Monday, February 13, 2012

Visuals for Understanding Time

I am forever trying to find new ways to help kids understand the unique situation they find themselves in when they are in foster care.  There aren't any tried and true methods for accomplishing this, as each kid has different concerns and different difficulties to overcome.

Buddy and Bug really have NO sense of time - minutes, hours, days, months, mean nothing to them.  Bug says all the time, "Yesterday, when I was a baby, I ... "  And then, "Tomorrow (meaning yesterday) when we did X, Y or Z..."

Buddy has questions about future events, days, weeks or months ahead.  "When are we going to see Mom and Dad?"  "How many more days until school is done?"  "What day are we going swimming?"  When I answer on Monday, Tomorrow or in four months - it means the same thing - nothing.

So, since they got here, I have been trying to visualize things for them.  For Christmas we did a countdown chain made out of paper and pulled off a link every evening that we got closer to Christmas.

But for the further out things, I decided to make a color/picture calendar.  Bug is too little to read and Buddy is still working on letters, so we made everything color coordinated with pictures when I feel artistic.  Then at the end of everyday, we review what we did that day, talk about what we will be doing tomorrow and crossing of the day.

Seems to be helping - somewhat.  :)

Other ideas for helping kids understand time?

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It'll be a pleasure hearing your thoughts. Alisa