*A version of this post was previously published on 2/23/16. This post contains affiliate links.
When my daughter, Bethany was little, even though she had tons of games, puzzles, and arts and crafts supplies to keep busy, she didn’t have the skill to pick and choose something fun to do on her own.
I became concerned that she was spending way to much time watching videos.
I wanted her to use her mind and exercise her brain more.
By now, most of you probably already know, I am a firm believer in using visuals to teach Bethany just about anything.
So, to remind her that that there was more to life than watching movies, I created a visual activity schedule for Bethany
Our first activity schedule was simply a little photo album from Dollar Tree with three pictures of her favorite games inside!
The first step in teaching her to make choices was to just show her the pictures and require her to complete each activity in order.
Our second step was showing her all three pictures and having her point to each activity as I named them!
And lastly, I showed her the pictures and had her point to which activity she wanted to do first.
As Bethany demonstrated that she understood each task, I gradually added more activities to her schedule one at a time.
After much practice, patience, and consistency, Bethany was eventually able to generalize her new skill by making choices in other situations, like telling us what she wanted to eat or where she wanted to go!
Now, she’s able to make a variety of choices all on her own!
And that’s no small accomplishment!
I’ve also used this technique to schedule Bethany’s days and warn her of any special events that may be happening such as doctor appointments, birthday parties, or holidays!