Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Photo Routine Chart

I have three kids.
So I need routine.
Without routine, I have three kids and a whole lot of chaos.
As a result I am a bit of a drill sargent in the morning.  And that isn't fun for anyone.  I found myself constantly reminding, over and over.  Frustrated.  Yelling.  Talking to walls, for what they heard from me. 

Alexis, having ASD, means she requires a lot of direction, reminding and assistance in completing tasks.  Directions must be simple, one thing at a time, broken down bit-by-bit.  Despite doing the same thing every day since the beginning of last year, she still required me to prompt her to go and get dressed, or brush teeth, or put on shoes.  So it was time for a routine board - as recommended by her psychologist.

I lived on Pinterest for a few days, mulling over what would be an affective system for Lexi and came across this awesome post: DIY Chore Chart (My Sisters Suitcase)

Lexi is a visual child, and so doing a photo chore chart, where she featured was going to work best.  I made one for Zavian also, where he features in his photos.  I thought this would be more fun for them, seeing pictures of themselves that they could really relate to, instead of just using random cartoon pics from the internet.  It also made it easier to include things like "Feed Saffron" using a picture of her, or for Zavian turning off his special star light.

I purchased a great magnetic board that had a little box at the bottom, that would become the 'finished' box.  These were on sale for $10 (from $20) each at Big W (Oh yeah, I totally went and bought 3...  A normal white board would work as well, which was my original plan.  I decided against gluing picture to magnets and found some magnetic paper from Officeworks for $23.80 (5 sheets).  I printed the pictures at home, using my very basic printer, using 2 sheets.  I took all of the photos on my phone and edited them to add the border and text using the "A Beautiful Mess" app.  I used that because I already had it on my phone.  Any app that adds font will work.  To make printing easier, I used the PDF layout that is in the link from above linked My Sisters Suitcase post.

I took photos of the things they kids do each morning as part of their routine.  Even
though they can't read, they can see very clearly what they need to do.

Magnetic photos are easy to remove for the kids.


The completed charts hang.  These are now hanging in our entry way.

Using a visual reminder is a good way for Lexi to understand what comes next.

The finished box allows them to keep track of what is left to complete.

Lexi enjoys removing the tasks she has completed.

Our reward system is simple - 1 gem for each finished morning routine.
A chosen amount of gems will equal a reward.

So far, with implementing the chart, mornings are a much quieter affair.  Less yelling, nagging and frustration from me.  The kids are finding it to be a bit of a game, especially to see who finishes first.  Lexi will follow the chart one task at a time in the order that they are on there.  Zavian puts more thought in to it and will do whatever is easiest to what he is doing.  Eg once he is dressed and his pjs are off, he puts them straight under his pillow and makes his bed, then will remove all 4 of those tasks.

The reward system at the moment is that they will receive a reward after 5 gems are earned.  These will be something basic, like an ice cream or a chocolate.  Nothing too big.  Once they are used to that, we will then move on to allowing them to cash in 5, or to save (for example) 15 to cash in for a bigger prize.  I purchased the gems from the garden section of our local cheapy shop, as well as the glass jars.  The jars are only little, and Lexi also uses one at school as a rewards system (she receives a "prize" for filling the jar).  

I strongly recommend every one puts something like this in place!  It is a godsend on a school morning!!  The next step is to implement our afternoon/evening routine in to the chart as well.  Whilst that is no where near as chaotic as our mornings, it would certainly have its place!






Tuesday, 14 July 2015

101 in 1001 - Take 2!

The new - 101 in 1001.

I completed only a percentage of my last one - I still need to work out WHAT percentage.  However I have transferred the incomplete items I still want to do and have started a new list!

This list will begin 15th July 2015 and end 11 April 2018.

And so we begin.



  1. Donate blood/plasma/platelets (whichever they need at time) 20 times. (0/20)
  2. Make annual family photobooks covering 2015, 2016, 2017 (0/3)
  3. Create an alphabet book for Memphis
  4. Make "1st Year" photobook for each child (0/3)
  5. Create a Memory jar and write happy memories in it over the course of 1 year
  6. Learn to crochet
  7. Visit an Australian State or Territory I have never been to
  8. Take a Mummy & Lexi only trip
  9. Take a Mummy & Zavian only trip
  10. Take a Mummy & Memphis only trip
  11. Upcycle an item to use a photography prop
  12. Create something from a pallet
  13. Send 5 care packages (0/5)
  14. Complete the 50mm in 50 Day Challenge (Photography)
  15. Commit 10 Random Acts of Kindness
  16. Buy a new camera lens
  17. Update all of my blog with the completed tasks for the previous 101 in 1001 challenge
  18. Complete my Diploma in Education Support
  19. Enrol in University and start a degree
  20. Photograph a birth
  21. Self-love project - 100 images that I am in
  22. Lose 2 dress sizes
  23. Go on a camping trip with friends
  24. Take an unplanned road trip
  25. Complete an adult colouring in book
  26. Go horse riding
  27. Take Lexi to the ballet or theatre
  28. Take Zavian to a footy game
  29. (Experience for Memphis - TBD)
  30. Turn the master bedroom balcony in to a usable space
  31. Create routine/organisation boards
  32. Learn sign language (auslan)
  33. Fly a kite
  34. Complete an #ikeahack or #kmarthack 
  35. Do 1 art project a week for 3 months with the kids (0/12)
  36. Play in the snow & build a snowman
  37. Meet three online friends (0/3)
  38. Get my manual car license
  39. Do a first aid course
  40. Have a makeover
  41. Get my tattoo for the boys
  42. Have a pamper day with a friend
  43. Throw/host a baby shower for a friend
  44. Get a new car
  45. Buy a new pair of converse
  46. Do something on Danni's bucket list
  47. Make macarons
  48. Have a girly weekend away
  49. Take the kids to Dubbo Zoo
  50. Go rock climbing
  51. Skydive
  52. Have a big 30th birthday
  53. See three theatre productions (0/3)
  54. Clean out my inbox
  55. Roller Skate
  56. Read 15 books (0/15)
  57. Create a new workspace
  58. Have one week off facebook
  59. Watch 25 movies I have never seen (0/25)
  60. Make a list of the top 5 people who have positively impacted me and write them a letter (0/5)
  61. Make profiteroles
  62. Play in the snow
  63. Become debt free
  64. Update my resume
  65. Complete another 365 Day Photo Challenge
  66. Complete a 1 year Project Life album
  67. List 100 things that make me happy
  68. Attend an art class
  69. Do the ropes course at Mount Tamborine
  70. Clean/organise my wardrobe
  71. Learn to play a song on the piano
  72. Watch a sunrise and sunset on the same day
  73. Buy flowers for myself for no reason
  74. Send flowers to a friend 
  75. Grow a herb garden
  76. Create a photo wall
  77. Have a girls night out once a month for a year (0/12)
  78. Stay up for a New Years countdown with friends
  79. Go to Aqua Aerobics once a week for three months (0/12)
  80. Organise my jewelry
  81. 30 x 30 Challenge (30 mins of exercise for 30 days)
  82. 10,000 steps a day for 30 days
  83. Make someone a birthday cake
  84. Send a stranger a card
  85. Make a pie on Pi Day (March 14)
  86. Build a sandcastle with the kids
  87. Make bread from scratch
  88. Tie-dye something!
  89. Grow a sunflower
  90. Leave a note in the letterbox of my two NZ homes with a memory of my time there (0/2)
  91. Make a video of the kids that tracks them over 12 months
  92. Take pictures in a photobooth
  93. Do 3 "Day In The Life" Challenges (0/3)
  94. Do the "50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind" survey
  95. Visit a place that was used as a film set
  96. Stop biting my nails
  97. Make a fairy garden
  98. Participate in a charity event
  99. Leave 5 inspirational notes for someone to find (0/5)
  100. Maintain a blog for the duration of this journey
  101. Save $10 for every completed task