Now and Next Boards

Many young children and older children/young people with language or learning difficulties find it hard to understand spoken and written language, especially long instructions or tasks with several steps. They often have strengths in understanding visual information e.g. pictures, photos, real objects, gestures, Makaton signs, drawings.

A ‘now and next’ board looks like this:

Why use it:

Using a Now and Next board can help the child to understand what is going to happen next, which can reduce anxiety. They can help parents and carers break instructions and daily routines down into steps. They can also support children and young people to be more independent in tasks and routines.

How to make:

You can use simple pictures/photos with blu-tak or sellotape attached to a piece of card, or a whiteboard & pen or blackboard & chalk, or paper and pen/pencil.

How to use:

Point to first picture and say “now it’s bath time”, point to second picture and say “next you can watch TV”. When bath time has finished, point to the bath time symbol and say “bath time has finished” (use Makaton sign if you know it) and rub/cross out the picture. Replace the pictures as you go (e.g. change the board to say now “TV”, next “brush teeth”).

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