Using Visuals to Empower Our Children (free printable included)

Visual aids often rank high as a tool for productivity in children (and adults).  Visuals offer clear and concise directions for success.  They can allow for increased independence, which in turn can be very empowering for our children.  Just to clarify, we do not utilize rewards in our homes, these are simply visual aids that encourage independence and success.  For some children, following a bed time schedule is easier than having Mom or Dad directing every move, and its also nice to have if you are trying to put multiple children to bed at the same time.
Bed time routine RL created for her middle daughter – bathroom, pajamas, brush teeth, books, stuffed chipmunk 
It’s not imperative that they do each step in succession, its just something that assists them along the way.  The routine is printed and laminated so it can be used each night.  The child checks off each task as its completed.
Another tool that is fun and encourages independence is creating a packing list for our children to utilize prior to vacations, school days, camp, etc.  For children who are not reading, take pictures of each item that needs to be packed (or use clip art).  You can also have the child take an active role in creating the list – they can draw and/or write items to be packed.  This is the visual list I created for our upcoming trip.  The printable is simply a chart.  In the middle I added the picture and name of item to be packed and left the other two blocks blank.  If you laminate it, you can then write in the number (cause this may change from trip to trip) and the child can check off each item as he/she adds it to the bag.  Of course, the number of items are always negotiable. 
Left – visual list before numbers
Right – visual list with numbers written in
Visual packing list for my son.
Packing and checking off the list.
For a free bed time visual template click on the links below. 
The template includes a chart like you see above with 10 options for pictures. 
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9 Responses to Using Visuals to Empower Our Children (free printable included)

  1. shannon walbran (@ShannonWalbran) says:

    I like the packing one, and I’m going to make one for my 3 year old so he can help pack his bag for pre-school every day. He has to go from my house to his dad’s house, and occasionally we have forgotten Blankie or a hat. It would be great to have him take responsibility and then have me check before we head out the door.

  2. Erin says:

    These are great! :)

    We use visuals a lot because our son is autistic with a severe language delay. A great way to find other visuals is to search for:

    Visual schedule _____ (insert whatever you’re looking for)
    PECS _____ (Whatever you’re looking for. It stands for picture exchange communication system, btw)

    I think visual schedules/aids are great for all kids because well, they’re kids, not mini adults. I can give an adult multiple step directions and expect success. But I don’t have that same expectation with kids. So, I think of the visuals as kid ‘sticky notes’ if that makes sense.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I think once you feel your child might be interested, it wouldn’t hurt to try. Start with something small like bedtime or morning routines and see how it goes. You might have to ‘hold their hand’ for a while as it takes time for new routines to become habit, but if you think your kid can benefit-go for it!

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