Visual Routines & Schedules…Why?
By having routines, children know what to expect. Visual schedules are a great way to incorporate language into daily living including phonemic awareness, targeted vocabulary and print awareness. Let’s take a look at a few ways to incorporate visual schedule into daily living and create a language rich environment.
Check out some ideas below:
- Scheduled meal/snack times are important for children. It helps establish a sense of order and has health benefits.
- Make a poster or laminate paper with icons/foods to denote these meal times.
- Use Velcro – children LOVE Velcro – get them involved by choosing what they’d like or placing icons on your board for meal/snack times.
- Set aside the same time each day for play. Structured play, crafts, and even screen time are all fun for kids but don’t forget the free play.
- Allow children to use their creativity and imagination. Follow their lead and infuse language into their environment.
- Use icons or pictures of your child with toys on your daily schedule to designate when these times are.
- Discuss changes if the day will be different.
Reading Time or Learning Time
- Once a child begins school, choose an icon or picture that designates time to complete homework. Completing it the same time every day helps reduce frustration, anxiety and allows for language development.
- Make sure you have time to work together with your child to help them if necessary.
- Schedule reading time daily. Not only will this provide great language exposure, auditory bombardment for correct articulation, but also vital social time and bonding. Add an image of a book to your visual schedule.
- Being consistent with sometimes difficult times can often make transitions and tasks a little easier, because they are expected.
- Keeping a visual schedule with these symbols will help your child understand their daily routine.
- If these times have to change, remember to move them on the schedule and explain why they are being moved.
* Remember to balance. Balance free time with scheduled time and let children know the importance of it. Free time supports imagination, critical thinking skills, language development skills and social skills.Maintaining daily routines and schedules is important for children. Not only is it important for social and emotional health (by reducing stress and anxiety), but also for developing language and social skills. In addition, studies have proven that routines provide a sense of security.