Picture Activity Schedule

A picture activity schedule is a visual schedule that helps an individual follow a routine. Individuals with disabilities often do great with a structured routine. A picture activity schedule can be used for daily routines or as a play schedule. The goal is to give the individual the schedule and they complete the routine without assistance.  It is important to be sure the individual knows how to complete all the tasks in the schedule independently, before expecting them to complete the schedule on their own. Set up the tasks by starting with 2-3 tasks and then a reward at the end. During the first few sessions walk through the schedule with your child by providing minimal prompting. As your child is learning the schedule, try to avoid verbal interactions as you want the child to follow the routine without you and later you can add social activities.


  • Play routine-set up the schedule with 2-3 play type activities. It is often easier to do with close ended activities (activities that have a definitive end-puzzle). You can use any activity as long as your child understands that they need to go onto the next activity when they finish. For some children you can use a timer and teach them to use the timer for how long they need to play.
  • Morning/Evening routine-set up the schedule with 2-3 activities your child is able to complete independently. Activities like bathroom, getting dressed, get backpack are easy ones to start with. You can eventually add more and more activities to help your child stay busy the entire morning or night. If your child is working on social skills, be sure to add some social activities like tell mom/dad about your school day, talk about your homework, or help cook dinner.
  • Chores-set up the schedule with 2-3 chores your child needs to complete. These do not need to be large chores. It can be as basic as putting laundry in the hamper. Do not expect perfection, but they should participate in the activity as thoroughly as possible.
  • Daily hygiene-you can use a picture activity schedule for daily hygiene activities like getting dressed or brushing your teeth. Put each step on a page. Although you can use a visual schedule with all the steps, some kids can get overwhelmed with all the steps on one page. Using the picture activity schedule the child is able to focus on one picture at a time.
  • As your child learns to read you can use a written schedule instead of needing pictures for all the activities.

Download a free schedule board here!


November 28, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Daily Living Skills Activities No comments yet

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