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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Family Schedule Board

While at Christine’s house photographing Noah, I noticed this big dry erase board schedule in the kitchen. I thought it was easy, clever and visual so even Elijah (2 years old) could understand what’s in store for the upcoming week. She's here to tell you how the big picture calendar helps everyone keep the week straight…

Shortly after we brought Noah home from the hospital, my husband and I realized that we needed to do something to help Elijah process what was going on during the day.  With Mommy spending so much time pumping and taking care of baby Noah, we hoped that creating a picture schedule board would help Elijah understand that we still had time for him.  After a quick trip to Hobby Lobby, we bolted the white board to our kitchen wall and I started creating.

·        35”X23” Magnetic Dry Erase Board with Tray & Magnets ($23.99 at Hobby Lobby)
·        ¾” Black Electrical Tape (around $2 at Home Depot)
·        Magnetic tape ($5.99 at Hobby Lobby)
·        Days of the week magnets ($4.99 at Hobby Lobby)
·        Dry Erase Marker Set with Magnet Holder ($4.49 at Hobby Lobby)
·        Picture Tiles – more on this later (about $2 per 8.5”X11” page at Office Depot)
·        Coupon Caddy to store picture tiles (found in my basement J)
Total Cost = $45 (Christine – you should’ve used 40% off coupons!!)

Create picture tiles.
  1. Find a picture or a graphic from the web and print.  My picture tiles are 1” square.  I have multiple tiles for Mom, Dad, Elijah, Noah, Grandma/Grandpa, Sesame Street, Costco, etc.  I used Photoshop to create tiles in 8.5”X11” psd files.  Make sure that your document is set up in CMYK color mode to be compatible with most home or office printers.  You will also need to save finished files as pdf files if you want to print at an office supply store. 
  2. Laminate pictures – optional.
  3. Cut each tile and attach magnetic tape to the back.
Set up the board.
  1. Divide white board into 8 vertical sections with electrical tape.  The first section from the left is 9” wide.  Each subsequent section is approximately 3½” wide.
  2. Create daily header with day of the week magnet at the top and a piece of horizontal electrical tape below.  Below each day, write in the date.
  3. Fill each day with picture tiles that correspond to either what is going on (in order that it will occur) or special events (birthday, anniversary, etc).  I use the larger left section to write notes to myself (yes I am benefiting from this board too!).

Use the board.
I use a big picture approach and don’t detail everything that is going on in our day - just enough to give Elijah a picture of the highlights.  These are the general categories I use:
·        Immediate Family – I created a tile for each of us for every day of the week.
·        Extended Family – aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. 
·        Friends – regular playdates, our doctor, etc
·        Special Events – birthday, anniversary, church, any other recurring event
·        Locations – stores we frequent, the library or the pool

When I really feel like detailing what we are doing on a given day, I use tiles representing parts of Elijah’s daily schedule in the left section:
·        Napping
·        Clothing (i.e. it’s time to get dressed)
·        Toothbrush and toothpaste
·        Chores (vacuum cleaner, laundry, etc)
·        Activities (stroller, bike, crayons, puzzle piece, Sesame Street, Curious George etc.)

To be honest, to keep up with the super detailed portion of the schedule board on a daily basis is time consuming, and a little overkill at 2½ years old.  I do this on occasion because it is valuable for Elijah to understand the aspects of schedule and time.  I will also do this if we are nearing melt-down mode and Elijah needs a visual of what would be acceptable to do next (i.e. right now you can color or you can watch Curious George).

I feel like the really detailed aspect of this schedule board will prove useful as Elijah gets older and maybe help teach him skills in planning his own time.  I have aspirations to include tiles for time as well and would love to somehow get the weather tied into this.  The schedule board is a very useful tool to teach Elijah (and eventually Noah) a lot about what happens in the span of a day.

So very helpful Christine, thanks for sharing! J

linked up here:


Style, Decor & More said...

I could definitely use a board like this when school starts! Love it!
I'm a new follower from the hop! Hope you'll hop by and visit my blog too!
Have a great weekend!

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

Love this! What a great project! Thanks for linking!