Therapy Ideas

The best visual schedule/motivator ever.

**This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience**

The title says it all! I am so excited to share this idea with you all!

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This idea began when I began working with a very hard to motivate student. She was very smart, but wasn’t really interested in stickers or other rewards I  use for the other students. Additionally, her classroom teacher had concerns about her task completion skills. If the teacher didn’t tell her each step of a process, or what to do next, the student would sit there or get into things!

 I needed some sort of motivational visual schedule! Below is what I came up with, and I can tell you it was a HUGE hit. She loves using “her boxes”!

First, I purchased/printed all of the materials in the picture below. I used Boardmaker and made the icons 1 inch. To make the reward strips, I put 3 empty boxes and then a fourth with a ribbon in it, indicating they had earned a reward.

photo 2 (10)

You can see some of the icons I printed in the picture below. I cut them out as I need them. Many are classroom related for carryover.

photo 2 (8)

I put a soft piece of Velcro on each box of a pill box, and the reward strip. Then, I put rough Velcro on the icons and the fake money (I used only the nickels).

photo 5 (6)photo 3 (7)

Next, I put the icons on the pill box like a visual schedule.

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Inside each compartment was a fake nickel with Velcro on the back. I told my students that they needed to finish each task and fill up their reward strip to earn painting time at the end of the session! They were excited to get to work.

After each activity, the student opens the pill box, puts the nickel on their reward strip, and puts the icon (e.g. writing) in the pill box to indicate the activity is all done.

photo 3 (8)

This continued until the reward strip was full.

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This activity can be modified in SO many ways, which is why it is great!

1) You can make the reward strip longer and use a bigger/longer pill box (see some of the longer strips/bigger pill box in the picture of all the supplies).

photo 4 (9)

2) You can fill the boxes with other things. I plan on putting pom poms in the boxes and having my students each pom poms to glue on do a dot pages. You can also put small items like stickers and beads in there as well. One thing I hope to do in the future is put a bead in each compartment for classroom use. Then the student can keep a string in the classroom and see how many beads they can earn each day.

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3) You can put the icon of what the student is earning over the ribbon!

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 4) Or you can put the reward activity in the last pill box so it’s a surprise to the student when they finish their work!

photo 1 (11)

Really, the possibilities of this visual schedule/motivator are endless! And how cute are these owl pill boxes?! 🙂 I actually purchased extras of these boxes after realizing how great they function as storage for my millions of icons flying all over the place.

The picture below shows how I store all of the money/icons in the pill box:

photo 2 (11)

Easy right?

photo 1 (8)

What is great about this tool is that it can easily be implemented in the classroom. Did you notice how many of the icons I printed are classroom subjects? This is because this tool now functions as a way for students to increase their task completion and to be more independent. And the students love the reward aspect of it!

 I purchased these pill boxes at Walgreens. Not sure if everybody has access to a Walgreens, but the link to see the product is below:

Walgreens 3 Day Pill Cases

It looks like you can’t order them online. If you’d rather order online, the pill box below on Amazon looks very similar! I also like how it says 1, 2, and 3 on each box.

Hope this helps motivate some of your students. Thanks for reading!

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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    I love this idea and it can be used in so many ways! A little tip for the BM pictures… if you move the boxes over so they are touching edges it saves paper and laminate and is way easier to cut out, than trying to cut with those “spaces” between the pictures.

  2. Reply
    September 22, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Love this! Can you send me a link to where you purchased the picture files?

    1. Reply
      September 25, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      They are from Boardmaker!

  3. […] use something that already has doors: a pillbox! You can find them at a dollar store, or on Amazon. This blog post has some amazing ideas for using this style of visual schedule, e.g., adding tokens to discover in […]

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