it on the fridge. I update the schedule before I go to bed for what our day will look like in the morning and then again during rest time. (we schedule until rest and then after rest until bed).
Having a visual schedule has helped immensely with my wee one knowing when he is to do what. He loves removing the pictures when he has completed the activity. He also loves checking the schedule each morning. I think it is very reassuring for him knowing the plan of the day.
Math: Consider asking your child basic counting questions, such as:
How many activities are there before lunch?
How many activities are in between Quiet Time and Outside Time?
What activity comes before Art?
What activity comes after Snack?
Reading: This is a great time to introduce (or re-visit) the words First, Then, Next, Finally. For example:
What activity comes First?
Then what will be do?
What activity is Next?
Finally, our morning will end with what activity?
I also write the words underneath the pictures (since I fake laminate my paper, I use washable markers and it comes right off). You could ask your child questions about the words. Pre-readers will like this activity, as they are reading the pictures. Questions can range dramatically depending on your child’s reading level. For example:
Which activity starts with the sound “L”?
Which activity starts with the letter “L”?
Which activity rhymes with “Munch”?
Which activity has two syllables?
Which activity has the letter “H” at the end?
These activities can turn into fun games if your wee ones like them. My daughter always loved solving mysteries!
Thank you for reading friends, I hope you are having a lovely week!
You might also like these activities for your preschoolers