August 25, 2012

Using Task Boards with Youngsters

A question I hear all the time is - ‘how can we use the task board with our younger kids, who can’t read or write yet?’

Being a parent to young kids is exactly the same as with the older kids. The parents try to get the child to do his tasks, stick to a routine, keep boundaries, have a good connection with with them, all while keeping nagging down to a minimum.
The answer I give all the time is surprisingly simple.

‘Use pictures’

All the other rules apply as usual.

When they get a ‘wait, what?’ look on their faces, I explain a bit further.
     Put the tasks on the board to visualise them
     Choose your next task
     Gather every day to talk about the tasks

(There’s lots more in the book, and previous blog posts, just hunt around)

So in fact, most of the tasks can be shown in picture format anyway. It might even be better this way for all the family :)

So how to go about this:

1.    Prepare the child to a fun adventure.Have fun with the kids! I mean, you’re going to be wandering around the house snapping pictures with them (and they’ll want to take some pictures themselves if they are anything like my kids). What could be more fun?

2.    Snap pictures of your kids doing their routine tasks. Brushing their teeth, waking up in the morning. Let them snap pictures of you doing the same. Explain each task as the kid is doing it.

3. This is an awesome opportunity to do things together, and to set expectations.

4.    Now, ask your kids to put the pictures up on the task board (Some velcro on the back of each one and the board itself is probably best). Make sure to refer to each task as you place it on the board - for example, ‘and here you are, brushing your teeth’.

Note that you can use the family task board, a personal task board in the child room or even a personal book (if they are very small children).

5.    Be sure to keep it simple. They are kids, after all. Don’t use too many pictures, or ones that it isn’t clear what the child has to do.

OK, so you’ve got the pictures up on the board. Now what?

1.    You and your kids choose a series of pictures (tasks, remember?) to do the next day. Ask your children what they are going to do when they wake up.

2.    Put the pictures on the board - make sure the order is clear.

3.    In the morning, remind your kids that the board and pictures is there, and go to the board with them.

4.    Go through the tasks as shown by the pictures, and move the completed pictures into the ‘Done’ column.

5.    When your kids have completed all the tasks, let them know they’ve done an excellent job - they deserve it :)

6.    Gather round the board the next evening, and repeat.

Wasn’t that great?

Of course, what the pictures show is entirely up to you. I prefer showing my kids actually performing the action they are supposed to - brushing their teeth, as opposed to just showing the toothbrush - as it is the actual task he needs to follow through.

Plus, it’s tremendous fun!
It’s the fun of snapping the photos, it’s the fun of creating the board, it’s the fun of seeing how

things are getting done without focusing on what isn’t done. It’s the fun of actually talking with your kids and having a dialogue.

Remember - when your kids see what they need to do, and know that we are there to help if needed, and talking about it, they find it much easier. In time, these tasks will become part of the routine, and you can move on to others!

And as I said before - using photos and pictures works wonders with the older kids as well. After all, visualization makes things so much easier to understand!

Want to learn more about task boards, kids, and how to get things done around the house? Get Agile Kids today!

Further read from this blog:

No comments:

Post a Comment