Since Jared teaches college, fall is a new beginning for us and now that we are back from vacation it’s time to shake off the lazy summer days and get back into routine. We’ve found our kids crave structure and we have a lot less meltdowns when they know what to expect. They are also more obedient and cooperative when asked to clean-up toys, help with dinner, get ready for bed, etc. because they know it’s part of the routine. I’m not saying things always go smoothly, just that having structure helps us rein-in the tantrums and power struggles. Most days.
To help us get back on track I created this fun visual chart:
1. Print 4×6 routine cards at the photo lab. Laminate for durability.
2. Cut laminated cards apart (scissors or paper cutter).
3. Attach to whiteboard, fridge, etc. I chose a whiteboard so I could write times next to each event. (I recommend putting magnets or sticky tack to the back so you can be flexbile and move events around.)
My kids are loving the new chart! They love running to the board to see what comes next. I think it’s especially good for my very independent four-year-old because it helps him feel in-charge of himself instead of waiting for me to nag ask him to get dressed, brush teeth, etc.
It also seems to help with them delaying self-gratification. Like when my two-year-old asks to watch a movie after breakfast I can say, ” I don’t know, let’s look at the chart and see if it’s time for a movie.” When she sees the chart says it’s time for chores and movie time is later she’s less likely to throw a tantrum. It’s not that she can’t watch a movie, just that it’s not time for it right now. (And I love that I’m no longer the bad guy when I say “no, it’s not time for. . .” It’s fun to blame things on the chart! hahaha)
If you are interested in making a visual routine chart just like mine, these printable cards are available for purchase.