As a parent one of your jobs is to make sure your kids learn proper hygiene. For some kids a picture checklist can help teach them all the right steps. Little kids and kids with special needs will find these checklists helpful. Some teenagers could probably benefit from an occasional hygiene reminder too!
When I first launched this activity on The Trip Clip website many years ago, it was focused just on potty training. That’s still a very common usage for the Personal Care activity, since potty training is stressful and difficult and the kids going through it can’t read yet and find the picture list really helpful! Later I expanded the clipart available in this activity to cover a broader set of personal care and hygiene tasks for a few different reasons.
First, I had a number of parents emailing me asking me to add a picture of deodorant for the picture checklists. Some of them wanted to use it on the packing list to make sure their kids remembered to bring it when traveling, or to keep it in their sports bag, but others wanted to create a checklist for older kids with reminders to use deodorant, brush teeth, and comb hair – all things early teens tend to forget to do. These parents found that although their kids didn’t really need a picture checklist, taping a list to the bathroom mirror eliminated the need for anyone to have to talk about these hygiene tasks but the reminder was still there.
Covid Hand Washing
Another indicator that more detailed hygiene lists were helpful to families came with the pandemic hit. Proper handwashing technique became more important than ever, and the picture list made it easy for even very little kids to remember to follow all the necessary steps, especially if the list was on the bathroom mirror where they could follow it each time.
The last reason I expanded the Personal Care activity was to meet the needs of special needs families. The Trip Clip’s picture checklist format makes a great visual schedule, which is a handy way to help teach skills to special needs kids. Being able to break down a complicated task into its individual steps is super helpful for kids with ASD, ADHD, or other special needs. The visual schedule can both teach a new skill in a way that is more accessible for these kids as well as be a helpful visual reminder for them on an ongoing basis. For parents of special needs kids, teaching these self care tasks is critical to helping their kids learn independence, and the checklists can ensure that the kids learn to do the task the right way so parents can feel more confident letting their kids do these tasks independently.
Here are examples of personal care picture lists you can make with The Trip Clip. Each of these is available to try for free, printed or from a mobile device.
I also included a checklist for going to the doctor, since this is an important part of personal care and something that can cause a lot of anxiety for special needs kids. The picture checklist can help them know what to expect, which can help keep the anxiety to a minimum.
You can purchase the Personal Care Activity to edit any of these if needed. I also added the ability to upload your own pictures on the advice of my sister, because my niece has Autism. Sometimes a very specific picture is needed, and this feature lets you upload a photo of your child’s exact toothbrush, or toothpaste, or deodorant brand. You can even include a picture of your child’s doctor if that’s helpful!