Our first calendar was created years ago to help our son on the Autism Spectrum when we couldn’t find a visual calendar that was functional AND pretty. He was nonverbal for years and we needed a system he could physically see and use in our home to communicate with. He did later learn to communicate but we also had more kids and were being bombarded with the same questions over and over again. When are we going to the movie? When is my party? What days do I go to school? When will I see grandma?
We solved a lot of these frustrations by building up our own tried and true calendar system. Our family is anxious by nature so being able to quickly glance at a calendar on the wall has been a game changer for not only our son on the Autism Spectrum but each family member. We knew it needed to be in a high traffic area or it wouldn’t be nearly as effective. We love the way it looks and matches our home.
Our system is simple but very effective if you are able to stay as consistent as possible. Some days we are more consistent than others and try to not feel guilty for the days we weren’t. We didn’t want it to be another thing that we couldn’t keep up on and a very visual reminder of failure. Don’t over complicate it and keep it simple. Small changes have made a huge impact!
Here is how we suggest using them:
- A few days before the new month we walk through our schedule for the month. Our kids put their activity Calendar Clings on our calendar. We are currently using the Blank Digital Calendars in color in a frame with the clings on the front. It doesn’t always look perfectly lined up or as clean as I wished, but we’ve found it’s important for them to be a part of the process. We have avoided many meltdowns by walking through changes in their typical day to day schedule and giving them a chance to process those changes.
- We bought these wet erase markers and assign each person in the family a color. We draw little circles with that color on the Calendar Cling activities for the appropriate family member. Some clings have 1-3 different colored dots on them.
- Weekly Sunday family councils. Each Sunday night, we try to spend 30-60 minutes reviewing the upcoming week and discuss what we are excited or nervous about that week. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and were encouraged by Elder Ballard to hold family councils. We utilize his questions and have created this freebie for you with those questions.
There are a hundred different ways you could use these in your own family and we can’t wait to see your creativity! Please tag us on Instagram @fernfamilyco so we can see how they work for you. :)