Life Skills

When we learn a new skill, we become more confident. Learning new skills have more than just a practical impact. To help, we have created resources to show how young people feel about what they can do on their own. This can be used to give an idea of their confidence in their own ability.

Life skills

Lockdown Routines

Respectfully and due to copyright issues, please ensure that you keep our ‘made by Boardmaker’ on all our work.

We’ve edited our routines page and will be including this post so that you can make up your own timetable to suit you and your family/school during home learning 2021.

The PDF and pictures can be printed and cut out.

Lockdown Routine 2021

This powerpoint can be used as an interactive resource. See our blog Interactive first and then board for more information on how to do this.

interactive routine

This is an example of what you will see on each powerpoint once you zoom out.



Pupil Voice

We used this for our S1s today to find out how they feel they are settling in. We wouldn’t have been able to get this type of information from them otherwise. Sometimes asking pupils how they are getting on can result in the shutdown of “fine.”, to help, we have created this to give options on answers and to help break down the whole “How are you settling in?”. This could also be used for pupils who have moved schools.

Settling In Pupil Voice

Staying Safe at Christmas UPDATED

We have updated our information based on the latest Scottish Government guidance. This can be found on this link – viewed 16/12/20 @20:45pm)

Christmas bubble updated


Christmas Bubbles Update  (last viewed 8/12/20 @8:40pm)

In line with updated guidance, we have created some visuals based on this to help explain the bubbles.

Christmas Bubbles

We have created a visual that can be personalised. You can write/draw on these to show who will be in your bubble and where you may be going.

Christmas bubble personalise

Motivation Boards

Motivating pupils for work tasks can be tricky. Some of our young people find it difficult to work, if they do not see the purpose. This can be okay and manageable at time, but at other times, this motivation to work on things they find uninteresting or lacking in purpose for them at this stage of their life, can be difficult.

To help, we use the motivation boards. We have attached some examples of what they may look like. The best ones are ones based on the pupil’s interest. We use pictures of things such as books, custard creams, favourite TV character, an image of an iPAd etc. These work best when completed individualised.

We use this for all pupils, but our target audience are pupils who are appearing to “opt out” of work tasks. It is important to recognise the pupil’s achievement. We have included an example of what we may give out jigsaw pieces for. This is deliberately rather vague as on some days, depending on how the young person is feeling, it may be enough of a challenge for them to even be in the room so if they are having a particularly challenging time, doing one task may be using up as much energy -emotionally and mentally-  as it would on another day to do 5 tasks.

We need to meet them where they are at that moment.

THIS SHOULD NEVER BE USED AS A BEHAVIOUR CHART. Pieces only get removed once they have completed their jigsaw and have been given their choosing time. NEVER remove for behaviour, as this is NOT a positive/negative reward system. It is to help motivate and give a purpose to something. This focus is solely on motivation therefore to use it for motivation and behaviour gives less opportunity for achieving success.

We cut the coloured sheet in the shape of the picture then cut it into pieces. We laminate both colour and black and white sheet. Then use velcro to attach the pieces. We also attach an envelope to the bottom of the page with the coloured pieces so that the young person has access to it.

Motivation Board Instructions



Scottish Government Levels

We have updated with another example of wearing face coverings. (Last viewed 1/11/20)

Face Coverings level 3 and 4

We have updated to included Socialising and Hospitality information for the levels. Last viewed 31/10/20

Socialising and Hospitality Levels
 Last viewed 29/10/20


Central Belt Restrictions in Scotland  last viewed 10/10/20

Please remember to regularly check localised guidance for updated information. We have attempted to visualise the rules as best we can. As the rules change, it becomes more complicated for us all. Please bear in mind we are simply visualising the guidance from the Scottish Government website. We do not make them so are unable to answer any questions relating to them. Please contact your local elected official for these answers.

Central Belt Restrictions

Central Belt Travel Restrictions

Visual Explanations

Here we are going to be adding some Visual Explanations to help explain different situations that may arise. Visual Explanations are what we use to help develop understanding, perceptions and development of communication. All behaviour is communication so we would use these alongside analysis of communication, sensory processing and environmental factors.

Colours of symbols are used to show how these can be printed and cut into strips so that young people are not overwhelmed by too much information. This would depend on the young person. With some young people, we would use this as a poster and refer throughout the day. For other young people we would cut them into strips so they can be taken to other areas more easily.

PDF versions can be downloaded by clicking on the blue underlined words.

What should I do when I am hurt

when should i wash hands

I need to move

I need help

Mum is having a baby

okay and not okay

okay angry

Scottish Government Guidance Update September

Please note we are visualising the guidance only. We have no input nor access to further information. Please contact your local elected representatives if you have any questions. households

Restrictions in scotland retail hospitality tourism

Self Isolating

Test and Protect Self Isolate Last viewed 29/9/20


Scottish Government Update September

These are the visuals we have created based on the speech from the first minister. This can be found in the link below. Please make sure you check localised guidance regularly for the most up to date information. We are only visualising the information and only have the information from the speech and the government website. Therefore we cannot answer any questions in relation to the change of rules or what they mean.

Scot Gov Update

After School Communication

“How was school today?” One of the most challenging questions to ask. As parents, we never know what the response will be. For some of our children and young people, it can be hard to articulate. For others, school is finished and they have already experienced it. It is present in their mind and they have the knowledge. It can be hard for them to recognise that we haven’t experienced the same as them, therefore we do not know.  For others, they are so exhausted that they cannot bear to talk about it.

We worry.

To help, we have created a couple of resources. We would laminate these resources for our children/pupils and use a whiteboard pen. This can help take away some of the anxiety and give you some information.

Today in school I liked

My favourite thing this week was

Face Coverings In Schools

We have updated this blog to include Adults Wearing Masks in Schools.

Adults wearing masks in school (26/8/20) (26/8/20)

This visual is to support the understanding of where to wear masks in school based in the Scottish Government Guidance. Information based on the above guidance from the Scottish Government.

Wearing Masks in Secondary Schools


Face Coverings


Teaching Time

We will build this up over the next few weeks. Resources can always be adapted to include the use of consistent visuals. Each pack follows a similar layout in order to provide consistency and to relieve anxiety of new things!

We are quite excited about our half past resource! We think it’s better than our original o’clock one! Sorting am and pm requires cutting along the line.

Remember to click the blue words on our blog to open up the PDF version.

quarter past

quarter to

Time Half Past

Time Half Past

Time o’clock


Secondary Timetables

It can be difficult for some of our young people to organise what they need for a full day of school. To support them, we have created a powerpoint that can be used at home/school and printed. This could then be attached to a keyring and kept on the young person’s bag.

To use, click and download the powerpoint. Open on a computer/tablet and copy and paste/move the visuals to make up the individual timetable for each day. Remember times may differ for each school/authority so please double check times before hand.

This is an example of how it could look.

Secondary timetables interactive – Powerpoint

Feeling Angry

Many of our returning pupils ( and adults) may experience anger next week but may not be able to explain why. Recognising this and supporting them, will provide positivie opportunities to develop self help strategies for life long skills.

angry– Downloadable version

Sharing information

It is so important in schools that we all know the best ways to support our pupils. This activity below can be printed and written on or downloaded and typed. Another option is to download to powerpoint and use the visuals. Visuals can be seen and understood quicker by most brains so benefits everyone…staff included.

Symbols can be dragged on to show what sensory issues staff need to be aware of. Daily requirements such as using overlays or a first/then board can be included. Extra information might include details of calming strategies or where to find required resources etc.

About Me – Powerpoint version

Below is an example of how this might look.


All Behaviour is Communication

When we look at situations, we often see the behaviour. It is crucially important that we look beyond the behaviour and look at the reason for the behaviour. There will always be one.

When working with our new neuro-divergent children and young people, this needs to be concerned before we react. We also need to look at developing their self awareness. These resources are to further develop this.

Overload 1


Getting to Know Me Activities

Returning to school can be tricky. As teachers, having a bank of easy to use and adapt resources is key for the first few days any year, but this year these resources need to be adapted to include a greater focus on supporting  the emotional needs and mental health needs of our pupils. To help with this, we will be adding in resources over the next few days.

Getting to know me


This resource can be used as an interactive activity on a smart device. (see our previous posts on how to do this.)

It is about opening up how our children/young people feel. It is an activity that can be used as a one off or on a more regular basis.

How I feel Young Person

How I think I’m feeling

We have also made one for older teenagers/adults.

How I feel Adult

Returning to School Emotions

As the return to school is fast approaching. many of our pupils (and staff) will be feeling a range of emotions. Due to the length of time that has passed, we need to be so aware of ensuring that we are all aware of the emotions being experienced by those around us. These are challenging times for adults. We cannot begin to imagine how challenging this is for some of our children and young people. Some may react in ways we would not expect. Some of our children and young people may cope better than expected while others less so.

We need to support them as they need it.

Returning to School Emotions


It can be really tricky for some of our young people to understand seeing people out of context. With guidance beginning to relax, having visitors coming into their homes or them going to visit in others’ homes can be difficult to understand. To support this, we have created an interactive board. This can be either printed or saved to a tablet that has powerpoint or keynote. Please note this opens on a computer on powerpoint.

Instructions are at the bottom of this post.

Interactive Visitors

Home routines

We have included some resources to support routines at home. At the bottom of the post there is some advice on how to support communication.

Home Routine Resources (PDF Available here)

These are some examples of place you may go or what you may do.

Below are blank day boards. You can add Velcro to the boards or use tac to make them reusable. You can use one strip or the full day board.

Below is an example of a week board. This could be used to show upcoming events for the week or could be used to show where child/young person will go e.g. school-club-home etc.

Below is a first and then/now and next board.


Depending on the stage of development of your child/young person photographs or objects may be more appropriate. For example use a first and then board and place a spoon on first and a duplo block on then. Once you have done this, you would use speech while pointing/touching “First Breakfast (point to spoon). Then Blocks (point to block).”

When using visuals, objects or photographs the verbal is as important to help the child/young person to make the connections and support brain development and processing skills.

Family Summer Bucket List

This year the summer holidays are going to be different than previous years. There are so many things we can do to keep the summer holidays fun. So we have created a Bucket List for families to try! This may not be appropriate for all families, as always, these are just some ideas! We have a million more so might make another one up!

Family Bucket List

My School Passport

Many people enjoy looking through photo albums or have wee boxes or folders of memories and keepsakes. This is important for our children and Young People too. We have created this wee booklet (Click the blue underlined words to open our PDF) that can work as both a transition document and a keepsake. Each year pages 3 and 4 could be printed and added to their booklet.

My School Passport

How Can I Prepare My Child for their Return to School?

Many of our parents are concerned about how their children and young people will cope with their return to school. Schools are working incredibly hard to try and get everything worked out to ensure everything is ready for our children and young people on their return in August. Everyone is working with the unknown. To try to help, we have made up a wee booklet that some of our parents have been asking about.

What can I do to help prepare my child

Returning in September? Use these pages instead!

Return to School in September



Facing bereavement can be difficult at any stage of our life. For our children and young people, they may react in ways we would never expect. Or they may react exactly as we thought. It can be hard to prepare for whether it is sudden or expected. There are lots of excellent resources out there to support and explain to our young people.

Here are a couple of our examples.

when a person dies

when a person dies page 2

Explaining and understanding death


Covid Worries for a Young Person

Many of our young people and older children are concerned about Covid-19. Again, using our understanding of the value of facing fear with facts.

This is important to only use the bits that are relevant and appropriate for your young person/ child. You know them best. If the example of the shop would mean they won’t want to go to a shop, then cut that bit off.

Worried about covid

Black Lives Matter


Black Lives Matter.

Remember, use only what is appropriate for your children/young people. Some of this may be upsetting so please use appropriately.

Anyone who follows our blog regularly will be aware that we make resources to support communication. Part of communication is understanding. Many people are trying desperately to understand what is happening in the world right now. Our children and young people too. We have based referenced our research below.

We have attempted to explain what ‘Black Lives Mean’ as best as we can. We are listening and we are learning.




References (05/06/20) (05/06/2020) (05/06/20)

Story and Sentence Support

When it comes to story writing, many of our children and young people have fantastic ideas but can find it difficult to process these ideas and focus on the physical requirements of forming each letter and word to make up the sentence of story. How many times do we find that asking the child or young person about their story or essay,they are able give us so much more than we see on their page?

To help with this, we have created sentence boards, where the pupil would select the image they want (these can easily be tailored to suit individual pupils likes/interests.

For those pupils who find it hard to start, we have the choice boards.

PDF available here Story Support

Teaching about Perceptions

There are many things people learn naturally. Others are that are specifically taught. Some are straight forward and others are more difficult.

Trying to get someone to take on board that someone else may have a different point of view or perception that is just as valid as their own is a tricky one.

We will be adding more resources to this in the coming weeks and months as many people will need this to be repeated and taught again.


Keeping Myself Safe

We recognise that with new guidance from the Scottish governments, some people may find it difficult to understand new rules or may find it difficult to understand other’s perceptions of these. To combat this, we have made up a couple of resources to help.


Breathing Exercises

Krysten Taprell has very kindly given us permission to visualise some of the amazing breathing techniques she discuss on her blog.
Karen Taprell says on her blog that when we slow our breathing down and keep it in rhythm then the body will follow.  She also says that being anxious, leads to a flight/flight reaction which can stimulate the Vagus Nerve. If breathing can be controlled then a message is sent to this nerve which causes the body to release calming chemicals.

Getting dressed

We will continue to update this as and when we can.

It  can be hard for some people to get dressed. Having to process the order correctly and ensure they have what they need can use up a lot of brain power. Some days could be easy and other days it could take a long time.

To help with this, we are going to make some visuals that take off some of the pressure.

Labelling drawers-  Using visuals rather than having to rely n memory is one of the easiest ways to help relieve some of the pressure. Seeing where the items you need are, can make a huge difference.

Differentiated Alphabet Board

We have been looking at some resources to support pupils once they are in school.

As a teacher, I would print this out in black and white or give a small version to pupils to keep. Once the taught lesson to introduce how to use the letter, what sound it makes and what the letter name has happened. I would cover that letter with a coloured version. See picture below for example.

You may want to introduce vowels.

Your learners may prefer something more subtle.

You may want it to be colourful.

These are just some of our suggestions. We have included the PDF file below which contains all of these images.

Alphabet boards


Scottish Government’s Phased Approach Visualised

Many of our family and friends are visual learners. As we have has discussed many times before, visuals are easier to process and understand for many. We are currently visualising the Scottish Government’s phased approach to varying restrictions due to Covid-19.

Phase1 2 3 4

We are also making up communication boards to show what you can do during each phase.

Phase 1 Activities

What can i do in phase 2

Returning to School after Covid-19

Everyone is concerned about returning to school. We have made a wee booklet to help. We would also suggest that staff begin now by playing games online with pupils such as “Guess the staff behind the mask?” Take a picture wearing a mask and post  in on social media or make a booklet. Show pictures of staff wearing masks and staff not wearing masks. Encourage the children and young people to see the mask as something that isn’t scary. Many of our pupils will struggle with the change in physical appearance, but we will continue to update our blog with more ideas to support them.


Returning to school

Initiating Communication

Questioning and answering is an essential and natural part of communication. For some it can be difficult because the brain has to work too hard to process the information and then find an appropriate response. Having sentence starters can help.

We have made a pack of sentence starters that can be used as small cards or mini posters.


When I feel…I can…

Emotions can be a tricky business. We all experience them, but our experience of them differs based on our past and our interpretation of situations. Sometimes we can feel sad but it is a small emotion, other times it is all consuming. Our children and young people experience this too. We need to find ways to help them experience and feel those emotions, without them causing distress or trauma. Sometimes distractions are helpful to allow the opportunity to feel and process the emotion without confrontation or without the emotion being registered as a different feeling. How many times does embarrassment become anger?

We have decided to collate all of these resources into one post for ease of access. Each emotion has a list of suggestions, other words that are used to describe the emotion and a blank page to create your own coping strategies or distractions. We have included emotions such as calm and happy. It is important that we all know what we makes us feel calm and happy as that naturally becomes a coping strategy.

PDF Available below



We spend more time with ourselves than we do with anyone else.

We spend more time with ourselves than we do with anyone else.

This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is important to consider what it means. How many times do we talk of others and say “if only they could see themselves the way others see them!” ? There are so many statements and quotes that you will find out there that go along the same lines. These are important.

If we are in a room full of people we don’t like, we feel uncomfortable and desperate to escape. If we spend more time with ourselves than anyone else, then what happens when we don’t like ourselves? We can’t escape.

We have to learn to be comfortable in our own skin. This comes over the course of a lifetime, but needs to start at a young age. Of course, as we grow and mature we recognise that we can change things we don’t like. We can learn to be more patient. We can restyle our hair. We can learn to play an instrument. There is an importance though in recognising when to stop changing. We often tell our children and young people, “not to change for anyone else”. The idea of how valuable it is to be comfortable in our skin.

What I like about me

This can be used by all ages and is important that as adults, we stop and take check of how we view ourselves. Focusing on even just one thing for each column and talking about it and the why it has been chosen will help. It can be used at home or at school. It could be used as something to be given to teachers as an introduction to children or as part of health and wellbeing lessons!

As adults, we want to build up our children’s self confidence. To do this, we must be honest. If they are a rotten dancer (yip that’s me), don’t tell them they are the best. Use statements like “I like how you moved your hand there”. Allow them to dance just because they want to and not so that they are the best. Let them dance without commenting on it! Join in with them and talk about how much fun you are having! By telling our children they are the best at everything, when they discover they are not, they can start to doubt themselves and us.

Build their confidence by telling them the things they truly are good at. Talk about their personality traits that matter. So often we talk about avoiding commenting on your child’s looks, but it is important to tell them- particularly as they get to their teenage years. If they have beautiful eyes, tell them that. Just make sure that it isn’t only their looks we talk about as ‘beautiful or handsome”.

If we teach them their value and continue to instil this in them as they grow, we are giving them something to fall back on when they fall our with friends, or are struggling to do long division or if a relationship breaks or they lose their job or there is another lockdown. Instilling in them, their worth is so important for today and every day of their lives.



Mental Health Awareness Week

Over the past couple of months, we have created and posted lots promoting positive mental wellbeing. We know there are so many people struggling and we aim to ensure that our children and young people grow up with a better awareness of themselves so that they can develop and use their own coping strategies. This will, hopefully allow them to have improved mental health as they grow to become adults. Mental wellbeing can deteriorate and any age, but with the right support, can also improve at any age. Below is something we have aimed at older children, teenagers and adults.

Take care!

improving mental wellbeing

Explaining Social Distancing

It can be very difficult to explain social distancing to anyone who finds it difficult to understand. We have created some resources to try to help. We are not going into details of Coronavirus and do not mention it. These resources have been created with the idea of returning to school. At the moment we are still following the Stay Home Save Lives advice so please continue to use this!


Social distance uk





Many of our families and schools have been in contact raising concerns about how some young people and children may react to having to wear a mask. There is so much uncertainty at the moment that everyone is feeling. Children and young people are feeling this too.

For some people, seeing someone wearing glasses for the first time or having their hair cut can have change the way they see the person and they may not recognise them immediately. Their brain is having to process too much at once. No matter how well they may know the person, change in look is a huge thing to process. Normally, saying “I am going for a hair cut” or ” I have had my hair cut/am wearing new glasses” etc can help with this transition.

Another way to help prepare for change is to make up games. Perhaps cut photographs up of people’s face. Cut the face into three and then swap noses onto different people or mouths or eyes.

We have also visualised a game using a mirror to help.

Mirror Game

Helping Around the House Visuals

We have mentioned in previous posts about the importance of using visuals to support independence. We have also looked at the importance of breaking down instructions. To help with this, we are making some resources to visualise activities to promote independence in helping around the house. Our PDFs are beside the photos in blue text and underlined.

Setting the Table

We have included a blank example and the visuals you may need to make your own. Not everyone uses place mats and napkins. Use what works for you and your family.

Set the Table

Setting the table

Set the Table Blank

table set

Washing the Dishes

Cleaning the dishes

helping at home 2

Dance Moves

Just a wee treat for you all! Anyone else had that experience of being at a party and the dance floor fills up when a certain song  comes on but you can’t figure it out. Here are some of our go to dances that are sure to get the dance floor busy! Why not learn one as a family?  More to follow!



The Time Warp

Resources From Home: Kitchen

We know how difficult (and expensive) working from home can be. So we have been looking at resources that can be made from every day items found around the house. Let us know what you think! Remember this isn’t about perfection – which is obvious if you look at our homemade resources – it is about the involvement and the engagement. It is about the fine motor skills in the cutting, writing and posting; It is about the processing of sorting into categories. It is about fun!


Put Shopping Away

Communication for All: Interactive Shopping List

This is similar to our Now/Next and First/Then Boards. You can use this on a smart phone or tablet by downloading PowerPoint or keynote etc. Then stretch the page to see all the visual and using your finger drag what you need onto your shopping list. This also work if you are shopping for someone who cannot leave their house. They would simply screenshot their shopping list and send it as a photo.

Click the link below to download.

Shopping List Interactive