First/Then charts are one of my favorite behavior aids! They are easy to use and easy for kids to understand! It can be SO hard for our tiny humans to grasp the concept of First/Then. “FIRST we are eating dinner, THEN you can play outside”. When really, all they heard was, “play outside”. By using a “First/Then” chart you can help them understand by giving them a visual.
First/Then charts are also amazing to use as simple picture schedules. For many children, especially those with disabilities, having a visual picture schedule is CRUCIAL! By using a First/Then schedule your kids will be able to anticipate what is going to happen next. This in itself can eliminate many problem behaviors.
How it works… Print out the free First/Then chart on nice sturdy paper. (Free Printable for word HERE: FIRST THEN) I like to laminate mine, but it works just as well keeping it in a sheet protector if you don’t have a way to laminate. Next, print off pictures of your child doing daily activities. (You can also use simple pictures or graphics off the internet, but it is often more motivating if the picture is of your child.)
Put Velcro on the backs of each picture and the other side of the Velcro on your first then chart. Use the pictures to help your child visibly understand the “First/Then” process. For example: Put a picture of your child eating dinner under the “First” section of the chart. Put a picture of your child playing outside under the “Then” section of the chart.
As with ALL behavior charts and aids you MUST be consistent! Use them consistently and it is SURE to help your child!!! Have plenty of pictures or graphics on hand so you are ready for different activities and behaviors! You can find other helpful behavior charts HERE!