Understanding chronological order is a skill you can teach your child through everyday play.

Chronological Order Activities for Kids

by Pamela Harvey Bates

Giving your child instructions in a sequential order is something you do on a daily basis, but have you ever stopped to think that your child will use this skill throughout his life? For this reason, you can improve his ability to perform everyday tasks in chronological order through some creative activities involving rhymes, pictures and numbers.

1. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

The old man may be snoring, but your youngster can learn a critical life skill through simple rhymes. The ability to do everyday chores in chronological order is something your child must practice on a regular basis before he will master it. Think about the things that you and your child do daily and then make a deliberate effort to point out each step and the importance of doing the steps in a logical order. Even the everyday task of brushing his teeth can help him learn about sequencing if you add a little rhyme like, "Brush your teeth, brush your teeth. Give them each a little treat. Brush your teeth, brush your teeth. To keep them nice and neat. In the morning and at night. Brush them twice a day. Brush up and down and all around. Keep fillings well away."

2. Picture Time

Preschoolers love to see pictures of themselves. Gather up photos from various stages in your child's life to help him understand chronological order. Use words like shorter, smaller, bigger, taller, younger and older to help your youngster put the pictures in order. Hang the chronologically ordered snapshots from a clothesline to display your child's newly acquired skill to turn this activity into a simple art project.

3. A Recipe For Success

Terms like first, second, third, next and finally are an important addition to your child's vocabulary, and teaching him to use these words can be as easy as pie -- baking a pie, that is. Just by allowing your child to help you in the kitchen can give him a valuable opportunity to practice sequencing. Follow the steps to a simple recipe and have your little one help with the process. Make sure he is paying attention to each step while you talk about how important it is to follow the steps in a certain order. Not only will your child learn something, but in the end you will both have a yummy treat to share.

4. Once Upon a Time

Even if your youngster cannot read yet, he is probably familiar with his favorite bedtime story. Use this beloved book as a tool for teaching him about chronological order. After reading the story several times, have your child tell you the events of the story in order from beginning to end. Snuggle up and talk about why he thinks things happened in that order and what would have happened if the order changed. By relating this back to things in your child's own life, you will make this a memorable lesson.

About the Author

Pamela Harvey Bates is a teacher and a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies from Angelo State University. As an educator, Bates enjoys sharing her passion for writing with her students. She has been writing for more than 10 years.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images