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Create a Transition/Picture Schedule

Submitted by Craig on Mon, 01/17/2011 - 21:02.

For children who have difficulty making successful transitions, try implementing something visual such as a picture/transition schedule. For these children, picture/transition schedules can provide them with structure and predictability, which makes them feel safe and secure throughout their day.


1. Construction paper
2. Child's name or picture
3. Velcro
4. Pictures of daily household activities (e.g., routines for bath and bed, bathroom, meals, dressing, etc.)
5. Several small baskets (placed at each activity location)


1. Take pictures of the child's daily routine (e.g., lunch and snack time, circle time, outdoor play, free play, etc.), and place the pictures on a strip of Velcro in sequential order.

2. Place the schedule in an area of the house, where the child will have easy access to it (central location often works best), and make sure it's eye-level.

3. When it is time to transition from one activity to the next (e.g., dinner, bath, bedtime routine, etc.), guide the child to the schedule and have her take off the picture of the next activity.

4. While some picture/transition schedules have a pocket attached it at the bottom for the child to place their picture, I recommend
having them take their picture to the next activity. Using the latter idea, have the child physically walk the picture to her next destination, and have her drop it in the basket, which has the same picture taped to the front of it (which also reinforces matching concepts). For example, you might have a basket in the dining room area. The child would take her picture from her schedule and drop it in the basket that matches the picture. This also provides the child with a sense of completion. Additionally, this works great when transitioning to the bathroom. The child simply takes her picture to the bathroom and places it in the basket that matches the picture.

With consistency and practice, the child should eventually become independent in using her schedule!

To create a picture schedule for your child or student, you have a few options:

1. Boardmaker (www.mayer-johnson.com): Has about 3,000 picture communication symbols (this software runs around $400.00)
2. Free Printable Picture Schedule: www.Do2Learn.com
3. Get Up and Go Chart" is available at the Super Nanny website, but parents must first fill out a registration form in order to access the free printouts. Parents can choose from black and white or color graphics of the morning tasks “wash face”, “brush teeth”, “get dressed” and “make bed."