Category Archives: Activities of Daily Living

Visual Schedules

Many children benefit from routine in their daily lives. A visual schedule is an easy way to provide a child with a visual reminder of what they can expect for their day. Many children experience less anxiety when they know what to expect before something happens. It is easy to find pictures to make your own visual schedule by searching Google. You can make very specific visual schedules (for example: getting dressed – put on underwear, put on pants, put on socks, put on shirt, put on sweater) or a more general schedule (for example a daily routine – get out of bed, eat breakfast, go to school, eat lunch, TV time, homework, supper, play time, bed time). Print the visual schedule you make and hang it close to where they will use it.

Some ideas to try:

  • Give the child a new paper with their visual schedule on it every time so they can check off the steps as they complete them
  • Laminate pictures of each of the steps and create a schedule with two columns (one column is ‘to do’ and the other is ‘done’), attach velcro to both sides and have child move the picture from the ‘to do’ column to the ‘done’ column when they have completed it

Here is an example of a visual schedule:

Morning Routine

Eat breakfast

Get dressed

Brush teeth

Brush hair

Put on coat

Put on shoes

Put on backpack

Shoe Tying Tips & Tricks

I have to admit that my daughter who recently turned 6 has not learned to tie her shoes. My mom tells me that when I was in preschool I was the kid tying other kids shoes under the table (not sure why we were under the table but thats besides the point!). I would have been four years old in preschool. It seems that kids these days are learning some of these skills later in life. Is it because of the invention of velcro shoes or are we just not teaching them these skills when we used to? Since my daughter is starting grade 1 really soon I thought now is the time to focus on teaching her to tie her shoelaces. Today I used the video below for the around the tree method and a lacing card I made (picture below) and she picked it up very quickly!

Here are some general tips and tricks I have compiled for children learning to tie their shoes or those that are needing some extra help learning:

  • Replace thin, round shoelaces with soft, wide (but not too wide) shoelaces that are easier to grip (also they stay tighter when tied)
  • Cotton or other natural fibres will be easier then slippery synthetic shoelaces
  • Use shoelaces that are designed for learning – half one colour and half another colour (can make them by cutting two different coloured laces and sewing or tying them together)
  • Try using a double starting knot to keep the shoelaces tight
  • Knot the end of each shoelace to prevent them from slipping through the loops
  • Have the child start practicing with the shoe on a table or on their lap so they are in a good, comfortable position
  • Help your child to make their own shoelace tying practice board out of cardboard


  • There are commercially available products to help with practicing (e.g. Melissa & Doug lacing sneaker)
  • Try out different methods to see which works best for your child:
    • Standard shoelace knot (around the tree method) – see video here
    • Two loop shoelace knot (bunny ears method)
    • Ian knot – see video here
  • Make sure your child’s shoes are untied every time they take them off so they can practice each time they put their shoes on – repetition is the key to success

Good luck!