One thing I’ve learned about kids with Sensory Processing Disorder: they don’t do well with transitions. Going from activity to activity or event to event can be too much for them to handle and often results in temper-tantrums or melt downs. Transitions are tough for lots of different kids. My friend Nike has a son with Autism who struggles with routines too. Our Occupational Therapist suggested a routine board so that my son could see what the plan for the morning or evening should look like.
My little guy struggled the most with ‘start up’ and ‘wind down’ routines, like what to do when he first woke up and what to do to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Our most volatile moments (use to) happen at the breakfast table, which just sets you up for a terrible day. I decided to use a magnet board. (See below)
Nike made a really cool travel routine board for her son! Take a look and see her great tutorial
Magnet Routine Board Tutorial
Supplies I used:
- Magnetic dry-erase board (I actually needed TWO and found them in the school supply section of Walmart)
- Instagram pictures printed to Walgreens (Walgreens has a free app that uploads pictures right from your account!)
- Magnetic strips (craft section at Hobby Lobby)
- Command Strips velcro (I got mine at Walmart but you can find these all over.)
Step 1: Decide what “events” you want to include on your routine board and snap pictures.
Step 3: Use the free Walgreens app to directly upload your photos and print them. (It’s super easy to use!)
Step 4: Cut the magnet tape into 3 inch pieces. Peel tape of back and stick directly to the photo.
Step 5: Arrange the pictures in order on your board. Better yet, have your child arrange the pictures on the board. If you involve them in the process they feel like they have more control in their routine!
I quickly realized that I needed a SECOND board. We decided to use one board for morning routine and one board for evening routine.
Step 6: Hang the boards on the wall. These boards come with that permanent sticky tape but I hate to do that to my walls. Instead I used the Command Strip velcro strips. Just stick two together, take the tape of one side and stick to on the upper right hand corner of the board. Just two more together and stick them on the upper left hand corner of the board. Then take the tape of the other sides and press the board against the wall. I actually used a level to make sure it was placed even.
Don’t forget to check out Nike’s great post about travel routine boards at Choose To Thrive. She has some amazing stuff about living and crafting without spending much money at all!!