Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Visual Daily Routine - Move the clothespin along the day's activities

With another child in our home, it has become necessary to reinstate the daily routine picture chart. It's helping all of the kids feel grounded by knowing what to predict each day. They also feel a sense of ownership as they take turns being the one to move the clippy along the chart for the day.  The pictures dictate routine, not schedule. Major difference. Pictures also stand for general concepts, not specifics. Means every day can be completely different, despite the same pictures each day.

Our routine is: Wake up, Go potty, Get dressed, Table play, Breakfast, Reading Time, Singing Time, Play, Signing Time (so I can finish packing the adventure bag/get baby ready), Go potty last time before we leave, Adventure...usually bring lunch with, Potty before naps, Stories, Naptime

When they wake up, it's to the potty, Snack time, Play time (ideas of water table and bikes--- usually get us outside eventually), Camera time (daily wrap up review of our day through mom's camera phone pics from that day, then job review (see how many smiley faces we've earned today, then set table for dinner and eat dinner.  Then the other child usually gets picked up and we play til bathtime. 

When I worked at the State Preschool, the occupational therapists used to use activities with clothespins to help the children build hand strength. It's especially helpful for "city-kids" who might have limited hand use due to full-service parents or limited outdoor play. (Believe it or not, the actions of manipulating sticks, climbing up hills, digging in the dirt with fingers all strengthen the fingers which helps kids improve fine motor skills later. Crazy, huh?)

This little picture routine is super helpful in the evening. My 4 yr old loves to move the clip from Klo over to Badewanne. After that, I do the moving as he goes. Even save time sometimes by brushing his teeth while he's still in the bathroom. Just one less transition can be the difference between miracle and meltdown.  Obviously, I don't move the clip to the others since they're in his room, but he sees that they're coming. I've considered cutting off that part and moving it in there, but it's a long-standing routine for him now, so it's unnecessary. Helpful for babysitters and evening guests though!

1 comment:

  1. Actually now, they both have a clothespin with their name on it. More name/letter recognition, more opportunities to strengthen the fingers, more self-direction. (And less arguing over whose turn it is, etc) Love it.