Transitions can be tough.
- Do you ever feel like days with young children can feel a little chaotic?
- Do you ever feel like you need to keep repeating directions?
- Do children have trouble switching from one activity to the next?
Sometimes children come to you crying because they need help to feel:
- Secure by making their world more predictable.
- Comforted by creating a sense of belonging to a group.
- Confident of what is expected, so that they can follow directions and gain cooperation skills.
A Picture Schedule can help you find a rhythm to your day and provide security, comfort, and confidence to a young child.
We often hear, “One picture is worth a thousand words.” This is very true for young children. By adding pictures to support your words, children follow routines more smoothly, with greater independence and fewer behavior problems.
Want to Diminish Power Struggles?
Children have opinions. So do adults. How do we allow children to have opinions without encouraging a constant power struggle between what the child wants and what we need to accomplish with them in our programs?
A Picture Schedule acknowledges a child’s developing sense of self, while also encouraging routine, focus and respect. A Picture Schedule is an agreement between everyone that we are committed to staying on-track. It becomes an invisible “police officer.”
We can say, “Oh, look, what does the schedule say is next?”
This reduces power struggles by adding this “third” point of view. It’s amazing when you see it in action. Simply ask a child to check the schedule to see what is next, or remove the picture from the wall and take it to show them. United by the Picture Schedule, you and the children will walk together through the day
Need your own picture schedule?
Download our Picture Schedule and follow these 3 steps to start using it today.
Here is how to start using a Picture Schedule now:
Step 1: Print the schedule.
- Print one for your classroom and consider printing one for each parent as a gift to use at home.
Step 2: Teach the schedule.
- Before using the picture schedule, teach it. Try pulling the pictures randomly out of a bag and ask children to share what they think each picture represents.
Step 3: Use the schedule.
- When it is time to move to the next step in your routine, invite a child to take the picture off the wall and show it to the other children. Invent a special movement or chant to celebrate that you completed one part of the day and are ready to move to the next.
- A Picture Schedule might feel confining at first. However, with consistency comes the freedom to play and learn with your children instead of constantly “putting out fires.”
Enjoy Smoother Transitions
Consistent routines are comforting to young children and create an environment where they can learn and grow. Download this Picture Routine and use it with your Experience Early Learning Curriculum for an intentional and supportive learning experience every day.