When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, the screener suggested creating colorful daily routine lists to add extra organization to our household. Our stress levels went down significantly as soon as I drew them up. They covered the most complicated times of day: mornings, after school and bedtime.
Any kid could struggle at these times, but it is especially hard for kids with ADHD to stick to a routine, even if it’s the same every day.
As the screener explained: when kids with ADHD are given an order such as, “Get ready for school,” it is too vague, there are too many ways to interpret or do it, and it often results in failure. Breaking broad orders down into small steps helps ADHD children stay on task and visualize the larger goal.
Now that some time has passed I’ve learned how a daily checklist can be improved. The first lists I created became outdated as soon as the season changed. As I drew them up again, I made them more in-depth and more flexible. I also added the ability to track completed tasks using DRY-ERASE MARKER TECHNOLOGY!!!! I was pretty pleased with my own brilliance so I decided to make free illustration downloads for everyone. Oh, and I wanted to help the kids…
If you’ve stumbled onto this site without ADHD children, do not fret. The checklists/illustrations are every bit as handy for non-ADHDers.
To make your own dry-erase checklist, save and print the illustration pdf’s and follow the tutorial below. Keep in mind that the illustration sheets are ideal for crafters and scrapbookers. If you’re easily frustrated by the whole fine-motor-skill thing you might want to use my free printable PowerPoint template instead.
Morning, after school, bedtime and chore cut-outs (Daily Routine Cut-Outs – ADHD Natural Mamma) A variety of images to choose from – I am compiling more ideas, especially for chores. If you think of any that would be helpful, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch cut-outs (Lunch Cut-Outs – ADHD Natural Mamma) Keeping food sensitivities in mind, a variety of images are provided. For my own checklist I used a selection of foods that we usually have on hand to give my son ideas of what to put in his lunch box.
Digital clocks cut-outs (Clock Cut-Outs – Digital – ADHD Natural Mamma)
Analog clocks cut-outs (Clock Cut-Outs – Analog – ADHD Natural Mamma) Created in sizes that match well with the daily task illustrations – use marker to add hands or color in the digital displays to create the times you need.
Header cut-outs (Header Text Cut-Outs – ADHD Natural Mamma)
Lined paper (Lined Paper – ADHD Natural Mamma) The lined paper is very basic – use it to write descriptions of the tasks. They are pre-measured to match up well to the task cut-outs.
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DRY-ERASE CHECKLIST TUTORIAL
- Poster frames or picture frame/s
- Glue sticks, spray adhesive or double-sided tape
- Self-adhesive photo corners
- Scrapbooking paper
- Scrapbooking paper cutter or scissors
- Large background sheet (same size or larger than poster frame)
- Self-adhesive pen holder
- Dry-Erase marker with eraser cap
- Markers or colored pencils
- FREE task, clock, and lined paper downloads
- Color the illustrations you need – even images for other seasons of the year. You can swap them out later. Example: getting your outside clothes ready for school is different from fall to winter. Keep in mind that markers may not work well with inkjet-printed paper. You may be better off using colored pencils (the dainty tips are better suited than crayons for these illustrations). Markers should be fine for use on laser or phaser printers.
- Color in the clock cut-outs for tasks that have a time associated to them.
- Create your own unique task descriptions using the lined paper. In my house, a picture of dishes means “offload the dishwasher.” In your house the same picture might mean “set the table.” Label them however you see fit.
- Cut out all your descriptions, images, headers, and clocks. A scrapbooking cutter will save you a lot of time at this step, but scissors work, too.
- Mount the task images and descriptions to scrapbook paper using photo corners – this is what makes the checklist flexible. You can change your mind about the order of some tasks later on or swap out seasonal tasks. I taped a bag of my extra tasks to the back of the frame for easy access later.
- Have fun making a creative design using scrapbook paper. Your only limitation is the size of the picture frame.
There are photos of the process below, just keep scrolling. Pardon the redundancy of the text portions, I created the image for Pinterest :-).