Dining Room: Visual Routine
How to Use a Visual Routine in the Dining Room
Strong Visual Routines scaffold children’s emerging Executive Skills like time management, organization and follow-through. Mealtimes can be difficult for some families. A clear, predictable routine posted in picture form like the one in Shubert’s dining room will help children understand what you expect from them and anticipate what comes next, priming them for mealtime success!
The Bug’s Family’s mealtime routine is: 1) Hold hands in thanks, 2) Eat a balanced meal, 3) Share something about your day, and 4) Ask, “May I be Excused,” when you’re finished.
Young children think in pictures, so it’s essential to provide as many visuals as possible to help them be successful. As children grow up, they learn to read and think in words (like adults); however, providing pictures of what to do continues to be helpful! The right hemisphere of the brain is in charge of self-regulation. The right hemisphere also processes information in images, making it important to show children visual images of acceptable behaviors. The more consistent and visually represented your daily routines are, the more likely children are to be successful in meeting your expectations (and the more smoothly and cooperatively your day will run).
It’s helpful to post Visual Routines for everything from your daily schedule to your bedtime routine, and it’s completely essential to create clear Visual Routines for times/events that regularly create difficulty in your day. State your routines clearly in pictures and words, post them throughout the home where the routines occur, and refer to them often so children learn to use them independently rather than relying on you to repeat yourself.