Visual schedules are a wonderful way to set your day up for success. They give children a clear idea of what the sequence and expectations of the day are. For young children and children with special needs, this is highly important. I’ve found that showing my kids the plan for the day helps our day run more smoothly.
Today I’m excited to share with you my brand new visual schedule cards. And it’s a free printable! This was designed to use with toddlers, but would also be great for preschoolers, children with autism or SPD, and children with other special needs.
I love how these schedule cards turned out! I hired a friend to create the clip art for these cards so they are unique. There are 22 cards, along with blank cards that you can write or draw on.
Visual schedules are static, meaning they remain present after words are spoken. Children can refer to them to understand what is coming next in the day. Regular routines are learned more easily when it is represented visually.
How to use Visual Schedules:
I’m going to share a few ways to use visual schedules. This is to give you some ideas on how you could use the visual cards for your child. Since these cards are designed for young children, there are cards for things a typical toddler would do. There are blank cards that you can write or draw pictures on if you’d like to add something else to your day.
Visual Schedule on the Fridge
The first way is by placing a small magnet on the back of each card and then putting them on the magnetic surface of a refrigerator. Since they have a magnet, it makes it very easy to move the cards around.
You could place them in a straight line or make a couple rows.
Visual Schedule in a Pocket Chart
The next way is to use a pocket chart. Pocket charts are found in a lot of classrooms, so if you are a parent, you may not have one available to you. The pocket charts are nice because you can set the cards in the plastic pouch and move them around easily. This is one we have in our school room and it’s nice to have out so that my 3-year-old can see what we have going on for the day.
This pocket chart is from Apple to Zebra and we love how cute it is!
Visual Schedule in a Binder
I love the idea of using a binder and breaking down the day into 3 parts: morning, afternoon, evening. So for the morning, you would have the cards for what the morning routine looks like. For example, it may look like the following picture.
This type of schedule is helpful for children who get overwhelmed by looking at a complete schedule.
Visual Schedule on a Line
Lastly, I like to place a visual schedule on a line of wire with hooks to hang the cards. This wire line is from Ikea and we have it hung in our school room.
In all honesty, I created this schedule to help my youngest with our routine at home. He can have meltdowns when he doesn’t want to do what we have planned. He does much better when he knows what is going on. Since he can’t read yet, I decided to make this visual schedule for him. This helps him understand what to expect of the day. He loves to see it all! Most of the days, we have the same things going on, but sometimes we add in an appointment or a play date.
If you are also interested in using a visual schedule, I’d love for you to use my free printable! All you need to do is sign up for my weekly newsletter, and then it will be sent to you right away. Make sure to check your spam folder in case the email got sent there.
I’d love to know…who are you going to use this visual schedule with?