Back to School Ideas for Kids: Rock Schedules

The following post is from Kristina of Toddler Approved:

Back to School Ideas for Kids: Rock Schedules
source: Kristina Buskirk

Summer is ending, and I am craving a return to routines and schedules. My kids have been a little crazy lately because bedtimes have been a little later than normal and we’ve been neglecting some of the typical learning activities that we usually do.

In preparation for the start of the school year, we decided to try out a new style of schedule using rocks. 

Supplies:

  • rocks
  • tempera/acrylic paint
  • paint brushes
  • sharpie
  • jar
source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

Directions:

In order to create a rock schedule, the first thing you need to do is head outside and go on a rock hunt! Then you can grab some paint and paintbrushes and start painting your rocks.

If you have a toddler, you might want to just stick with this activity all afternoon. My daughter loved painting rocks!

source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

Once the rocks are painted, let them dry. Then chat with your kids about what they usually do during the day/after school. As the kids brainstormed activities, I wrote them down on the rocks using a Sharpie and then we placed all of the rocks into a jar and tied it with a ribbon. Tasks my kids came up with included: reading writing, cooking (after school snack), arts, movement activities, math, playing legos, and going outside! Your schedule might look totally different!

source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

My toddler would’ve put the rocks in the jar and taken them out all afternoon if I had let her… I love it when an activity serves multiple purposes.

Once the rocks were all placed in the jar, we took turns pulling rocks out one at a time and putting them in a big line. Each rock told us one simple activity/concept that we needed to work on that afternoon. Once school starts we plan to use this rock jar to help guide our after school activities at home. Right now we are using it to help structure our day.

Instead of having the same schedule every afternoon, we are using a jar of rocks to help us vary it up. Each afternoon we select a few rocks and, as we pull them out, we lay them down and that determines the order of our schedule for the afternoon.

source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

This simple rock schedule could easily be adapted for other uses. Once each task is completed, the rock can be placed back in the jar so that you can see that the task is done.

source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

I love how this activity gets kids creating, helps kids be more responsible for their schedule, and gets them involved!

Do you have any unique or fun ways that you use schedules at your house?

Kristina is a mom of 3 and a former Special Ed teacher for children with communication disabilities. She blogs at Toddler Approved as she looks for ways to make life a little more fun and creative with her kids while embedding learning into everything that she does. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on FB and Pinterest.
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