Have you ever tried using a visual schedule to help make your mornings run more smoothly?

In our family we first started using them when a speech therapist suggested we try them. My eldest son has a significant speech disorder but is a very visual learner. Visual schedules worked a treat for him.

But as the years went by, I realised that ALL my children like them, and learn much better from a combination of visuals and speech.

Visual schedule 2These examples were made when my little twins, Rusty Rocket and Minnie the Minx, were four years old. They were very early risers, and RR was wetting the bed too.

He outdid himself one day by arriving at my bedside at 5am chirping:”I just wet TWO BEDS!”

It’s not that children won’t wake up at 5am… they will.  But I was not four, or even 44, I was 46 and just am too old for regular 5am wakeups.

So I made this visual schedule, just to make it REALLY clear to him what his mum and dad would like him to do in the mornings.  He really enjoyed looking at all the pictures and showing it to other people.

We showed him the clock very carefully, he’d had it in his room for a while and liked looking at the numbers.  We made sure there were interesting toys too.

Visual schedule 1

Then, come the morning, if he came through before 6am, we gently took him back to bed, without much talking. We pointed to the pictures and said 6am.  This happened several times for the first few mornings.

It’s a technique that requires consistency, of course.  But the visual schedule really helped him get a good, clear idea of our plan.

I must admit I also took to putting his clock back 15 minutes too.

Nowadays the twins are at school and their visual schedule looks quite different, but RR still insists that it includes a bright ‘Good Morning!’


Seana Smith is a mother of four children and author of three books, including ‘Sydney For Under Fives.’  She blogs about great family-friendly places around Sydney and about family travel at: www.seanasmith.com.

Seana also blogs about healthy family food at:  www.themumsdiet.com.  Do pop over and add your advice!