Write It All Down: How Visual Learning Can Help You And Your Kids Have Better Days
It’s 5:00 a.m. and like clock work your alarm starts ringing and when you glance at your phone to silence it a reminder pops up to come to work early. Then you walk to the bathroom and see the sticky note reminding you about the school PTA meeting. After you get your kids up and moving, you head to the kitchen to start breakfast and glance at the calendar to see who has what activity after school.
As adults we have a myriad of visual reminders to help us keep our lives from being chaotic, so why can’t our little ones have the same thing?
I will be the first one to admit that structure, schedules, and planning are not my strong points. I didn’t grow up with any real routines so now as a twin mom I am forced to get it together and using pictures has helped a lot.
Visual aids can help if your child doesn’t listen often, if you are potty training, if they have a short attention span, or if you just feel it will help overall with their daily routine. Visual aids can be images or lists that can help your kids develop more independence and help them follow their daily routine.
If you want to try adding a visual aid, here are some things to think about…
- Figure out where your child needs the most guidance. Is it the morning schedule, the after school schedule, or the weekend schedule? Or, is it all of the above? Then you need to figure out the purpose of your visual cards or chart. Is it for organization or to teach something?
- Choose your visual aid. If you choose potty training flash cards make sure the pictures make sense for your child’s development level. If you choose a calendar or list, make sure it is decorative and visually pleasing.
- Make or buy them. You could make or find durable cards or a chart with their favorite character on it to help them stay excited about it. Make sure the picture and words are clear and label them with words and numbers for the proper order. If you decide to make your own, you can laminate and use velcro to line them up from left to right on a poster board that is eye level for your child. When they are done doing each task they can take the card off the wall and place it in the finished basket.
You can also get free sequence images that you can print out from visualaidsforlearning.com. They offer images on a variety of topics. Here are just a few examples from their site:
Going to the dentist – This picture sequence includes the basic routine of going into the dentist, seeing the receptionist, waiting, going into the surgery, sitting in the chair and what may happen in the chair.
Hand washing – This sequence breaks down the action of washing hands into small step by step instructions from pulling sleeves up to turning the tap on, using soap and drying hands with a hand towel.
Getting a haircut -This sequence follows each of the main steps so parents/careers can show the pictures ahead of time to the child or it can also be used during the activity so as to help with understanding, calmness and compliance.
It’s never easy staying super organized all the time, especially when you are a mom so ladies please let us know what has worked for you. Have you ever tried this before? Did it work?