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Promoting Positive Behaviors in Children: Creating a Visual Routine Board in Art Therapy

Updated: Nov 5

by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC

Routines and the structure provided in a balanced schedule can be calming and provide a sense of order for children who may feel overwhelmed or anxious. A daily routine will help them get ready for school, stay on track, and feel more organized. There are many different strategies that can be used to help children develop structure and consistency in their daily lives and in this blog we will discuss the use and creation of a visual routine board.


One strategy that can be used to help children develop a daily routine is to create a visual schedule on a routine board. A routine board is a visual representation of a chart that shows the child what activities they will be doing throughout the day along with responsibilities and tasks that may need to be completed for the day. It can be used to help children stay focused and organized in the tasks of the day, understand what to expect and prepare for, and feel secure in their day as they have an understanding of what is ahead of them and the duration of these different activities. In addition, it can be used in any setting where a child needs to follow a routine, such as a classroom, home, or therapy session, which makes it an ideal art project.


It is well known that positive reinforcement through routines and structure can promote positive behaviors in children. When a child knows what is expected of them and what will happen during their day, they are more likely to behave in a way that is acceptable to parents and caregivers. Creating a daily routine board for children can help promote positive behaviors, set expectations, and provide a fun and creative way for children to learn about time management. A routine board is a great way to help children understand and remember the steps involved in completing a task or activity, so that they can act autonomously and with greater independence. It can also help reduce anxiety and stress, as children will know exactly what is expected of them and there is less fear of failing due to forgetting or missing a step.


There are many different ways to create a visual routine board. Here are a few ideas:


Materials:

- Foam board or a thick mat board can be used as your background for the images (feel free to decorate this background in any way you like

-Sticky-back velcro cut into strips or velcro dots


Process:

-Use pictures or drawings to represent different activities or tasks for Morning, Afternoon and Evening

  • Weekday Morning/Before School Routine

  • Weekend Morning Routine

  • Bedtime Routine (Weekday)

  • Bedtime Routine (Weekend)

-Task Examples to Include:

  • Brush Teeth

  • Make Bed

  • Brush Hair

  • Choose outfit (pants, shirt, socks)

  • Wash Hands

  • Use the Toilet

  • Eat Breakfast

  • Pack Lunch

  • Pack Backpack

  • Load the dishwasher

  • Take Vitamin

  • Fold Laundry

  • Take Out the Garbage


-Fun Activities to Include:

  • Draw or Paint

  • Listen to music

  • Bake a Treat

  • Ride Bike

  • Go for a Walk

  • Have a Playdate

  • Go for a Hike

  • Read a Book

  • Learn a New Dance

  • Board Games

  • Writing in a Journal


- Create a calendar with images or words that represent the days of the week.

- Use symbols or icons to represent different activities or tasks.


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