Back to school time can be very exciting for both children and their parents. However the novelty can soon wear off as the morning and evening routines which surround the school week become more of a chore. Juggling multiple children, packing lunches and bags as well as working in extracurricular activities can take its toll if parents and children aren’t organised.

Occupational Therapist, Robyn Sims and mother of three, Jo Larcom, were looking for an avenue to help make family life run more smoothly at busy times of the day. “We wanted a teaching tool for our children to foster independence with routines, but could not locate anything that hit the mark in terms of clarity, flexibility and interactive nature” Jo Larcom said. “This led us to start our company Magnetic Moves designing routine and activity charts for children.”

The charts have a unique moving component to them which engages the child and gives them a visual guide to their routines. “It is like crossing something off a list. It gives the child a sense of achievement and involvement in their day” Robyn Sims said.

Aussie Product Review assessed the school aged chart and their feedback is “Honestly we don’t know how we got by without it! The children take charge of their own responsibilities and they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment every day. This makes their lives less stressful too and the flow on effect from that is very calming indeed!”

Children of all ages benefit from routines as they provide consistency and security while giving them a sense of autonomy. Jo Larcom said “The way in which a family’s morning begins can have a flow on effect for the rest of the day. A morning where both the parents and the children are organised and aware of what has to be done can create a happy and manageable day”.

Magnetic Moves has linked with Playgroup Queensland to offer several presentations throughout 2010 on the value of routines and the importance of understanding children’s sensory needs. The first presentation will be in February and more information is available by contacting Playgroup Queensland. Occupational Therapist and Co-director of Magnetic Moves Robyn Sims said “It is valuable to help parents become aware of the ways that young children process information through their environment. This helps us as parents to have reasonable expectations of our children and support their different development stages.”

Magnetic Moves Charts retail through their website as well as a variety of toy stores in Queensland and through Kids Matters Occupational Therapy in Brisbane. They currently have an activity chart designed for 3-5 year old children, a routine chart for school aged children and a toilet training chart coming soon.