A favourite friendship club activity at our elementary school is weekly swimming at the local indoor pool. The excitement builds for our little gang as we enter the change room and thoughts are on the upcoming fun splashing around with friends rather than where to put the socks that have just come off those little feet. Combining excited students with flying and/or scattered clothes items in a room that echoes sound can make for a rough go at giving instruction and keeping organized.

A smooth running change room routine is critical. Critical for decreasing the chances of misplacing items and the ever important goal of increasing independence. Here is a visual prompt targeting steps taken once entering the change room.



Note we make time while we are still in the school building prior to departure for the students to put swimwear on underneath clothes. This visual lives in my swim bag and can be temporarily fastened to a change room locker using sticky tack or magnets.

Suggested steps to implementing this visual:

  • Week #1Stand beside the visual. Read out each instruction and model flipping the checkmark over once step is complete.
  • Week #2Stand beside the visual. Rather than speaking out each instruction, point to each step and model flipping the checkmark over once step is complete.
  • Week #3Stand beside the visual. Point only to each instruction and have the student flip the checkmark over once step is complete.
  • Week #4Fade out finger point prompting. Stand beside visual and redirect only when necessary. The student should refer to the visual and flip each checkmark over after each completed step.
  • Week #5Position yourself a few feet away and only intercept if it looks like the student has missed a step. Casually redirect the student back to the visual and discreetly point to the missed step.
  • In time once this routine has been mastered, the physical proximity to the student has decreased and the visual prompt faded out only to be brought back out in times of routine reminders. Perhaps back from a long break from school, a new school year, or an irregular school day.

To download a copy of this visual click here.