Step One: Gather Materials.
- Glue Stick.
- Poster Board.
- Clear Contact Paper.
- Pictures (photographs, pictures from magazines, computer programs, cereal boxes, household supplies, restaurant napkins, placemats, wrappers, etc.)
Step Two: Choose pictures for the schedule the parent wishes to create. Keep in mind that a visual schedule is used to assist children with transitions and anticipating activities throughout the day. It can be as specific or as general as the child needs and can be for various amounts of time. For example, a visual schedule may outline parts of a day, half-day or an entire day.
Step Three: Cut the pictures and poster board squares the same size. Keep in mind the child’s developmental level.
Step Four: Glue the pictures on poster board squares for durability.
Step Five: Laminate or cover the pictures with clear contact paper.
Step Six: Velcro a small piece of Velcro on the back center of each picture. TIP: Always use the same type of Velcro for pictures and the opposite kind for the schedule board.
Step Seven: Create a strip to hold the schedule. Cut out poster board long enough to hold all the pictures for the block of time the user is creating a schedule.
The user may create a pocket at the bottom/end that represents “finished” or “all done.” TIP: If your child visually tracks up and down, the user will want the schedule to be vertical. If the child visually tracks from side to side, the user will want to make a horizontal schedule (horizontal schedules promote reading skills). Laminate the strip, and place a long piece of Velcro down the center.
Step Eight: Velcro the pictures to the schedule in the order they will occur. Teach the child how to use the schedule by explaining and modeling how to use the pictures. Remember to always include changes in the schedule and to review them with the child. When setting up the schedule, the user can either turn the pictures over as they move through the schedule to indicate that the activity is finished, or they can remove the picture entirely from the schedule, and place it in a pocket with the word “finished” on it. If they are going to turn over the picture as they complete each schedule item, make sure to put Velcro on the front without covering the picture/text. This will enable the picture to adhere to the Velcro strip, and then once the day is complete, the user can easily set up the schedule for the next day by turning all the cards back over to show the pictures.
Step Nine: Use the schedule. Keep the schedule located in a convenient place at the child’s eye level, to promote consistent use. Use the schedule as part of their routine.
Step Ten: Celebrate. Acknowledge the child’s success.