Printable visual routine cards and labels are powerful tools for kids of all ages. They are especially helpful for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and children with special needs.
Visual routine cards are an effective tool to keep children organized and on task. Activity cards also help provide children from toddlers to teens with the sense of independence they need to help them manage their daily rhythm–along with the chores and activities, they must complete.
Because they are designed to help children know the basic order of events in a given time period–and understand what they need to do next–printable visual routine cards are an indispensable tool for parents with toddlers, preschoolers, high-anxiety kids, and autistic children. But they also work well for elementary-aged kids–especially if you homeschool.
Using a visual routine chart is simple. All you need to do is place the visual routine labels and visual activity cards into a pocket chart (or onto a bulletin board) to remind children of the actions they need to take at any point during the day. You might also enjoy reading How to Plan Your Daily Routine.
Visual Routine Cards for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Children with Special Needs.
Children fear the unknown. And, the younger children are, the less they know and understand. So, help toddlers and preschoolers feel safe and learn what to expect with a visual routine chart.
While children of all ages can benefit from visual activity cards, a visual routine chart or schedule can help toddlers and preschoolers know what to expect throughout the day. Visual routine charts can thus help decrease anxiety surrounding transitions and help toddlers feel more capable of taking care of their own needs.
And when children feel safe they will be ready to take on new challenges. While this is reason enough to provide children with a daily rhythm, it also has another important developmental role. Structure and routines help children learn how to discipline themselves.
This fact makes visual routine cards a powerful tool for parents and educators. They shed light on the unknown, understand what they need to do each day, and help children gain the independence they need to become productive members of society. This makes them especially useful for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, autistic children, and children with special needs.
Related: Books That Help Children Understand Their Feelings
Printable Visual Routine Cards and Labels for Activity Charts
Visual routines make it easy for toddlers, preschoolers, and children with special needs to maintain their daily rhythm and get through each day without tears. Children fear the unknown. Make everything known with visual routine cards for kids.
Use printable visual activity cards with a pocket chart to assist your children with morning and evening routines, schoolwork, chores, common everyday tasks, outdoor adventures, creative activities, and more!
“First, Then, Next, Last” activity cards are also excellent tools for toddlers and autistic children. Thankfully, the printable set shown here has those labels included and so much more!
This valuable resource for parents and teachers contains more than 150 visual routine cards and labels. Use them to create a predictable routine for children, help them learn to maintain their daily rhythm, and grow into responsible family members.
Get your set HERE—> Printable Visual Activity Cards
Psst–If you haven’t signed up for our FREE weekly planner, I suggest starting there because you can get our set of printable visual activity cards for a great deal when you become a subscriber to Rhythms of Play! Get it HERE—> QuickStart Weekly Planning Guide
The following types of visual routine cards are included in this set:
- Visual routine labels
- Morning and evening visual routine cards
- Bathroom routine visual cards
- School, music, and creative activity routine cards
- Cleaning, chores, and helpful activities
- Gross motor, fine motor, and outdoor visual routine cards
- Sports, places to go, and random adventure
- Blank visual routine cards and labels to make up your own actions and activities.
Related Post: 15 Ways to Raise a Helper
How to Use Visual Activity Cards
Place visual routine cards onto a visual activity chart to help them maintain their daily rhythm, prepare children for an upcoming event or activity, or break down the steps that must be completed as a part of a larger activity. Gather the supplies below to get started.
Visual Routine Chart Supplies
- Printable Visual Activity Cards
- Scissors or a paper cutter
- Pocket chart – there are several sizes and colors available. Choose the one that works best for your needs. A few of our favorites are listed below:
- Display pocket chart (multiple colors and patterns)
- Small magnetic pocket charts (set of 4 perfect for the fridge!)
- Tabletop pocket chart (great for tables, shelves, and desks)
- Large display pocket chart (multiple colors and patterns)
Next, follow the simple steps below to make visual routine labels and activity cards work for you and your children at home or in the classroom.
1. Print visual routine labels and cards.
For best results, print visual routine cards and labels onto cardstock. Printer paper will work, but heavyweight cardstock makes visual activity cards better able to stand up to the wear and tear (pun intended) of daily use.
Or, use laminating sheets and a laminator to make activity cards that withstand the test of time!
2. Use scissors to cut out the visual routine labels and cards you would like to use.
Challenge the kids to use a pair of scissors to cut the visual activity cards and labels from each printable sheet for cutting practice if you dare–lol! Or, take the easy route and use this fantastic paper cutter–we LOVE it!
3. Choose the labels and cards needed for a specific action, routine, or event.
Brainstorm the tasks that your children need to do each day as a part of their daily rhythm. Following are a few examples of visual routines you can place in a visual routine chart:
- A visual routine chart can list the order of events that a child must do when they wake up in the morning or before they go to bed at night. (Morning rhythm and evening routine)
- Use visual activity cards to show the tasks that the child must perform as a part of their school day or the activities that they need to complete once they return home from school.
- Create a visual display that shows the actions that a child needs to take before they leave the house.
- Use visual routine cards to display the chores that your children need to do as a part of their daily or weekly household duties.
- Place suggestions of activities children can do in the afternoon.
- Use “First, Then, Next” cards to help children with simple tasks, or what they need to do to receive a reward.
Related: 10 Reasons to Make Rhythm and Routine a Habit
4. Place one or more labels into the pocket chart to use as a heading.
- Use the visual routine card labels to make it easier for children to maintain their daily routine and identify what they need to do and when.
- Keeping a daily rhythm will help toddlers and preschoolers become independent family members capable of helping around the house, and help them learn to take responsibility for their daily chores and duties.
5. Place visual activity cards into the pocket chart under the appropriate labels.
- Put each activity card that needs to be completed into a pocket chart under the appropriate label.
- For example, put all of the actions that a child needs to do in the morning under the title “Morning Routine” and all of the steps they need to do at night before going to bed under “Evening Routine.”
- Have a look at the photo below to see an example of a morning routine for toddlers.
6. Place each visual activity card into a basket, or in a row under the Label “Finished” or “Done” once the action or routine is complete.
- First, attach or place a “Done” or “Finished” basket at the base of, or next to, the visual activity schedule.
- Or, put the “Finished” label included with this printable activity card set in the bottom row of the pocket chart.
- Next, encourage children to place each activity card into the basket, or row, once they are finished with that step or action.
Related: 7 Reasons to Add the Color of the Day to Your Daily Rhythm
7. Show children how to use the visual routine chart; fill and repeat as needed.
- Allow the routine chart to become the boss of your toddler’s daily rhythm, and encourage your children to take responsibility for the tasks on it.
- First, teach children to look at it when they don’t know what to do next, and show them how to use the visual routine chart.
- Next, encourage them to place the cards in the “Finished” basket (or row) once they have completed the action step.
- The many different activity cards in our Printable Set make it easy to help children get through the day without tears. Everything below is included and more–get yours today!
Visual Activity Cards and Charts
Visual routine cards are a powerful tool to help children learn what they need to do, and keep them organized and on task. They also help kids develop the sense of independence they need to manage their day-to-day chores and activities.
Use visual routine labels and cards with a visual routine chart to help children maintain their daily rhythm and know what to expect throughout the day. Knowing what to expect each day can decrease anxiety surrounding transitions and help children thrive!
Get them HERE—> Printable Visual Routine Cards
You might also enjoy self-regulation strategies for kids.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE—> About Rhythms of Play
More Parenting Tips & Tools
- How to Raise a Helper
- Best Parenting Books
- How to Teach Children to use Good Manners
- 10 Reasons to Make Rhythm and Routine a Habit
- Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101
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