Want Your Child to Learn How to Get to School on Time? Think Backwards!
Teaching children how to manage time does not sound like a fun activity, but there is an enjoyable way to learn this skill—think backwards!
Because getting where you need to be in a timely manner is a vital skill, your child will learn how to organize her time in an enjoyable way by thinking backwards and making a reverse-time chart. The reverse-time chart helps her get the hang of considering all aspects of scheduling; a time management habit that will serve her forever.
All you need is a pen and paper or if you want to get fancy, a digital camera and printer.
Start with a large sheet of paper or poster board. Have your child write “Get to school” and her school’s start time at the top of the page. Together, ﬁgure out how long it takes to get to school and what time she should leave home in order to arrive on time. Have her write that event and time down next. Then she ﬁgures how long she would like to spend eating breakfast, subtracting that time from the time by which she needs to leave, and writing that time next on the list. Have her keep working backwards until she gets to her wake-up time.
To make the chart more cheerful, take photos of her eating, brushing her teeth, and so on and have her paste each printed picture beside the appropriate time on the chart.
Or, just as fun, s/he gets to draw appropriate pictures beside each time such as a sleepy face beside “wake up!”. Or, use emoticons or paste objects by each time such as a cereal box top by “eat breakfast” and a Lego piece by the “mess around” time.
Anything that is fun to do will empower your child to use the chart with the times of his/ her choosing!
Barbara Sher M.A.O.T.R, an occupational therapist and author of nine books on children’s games. This game is adapted from Barbara’s new book THE WHOLE SPECTRUM OF MOTOR, SOCIAL AND SENSORY GAMES: Using Children’s Natural Love Of Play To Enhance Key Skills And Promote Inclusion. Check out Barbara’s other game books at any on-line bookstore or get a free game designed for your child at her web site: www.gameslady.com
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- Talk with Me: Enhancing Communication through Natural Family Routines
- Enriching Your Child’s Sensory Environment Within Their Typical Routine
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- Routine Is King For Getting Back In The Groove
- Making Time for Fitness
This post originally appeared on our September/October 2014 Magazine