Let your 5-year-old help make her schedule.

How to Create a Schedule for a 5 Year Old

by Susan Rickey

Your 5-year-old needs to walk into his kindergarten classroom in five minutes, and he is still talking to the cat about his oatmeal. "Brush your teeth," you yell, followed by, "Where are your soccer cleats?" Create a schedule with your 5-year-old to help him keep on track in the morning and throughout the day. If you've ever forgotten you were supposed to be the snack mom and 18 kids refused to accept your lame excuses, the schedule will be a good thing for you, too.

Talk with your 5-year-old about all of the tasks and activities she needs to complete at certain times of the day.

Divide a poster board into three sections with your marker or crayon, designating before school, the afternoon and the evening until her bedtime. Draw a picture of the sun rising for the before-school section. Draw a picture of a school bus leaving school to designate after school. Illustrate a picture of your house for the evening section. Cut out pictures from a magazine, or let your 5-year-old draw the pictures to show the times of day.

Cut out pictures, print from images on your search engine or draw the tasks your 5-year-old needs to complete in each section of the day on small note cards. Or, you could take a picture of your 5-year-old participating in each activity. Print out a postage-size photo and place it on the note card. Color code the cards by section to make finding the right card easier on a daily basis. Put loop fasteners on the backs of all of the cards as well as the poster. The fasteners work well over and over again. (They sound cool when peeled off, too.)

Place the daily tasks on the schedule board every morning with your child. Some of the daily items will be the same throughout the week -- brush teeth, feed the cat, set the table. These items stay on the board every day. Other items will only show up on certain days -- soccer practice, dentist appointment, play date in the park. Have your running shoes on and dinner in the crock pot on days like these.

Items you will need

  • Large poster board
  • Markers or crayons
  • Small note cards


  • Hang the schedule in a place where the 5-year-old can easily reach it.

About the Author

Susan Rickey started writing in 1994 with a technology feature article for the "Pioneer Press." She was the writer of the Klamath Forest Alliance newsletter, an environmental organization. Rickey obtained her teaching credential from California State University and acquired her Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images