We've all heard the advice that it helps to give children advance warning about transitions in order to ward off frustration and confusion. Yet, to a child, a warning doesn't mean much when the concept of time itself is meaningless. What does "ten more minutes of playtime," or "five minutes until lights out" mean to someone who doesn't understand the meaning of time?
Against a backdrop of cheery landscapes and cozy rooms, the Kid-Do Activity Timeline is a clock that displays a block of time as horizontal bars of color. As the activity icons and colored bars move from right to left across the screen, children can see the passage of time, the line-up of their activities, and the amount of time remaining before the next activity—all of which ease them through transitions. Routines like bedtime and getting up and out the door to school become easier for everyone.
By illustrating the passage of time as a horizontal line (rather than as a circular clock), the Kid-Do Activity Timeline empowers children to visualize time in a way they can understand. As they see the icons move across the screen, they can easily estimate for themselves how much time remains before the next activity. A swipe across the "clock" shows them what's coming up, which can motivate them to power through unpleasant tasks to get to the "playtime," "snuggles" or "computer time" they really want.
About Routines and ActivitiesRoutines and activities are the building blocks of a child's day. With Kid-Do you create daily or weekly routines like "bedtime" or "getting ready for school," and break them up into shorter activities. A bedtime routine might include activities such as quiet playtime, snuggles, reading, and lights out. The Kid-Do timer shows you the exact time remaining in a whole routine as well as the number of minutes left in the activity going on at that moment. The Kid-Do Activity Timeline gives kids a visual representation of how much time they have left in a particular activity.
Create and Name New Routine
Click on "Create a routine" bar, type in the name of your routine, and hit "return" to enter it.
Name Your Routine
Once you have created a routine, you need to add the activities that make it up. Think about what really happens during your child's various routines and what needs to happen. Tap "+ Add New Activity" for the "Select an Activity" screen. A list of routines will pop up, and you click on them to find activities. You can also pick activities from different routines on the list to add to the routine you have created.
*TIP: Take a moment to think about your routine. While you can change things later, it's easier to add all of your activities sequentially in the order they will be done. Then you can enter time.
There are over 50 activities to choose from! We tried to group them in a way that makes sense. But you can always use activities in one group for any routine. Whatever works for you.
- Brush Teeth
- Brush/Comb Hair
- Wash Face
- Wash Hands
- Get Dressed
- Pack up
- Books / Storytime
- Count Sheep
- Lights Out
- Quiet Play
- Soft Music
- After School Program
- Arts/Craft Time
- Other (Miscellaneous)
- Timeout/Alone Time
- Together Time
- Video Games
You don't have to use the activities on the Kid-Do list. You can create your own. On the "Select an Activity" screen tap on the orange "+" square. You will go to "Create an Activity." Tap the "Activity Name" field and type in the name of your activity. Tap return, select an icon and tap "done." Your activity is now listed on the Kid-Do activity list under "Other Activities." To make it part of your routine, select it from the list.
Delete Routines and Activities
Creating and following routines and helping children manage time involves trial and error. To delete a routine or activity just swipe your finger across it from left to right.
Set Activity Duration and Launch Times
To set the length of time for each activity, click on the field under "duration," set the desired time, and press done. Do this for each activity, building a little extra time into the schedule to make sure it's achievable.
By changing the start time of the first activity and the end time of the last activity, you can increase or decrease the length of the timeline to meet your schedule. By moving one or the other, you can compress or lengthen the entire routine. The Kid-Do Activity Timeline automatically prorates the duration of each activity in the routine. You don't have to re-set the duration for every activity.
To set the launch time for the entire routineand in turn, for each activitygo to "Start" on the first activity in the routine. Set your desired launch time, and press done. You now have a complete routine set from start to finish. Makes sure to change the end time if you want to keep the whole routine the same length.
You may also find that you have left too little or too much time for a routine"Bedtime routine in one half hour, was I nuts?!" Go to the "End" on the last activity in the routine and change it as you deem necessary.
Set Run Days and Receive Notifications Before Routines Start
To select the days on which you'd like each routine to run, go back to the "Create a Routine" screen. Under "Existing Routines," find a list of all the routines you created. Tap the days of the week on which you want the routine to run and tap the space under "running" for each. A green check appears for those routines you are programming into the app.
In this new version of Kid-Do, you get a notification on your device 15 minutes before the set time of all "running" routines. Just as our kids become involved in their activities, so we get busy in ours; having that notification is key to keeping on track!
If you don't select a run time, you'll always be able to launch a routine by clicking on it and then hitting "Start."
Create a One Activity Quick Routine
Maybe you'd like your child to clean her room before she heads out for a spur-of-the moment playdate. Press on the "Quick Routine" bar, type in the name of your one activity routine (such as "Clean Up Bedroom), and set the duration and launch time, as you would for any activity. Press "start" and you're off!
Launch a New or Scheduled Routine
Routines that are running launch automatically at the start time for each day of the week you have set.
*TIP: You can use this feature to help motivate and discipline your child. Say your child is lingering on the computer, and the Kid-Do Activity Timeline for a bedtime routine has already started. You can show that time is "running ahead" without him. By seeing the color bar and icon for the first bedtime activity progressing across the screen, your child is motivated to "beat the clock" and get in sync with the timeline.
But you can also tap "start" at any time to launch a routine. And, what if you press start by mistake? All you have to do is click the red "X" square, and the routine will stop. Then you can go back to the "Create a Routine" page, select the routine when you're ready and re-launch.
See the Routine and Monitor Progress
The Kid-Do Activity Timeline tailors visuals so you and your child can see the routine and monitor progress. You check the timer as the minutes "Til End" of the routine count down, and, underneath, see how much time is left in the current activity. Children see the simple icons for each activity move from left to right in brightly colored rectangular blocks. The scenery changes as time moves on, and the plump Kid-Do Owl flies over the time line.
*TIP: By swiping across the bottom of the screen to see what activities are coming up, your child can ease the discomfort of making transitions, and what's great is she does that for herself.
Pause a Routine or Rearrange Activities
Family life is full of interruptionsboth welcome and unwelcome. Sometimes a neighbor might come over with an urgent need or Grandma calls to chat. You can tap the orange "pause" button, and press it again to resume.
Family life is all about making adjustments. To re-order activities, you can just delete activities and re-enter in the order you prefer.
Revel in Your and Your Child's Success
When a routine is finished, you and your child will see a message, "Your routine is now finished." Tap "OK," and let your child know how proud you are.