They’ll Never Forget Again: Fun and Easy DIY Visual Schedule for Kids

Creating a DIY Visual Schedule for Forgetful Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

Parenting can be a challenging yet rewarding journey, especially when you have a forgetful child. Forgetfulness is a common trait among all kids, and it can often lead to frustration for both parents and children.

As a mom with ADHD, I understand executive dysfunction all too well. If I didn’t have a scheduler announcing every single thing I need to do in a day, most things would never get done.

So I get it, believe me. But despite my own ability to empathize with forgetfulness, I’m also human, and it can be incredibly frustrating to have to tell your kids to do the same thing over and over again.

It can sometimes lead to yelling, and tears, and stress, and nobody wants that. Thankfully, there are creative and effective solutions that can make daily routines smoother and more enjoyable: a DIY visual schedule. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of visual schedules, why they work, and how you can create a fun and easy one for your forgetful child.

Understanding the Importance of Visual Schedules

Why Visual Schedules?

Visual schedules are a valuable tool for children, especially those who struggle with forgetfulness or have sensory processing issues. In other words, if you have a neurodivergent child, you need one of these. These schedules use visual cues, such as pictures, icons, or symbols, to represent tasks or activities. By incorporating visuals into their daily routines, children can:

  1. Improve Independence: Visual schedules empower kids to take charge of their daily activities. They can see what comes next and gain a sense of control over their routines.
  2. Reduce Anxiety: For some children, the unpredictability of daily life can be anxiety-inducing. Visual schedules provide predictability and comfort by showing them what to expect.
  3. Enhance Communication: Visual schedules can aid in communication and comprehension, making it easier for children to understand and follow instructions.
  4. Encourage Responsibility: As children complete tasks on their visual schedule, they experience a sense of accomplishment, which boosts self-esteem and encourages responsibility.

Now that we understand why visual schedules are beneficial, let’s dive into creating one that’s not only effective but also fun for your child.

The Fun and Easy DIY Visual Schedule

Step 1: Identify Daily Activities

Start by listing the daily activities or routines that your child needs help remembering. Common activities might include waking up, getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating meals, doing homework, and going to bed. Make sure to include any specific tasks or appointments your child might have, such as extracurricular activities or therapy sessions.

Step 2: What materials are needed for a visual schedule?

To create your DIY visual schedule, you’ll need some basic supplies:

Step 3: Create Visual Cards

For each activity on your list, create a visual card. You can draw simple pictures, use stickers, or find images online that represent each task. Be sure to make the visuals clear and easy to understand for your child. For instance, a toothbrush for brushing teeth or a plate for mealtime.

I made my schedule, including visual cards on Canva. You’ll need to sign up and create an account. I have a pro Canva account, however, this may be available on a free account. This is the template I used, however, you can find other templates on

This is the one I created

visual schedule for kids

Step 4: Arrange the Schedule

On your poster board, sheet of paper, or via computer template, arrange the visual cards in the order of your child’s daily routine. You can use columns or rows, depending on your preference. Leave some space between each card to make it visually appealing and less cluttered.

Step 5: Add Time Indicators (OPTIONAL)

If your child is old enough to understand time, you can incorporate time indicators next to each activity. For example, you can draw a clock showing the time when each task should happen or use numbers to represent hours. I didn’t include times on mine because we aren’t always the most punctual family and our schedule can vary by the day.

Step 6: Implement and Adjust

Introduce the visual schedule to your child and explain how it works. Encourage them to follow the schedule daily. Be patient and understanding if they initially struggle. Over time, your child will likely become more independent and proficient at following their schedule.

Tips for Success

  • Consistency is key: Stick to the schedule as closely as possible to establish a routine.
  • Update the schedule: As your child grows and their routines change, adapt the visual schedule accordingly.

Conclusion

A fun and easy DIY visual schedule can be a game-changer for forgetful kids and their parents. By incorporating visuals into their daily routines, children gain independence, reduce anxiety, and develop essential life skills. Remember to be patient, flexible, and creative in designing your visual schedule to cater to your child’s unique needs.

With time and dedication, you’ll witness the positive impact it has on your child’s life, making everyday activities more manageable and enjoyable for everyone involved.

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