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Visual timetables

Visual timetables help children develop communication skills and understand daily routines.

As adults, we use a watch to tell the time. This timetable is a visual clock that helps children make sense of their day.

  • images should be displayed vertically and hung at the child's eye level
  • it is recommended that only six images are displayed at one time (you may want to use different ones for the am / pm session)
  • images can be either 'widget' symbols or photos that you have taken of an activity. It may be helpful to add an object of reference to the image to help those not ready for picture use, for example a drink symbol or your photograph
  • use a photograph that illustrated the indicates the activity and is free from other background clutter which may confuse the message. If you are going to use photographs which have people in them, consider whether these will need updating, for example if a child or staff member leaves your setting
  • remove the activities one at a time, so that the children can see when the activity is finished and the next activity is indicating what is coming next
  • gain the children's attention, and ensure that you show the children which activity is about to happen. This will help them to remember the order of events.
  • children can take turns to help you in using the timetable.

Further resources