Picture routine charts reduce parent hassles and teach life skills to kids. Take time to make a visual routine chart for kids and save time each morning to get kids off to school throughout the year.
Choose the Child's Tasks for a Morning Picture Routine Chart
Make a list of the morning tasks your child needs to complete to get ready for school. Be specific so that the expectations are clear to your child. If you want your child to wake up on their own using an alarm clock, be specific and include your expectations in your list.
- Wake Up from Alarm Clock
- Make Bed
- Get Dressed
- Comb Hair
- Eat Breakfast
- Clean Up Breakfast
- Brush Teeth
- Get Backpack
- Leave for School
Decide What Type of Picture Routine Chart is Best
Consider your child's age and any special needs your child has to choose the picture routine chart that is best for your child.
- Preschoolers (ages 3-6): Choose either a vertical routine chart or a flip card picture routine chart.
- School Age Kids and Teens(ages 6 and up): Allow school age children to choose the style of picture routine chart that seems easiest for them to use.
- Children with Dyslexia: Because many children with dyslexia struggle with concepts of left to right, use vertical routine charts or flip style routine charts.
- Children with ADD/ADHD: Because children with ADD and ADHD get overwhelmed with too much visual stimuli, choose a flip card routine chart so that your child can focus on one picture task at a time.
Types of Routine Charts
- Vertical Picture Routine Chart: a routine chart with pictures in order from top to bottom.
- Flip Card Picture Routine Chart: a routine chart with one task on each card (small index cards work well).Punch holes in the cards and loop cards together (using rings or twist ties) in order. Kids complete a picture task and flip the card over to view the next task.
- Horizontal Picture Routine Chart: a routine chart with the pictures in order from left to right.
Make a Morning Picture Routine Chart with Your Child
- Gather supplies for you and your child to make a picture routine chart together. Arrange a time to meet with your child.
- Ask your child to name the things they must do each morning to get ready for school. When kids can't think of anything else to name, ask, "Have you thought about ______?" and refer to the list you created in Making a Morning Picture Routine Chart - Step 1.
- Print, cut out pictures or take photographs and assemble the morning picture routine chart. This can take place over several days.
- Laminate the routine chart or cover with clear contact paper.
Add Pictures and Clip Art to Routine Charts
- Magazines and Catalogues
- Clip Art - Print clip art to represent the steps in the morning routine. Print out free clip art on the free section at DoToLearn.com
- Take Photos - Have the child complete steps of the morning routine while you take photos.
Keep Kids on Task Using a Morning Routine Chart
When kids aren't getting ready for school, instead of nagging, ask questions such as
- "What's next on your routine chart?"
- "What do you need to next?"
- "What needs to happen for you to get ready for school?"
For more tips on creating and using routine charts, parents may read the following articles:
Change takes time. Be patient. After your child uses a morning picture routine chart to get off to school for at least a month, you'll notice that mornings are more peaceful, more structured and that you are dealing with fewer morning hassles.
Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, Rosalyn Duffy, Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: Prima Publishing, 1998.
Nelsen, Jane, Positive Discipline: Ballentine Books, 2006.