How stressed out are you by daily routines? What about your kids? I mean, it’s something that we do, as a household, every.single.day. Why does it have to be so stressful?

Most of us do not use visual schedules at home though many kids use them at school. These free printable visual schedules for home and daily routines might help make things easier.

A promotional graphic for 44 free visual schedule pdf templates with customizable colors and various activities for different age groups.

Kids with autism may have more difficulty coping with unstructured time than other kids. They may benefit from the increased structure in their lives.

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Also, printable schedules can help a child with anxiety who is often fretting over “what is going to happen next.” A visual schedule helps them plan and prepare even if the next activity is non-preferred. Most of all, these visual schedules are free! I hope this makes your mornings easier.

What is a Visual Schedule?

Visual schedules use a series of pictures to communicate a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity. They are often used to help children understand and manage daily events in their lives. They can be created using pictures, photographs, or written words, depending upon the ability of the child. (that is from wikipedia)

I am going to try a few of these. My son has limited communication skills. We’ve never done this at home but I know he uses printable schedules at school. Sesame Street just launched some new Daily Routine Cards. I think I may try those first.

Are Picture Schedules just for Autistic Children?

No! Many children can benefit from using a visual schedule. Any child who is struggling to learn language, reading, and writing should consider using picture schedules instead.

Benefits of Using Visual Schedules

The advantages of using these free printable visual schedules for home and daily routines for children with autism are:

  • help utilizes the individual’s visual strengths and therefore provides a receptive communication system to increase understanding
  • It helps the individual to learn new things and broaden their interests
  • It provides tools that allow the individual to use skills in a variety of settings
  • predictability can help the individual remain calm and reduces inappropriate behaviors
  • child can develop independence and resulting self-esteem

Visual Schedules in the Home

Despite these benefits, setting up a picture schedule can seem like a daunting, time-consuming task for many parents. Keep in mind that the schedule doesn’t have to be perfect.

Maybe you want to have your child browse these with you and help choose them. I also have included links to purchase schedules if you don’t want to make your own.

visual schedule template
Here is a Morning Routine Visual Schedule.

And here is another. More below!

nighttime routine at home visual schedule

Reasons to Use Visual Schedules

  1. Help kids learn sight words.
  2. Better for kids who learn visually rather than auditory.
  3. Allow for independence-child can see what is coming next, rather than asking.
  4. Help some kids plan for transitions.
  5. They are evidence-based.

If you are still trying to get your school or your team use visual schedules, consider printing this out and sharing it with them.

Additionally, the time you invest in creating schedules now can save you time later correcting behaviors. Furthermore, it is also likely to save your son or daughter time by increasing their skills and independence.

But, in order to make it easier for you, I have found lots of free printable visual schedules. I numbered them so that if you share this post with your child’s team members, you’ll know which printable visual schedule you are talking about.

Printable Visual Schedules

New for 2024, I am updating and adding a lot of resources to this post.

I’m just tired of people abandoning their websites and then their resources are no longer available.

Here is a visual schedule for morning and evening routines.

Next up is five pages of visual flashcards of activities, to use in whatever visual schedule you choose.

Next up is more of the same, but there are more females included.

More templates for you to use, to put the pictures on. It also has actual photos of the activity, rather than a drawing. Some kids, autistic or otherwise, may not be able to make the connection without the photo. My son needs the actual item. As in, we use actual Capri Sun pouches with velcro on them, rather than a picture of a Capri Sun.

I won’t go into how to print, cut, laminate and add velcro. I’m assuming you can figure that out. These are some “first then” visual schedules. First then can help kids learn sequencing, an important executive function.

Last, here are two more blank templates for the schedule. I like them because they have four activities instead of three, for kids who are able to make that leap to adding another.

And here’s the green one.

Daily Visual Schedules for Kids

Please note that if the resource is posted with strikethrough font, it means that the link went dead and I could not find a replacement.

Sorry, but that’s what happens when a post is old, but popular!

  1. First,_next,_then_boards by Seomra Ranga
  2. Morning Routine printable by Laura’s Crafty Life
  3. Daily Routine Printables 2 by Get Snazzy
  4. Unknown Source (click to make bigger and print!)
    Daily Routine Printable
  5. Printable Routine Cards by Childhood 101
  6. Morning routine printable schedule by From ABCs to ACTs
  7. Printable Daily Routine-getting dressed by Living Well with Autism
  8. Daily Bathroom Routine-Toileting
  9. Home and Daily Routine-night time
  10. Printable Morning Routine-including medications
  11. Printable Morning Routine-no meds

Visual Schedules for Preschoolers

Please don’t let the word “preschool” cloud your opinion of this. If my child needs a “preschool” chart when he’s 25, so be it. I don’t care much for age labels.

I hope that these free printable visual schedules for home and daily routines are helpful to you and your kids.

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