Visual Schedule Planner

App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
Visual Schedule Planner App Poster Image
Robust calendar tool may be overwhelming for kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to manage their daily schedules by using Visual Schedule Planner. Parents can preset several daily activities using the built in icon catalog, which includes more than 1,500 images, or by uploading their own photos or video. Then, kids can move daily activities around and check them off when they're finished. Visual Schedule Planner might be especially helpful for kids who are anxious about upcoming events or who need larger projects or activities broken down into smaller tasks, but it also might be too overwhelming for them.

Ease of Play

Overwhelming interface for younger users. The setup of this tool is time-consuming, especially when a user is attempting to use more specific activity schedules. There are several ways to click to the same screen, which might be overwhelming and confusing to some.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Visual Schedule Planner is a thorough and sometimes complicated tool designed for kids who need support with executive functioning skills. It provides graphics to represent everyday activities and allows users to upload activity-specific videos for kids who might need help remembering smaller pieces of larger tasks. The visual options available in Visual Schedule Planner are robust: Kids can see their schedule by day, week, or month; they can see the time allowed for each activity; they can easily click between days or weeks to see upcoming events; and they can see events listed. It's possible that the depth this tool provides also may be a disadvantage to kids who are easily overwhelmed with visual input.

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What's it about?

VISUAL SCHEDULE PLANNER opens to the current day, divided into three areas: morning, afternoon, and evening. Users can add activities, scroll through several options (the frequency of each event), and link video, sound, or photo to the activity. You can add one of more than 1,500 prebuilt icons to accompany the event that you’ve scheduled. Each activity must be set up using the edit screen before it can be added to a kid’s schedule. Once activities are added, a green "Now" icon indicates which activity should be happening at the current time. A timer is provided for each activity. VISUAL SCHEDULE PLANNER settings are adjusted using the gear, accessible on any screen. Users can hide notes, activities, and clocks; restrict editing privileges; and adjust the "next" and "now" icons. Parents also can print out the daily calendar by clicking on the settings gear.

Is it any good?

Though the learning curve for using Visual Schedule Planner is steep, especially for younger users, the depth it provides for daily activities may be helpful. Every activity can be visually represented on the daily, weekly, or monthly calendars. Larger activities can be broken down into smaller tasks and can include graphic, video, and/or audio input. When a user is creating a detailed Activity Schedule in Visual Schedule Planner on the iPad, the keyboard will overlap some of the areas you'll want to type in. Also, the image library is not searchable: Users must scroll through the images alphabetically.  For kids who are easily overwhelmed by visual stimuli, many of the screens may be too busy to be beneficial. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how their days look different from one another's. Talk about morning and evening routines, and come up with time frames for each family member to help kids keep their own schedules in the context of the whole household.

  • Have kids plan time for fun and relaxation in addition to daily activities that are required (such as hygiene activities and homework). Parents should talk to kids about how built-in recreational time can help provide balance and incentive to finish less exciting tasks throughout the day.

  • For younger kids, you can talk about time blocks and use physical objects to represent units of time. How many time blocks do they need to brush their teeth? How many to eat breakfast?

App details

For kids who love to stay organized

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