Backyard/Patio: Picture Rules
How to Use Picture Rules in the Backyard/Patio
The right hemisphere of the brain is in charge of self-regulation. Because the right hemisphere processes information in images, it’s important to show children visual images of what acceptable behaviors look like. Picture Rules provide specific images for safe, acceptable activities. They are essential for outdoor spaces where hazards are common.
Focus on safety when making your Picture Rules. The ideal way to post your expectations is in the same format as the Picture Rule Cards in the classroom: one image of a hurtful behavior with a mark through it and two images of helpful choices. This provides children with a clear “no,” plus two choices for positive behaviors that will maintain their commitment to safety.
Photograph children demonstrating the two helpful choices and one hurtful/unsafe behavior. Mark through the hurtful/unsafe choice. Then post each set of cards together in the appropriate outdoor areas.
For the teeter totter, the Bug Family took: 1) a photo of one child on each side holding on, 2) a photo of one child sitting and holding on while the other child is climbing off with a speech bubble that says, “I’m getting off now,” and 3) a photo of one child hopping off with no speech bubble. Cross through the last choice (the unsafe choice of jumping off the teeter totter without warning), and then post the signs on the teeter totter.
The Bug Family decided the tree’s branches are too high and thin to climb safely, so they made a sign that depicts: 1) You may play around the tree, 2) You may hide behind the tree, and 3) You may not climb the tree.
*To learn more about how teachers use Picture Rule Cards in the classroom, check out the product video for Shubert’s Classroom Picture Rule Cards.