All parents know the importance of keeping your child in a routine as much as possible (especially with young kid’s sleep). An easy way for young children to get the hang of a routine is by using toddler routine cards and charts.
What Are Routine Charts And Routine Cards?
A routine chart is similar to a daily planner for kids. The chart is used to put cards on which show the tasks planned for the day. It’s a visual schedule so young children can see what the plan is for their day.
Here is how toddlers use routine cards
You and your toddler can stick the routine cards on a chart in the order that you plan for your toddler to carry out their daily activities. Once the tasks are completed, your toddler can then move the cards from the chart and stick them wherever you choose to place the completed tasks cards.
As your toddler gets older, they can probably start to figure out the order that the cards should go based on their regular routines.
Why routine charts and cards are great for young children:
- It helps young children to know what is expected of them and what their day is going to look like
- It reduces their anxiety as they know what to expect and what you expect of them
- Pictures mean that your child can see what you’re trying to explain to them and they can associate images with real life objects and situations, even if they don’t have a full grasp of what you are saying verbally.
- Young children may not be able to say words and so they can use the pictures to communicate their preferences.
- It’s a fun activity and it encourages toddlers to play an active part in making decisions about their day
How I display my child’s routine cards
Routine cards are usually kept on a chart. Some parents stick the cards and chart to their fridge, some use pocket charts to display the cards and some skip the chart and simply use pegs to hang the cards on a string.
These are just some options. but really, there’s no right or wrong way to display your routine cards, it’s whatever suits you!
Personally, I like to keep my toddler’s routine charts in a binder as:
- It keeps them neat and tidy
- It prevents the cards from getting lost
- We can easily take them anywhere with us in the car and move them around as and when we complete the tasks. In a binder, we can take the cards on outdoor activities or on holiday, rather than only using them at home.
How to make a routine chart
You can make a routine chart with laminated paper or laminated cardstock – whichever you prefer! You will need to have sections on the chart for a morning routine, an afternoon routine and an evening routine.
It’s also handy to have a completed tasks chart so your toddler can separate the routine chart with the completed tasks (see the image below as an example).
You will also need somewhere to store the cards when they are not in use to prevent them from getting lost. For instance, you can laminate more paper to stick the unused cards on.
By laminating the cards and using velcro dots on the back of each one, you and your toddler can easily move the cards around on the routine chart (see image below).
How to get cards for your toddler’s chart
You will need cards that are relevant to your child’s daily routines. You can also include cards that are for special occasions such as their birthday, Christmas and Easter. And of course, the cards should include some toddler activities like story time and going to the playground.
You can likely find routine cards to print for free on the internet. But, bare in mind that they may not include all the cards that you require specifically for your child. There are routine cards you can get that you can easily personalise – I sell some here in my shop.
What age are routine cards for?
Routine cards are great for young children from 2 or 3 years and above. At this age, toddler’s can move the cards themselves and they understand a bit about routines.
Would you like a copy of the charts and cards I have created?
No need to search all ’round the internet for routine cards when this includes everything you need!
You will not only get 165 cards tailored for toddlers and preschoolers, but you can customise the cards and the charts, and add your own images within Canva at no extra cost (providing you don’t use the pro images).
As there are 165 cards included in the set, you probably won’t need to add many of your own. There are instructions included on what to do after you make a purchase so it’s really easy to follow.