Gavin's Day: An Activity Chart

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Right now I'm reading a book called Positive Discipline for Preschoolers. We sailed through the "terrible twos" with Gavin, but at three he is challenging us more. 

It's easy to misinterpret his behaviour as intentional misbehaviour, especially because he is so bright and talks so well. Taking any of his bad behaviour as intentional can lead to some frustrating situations, which we want to avoid. 

I know from my own experiences growing up how it feels to be yelled at and (as much as I understand why parents react that way to kids) I don't want to be the parent to yell. Not unless there is a very good reason. And at three years old, I don't think there are many things a kid can do that qualify as a very good reason to yell.

Anyways, Gavin has been having a lot of trouble going to bed at night and this book has a chapter that speaks specifically to that. So the other night, in between laps back and forth to Gavin's room as he came out and was lead back to bed repeatedly, I read this chapter. 

It recommended having a sort of chart for bed time that has visual representations of what is done at bed time and that the child has had input on. We have been making verbal plans with Gavin for months now, and I thought that taking it to the next level with something visual would be a great step. Here is what I came up with.

I didn't take photos for a full out tutorial, but I can walk you through the process!

First I came up with all the possible things I would want for our plans (meals, playing, clean up, tooth brushing, etc) I made multiples of a few important ones. I printed them off of the computer and used Gavin's markers to draw pictures of what each one was about. Then, I used clear contact paper to laminate them. Finally, I put a square of adhesive velcro (the fuzzy side) on the back of each one.

For the chart itself, I just came up with a measurement that would fit 10-12 cards on it, with extra width so I could have a big pocket at the bottom for all the cards not in use. I cut out a piece for the pocket, hemmed the top, then sew the other 3 sides onto the main piece of fabric. Then I hemmed around all four sides of the main piece. I used my Silhouette to cut out the words "Gavin's Day" (his word choice) from flocked heat transfer material and ironed it onto the pocket. And finally I sewed a strip of velcro (the hook side) down the centre of the fabric from the top to the top of the pocket. 

To hang it, I just used tiny gold nails on all four corners and halfway down each long side. A little lazy, I know, but it needs to be held down at all four corners or pulling the velcro pieces off will be a serious pain.

I'm definitely happy with it. Yesterday was our first time using it and it went awesome. When we were putting together a plan for our evening he actually insisted on putting "Helping Time" on there so he could do some work. I had none to do so we just washed a few dishes by hand, and he was so proud of himself. He really wanted to vacuum after that, but I said "noooo way, that's dad's business!" I have my fingers crossed that it will help things run a little more smoothly around here!

2 wonderful comments:

Mom said...

That is such a fantastic idea! I've seen firsthand how your verbal 'plans' with Gavin help him to focus and cooperate. This will be one more step that way. It may also help him recognize words - an extra bonus. Great job!

Tara said...

did you make the cards? or wher can i get them? i love them!