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Visual Timetables


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Hi horsechustnut, we have a child who appears to benefit from this. We have four cards which represent 'playtime', 'snack time', 'singing time' and 'mommy time'. These were specific to him (and very basic) because he constanly asks for 'mommy'. He now plays a little and is starting to say new words.

Good luck with the records. :D

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Guest Wolverton Day Nursery

I use the Boadmaker system to print out visual timetables, you can adapt the symbols and add pictures to suit individual children. Sometimes your local speech & language therapy groups have this systems, might be worth having a word with them.

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Hello Horsechestnut,


I have just done a course on visual timetables this week. Children respond more readily to visual stimulus than spoken especially those with social and communication difficulties (including children with EAL). They give children and adults the means to communicate with another indiviual their physical needs, choices or feelings. It helps a child make sense of their world, to communicate, to behave appropriately, to keep calm and to manage change. Many of the ideas we were given were suitable to use with the class/group as a whole.


It involves using pictures, symbols, photos, objects to represent a sequence of activities or events. It is best to use the pictures or symbols on their own first by labelling so that the child is familiar with their meaning, so for example have sand tray, bricks, train set, toilet, sink with the appropriate symbol/picture that you will go on to use on the visual timetable.


There are different types of timetable - eg a timetable to show the routine of the session/day, one to break down the steps of a particular activity (eg mixing paint), one to show a specific time sequence, one showing the organisation of the space/environment, or simply one enabling the child to make choices (eg using 2 pictures - the bike or the scooter : child points or gestures).


I have already made a very simple visual timetable to put in the bathroom. It has pictures showing the sequence of going to the toilet, flushing, washing and drying hands. It involves simple pictures but is useful for all the children in Nursery.


I intend to start building up a resource of photos specific to our Nursery for making visual timetables, but if you want something simpler there are websites with ready-made symbols and pictures that you can use.











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Hi Horsechesnut :)

Best of luck with all of those records of achievement. You're not a bit demanding - we all help each other here.

I used a visual timetable succcessfully with a pupil with severe speech and language impairment this year. We started off, using the websites for pictures, with case, tray carpet - he gradually understood the routine first thing in the morning of putting away his case, his lunch in his tray and then sitting on the carpet and now does it with ease. We slowly progressed to the rest of the day. I also use visual cues e.g. when they are all sitting together, good listening, good sitting and good looking - with pictures of ear, eye and a child sitting. It seems to work so we now have one overall timetable for the day, carpet time, lunch time etc. and individual ones , like looking, listening and sitting for specific activities.

I hope that helps

Ruthanne :)

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I wanted to do something like this last year, spent hours on Google image search, & got some pics to use - I don't know if they're any use but I'll have my very first go at uploading them!!




This doesn't seem to work for me Dianne. Is it a word document or something different?

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  • 10 months later...

I use visual timetables both with the whole class and individuals. The whole class timetable goes on the 'Bob' board (Bob the Builder saying "It's time for "). Individually, I laminate an A4 sheet of coloured card, with a photograph of the child on the top right hand side. Fold the card half and put velcro strips under the photo and on the inside. I use two cards at any one time with the child (e.g. story and playtime), so the child can see which activity they are expected to do now and next. As soon as task one has been achieved, it is taken off, and task 2 (or the reward for task one) is started. I use the inside of the card to store the card bank.


I've attached some of the basic symbol cards I use, if you need any others, you can produce them on Writing with Symbols if you have it, if not, let me know what you need and I'll see what I can do.




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  • 1 month later...
Sorry to sound demanding. I have 27 Records of achievement left to do.... :o

Hi there email me with lessons you need and i will try to make you a timetable?? i have communicate with print which is brill at home and use visual timetables daily as i work with sen and i can try to email you what you need.


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You guys are great!

I've got two little persons coming into my class who will need visual timetables and these resources will really help (so thankyou).

In passing, the nursery who the children are coming from have asked me to put together a very simple 'social story' on preparation. Photo of the school, classroom, where coats are hung up and photo of me (yuck!)

On the school visits the children are shown the photos in context. I kept this really simple not wanting to overload on info. (4 photo's). I took photos of children during visit and what they did in the activities. Next week when they visit again, I will give a further 4 to add to their previous book. The idea is that they familiarise and have a visual reminder over summer.

Know it's not quite appropriate for you (horsechestnut) but sort of fits in with the topic. Good luck on your reports etc.


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  • 2 months later...

Hi Sally,


Many thanks for your kind words - it's what keeps me going! I am just glad I can be of help to people as I know how hard it can be to find time to make resources - so I try and do the job for you!


Cheers :)



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