Charlie’s Cues: Using Your Sequence Cards

From an early age, children begin to explore the concept of time through the procedures, steps, and sequence of events. I remember when my daughter was in the hospital at the age of four. We spent about 10 days together reading books and singing, to the point that after a few days she memorized one of the stories. She would choose the book, turn the pages, and recite each part of the story. Not only did she learn parts of the story, but by associating what she heard me read with the pictures, she learned the whole story and was able to tell it over again in order.

Sequence, order, and routine are important to a child’s development. As babies, children adjust to eating, sleeping, and playing routines. Then they begin to understand before and after and begin to incorporate it into small conversations with peers or adults. With time, children continue to learn about time and sequence, through experiences, consistency in routines, illustrations, and stories. All of this helps them better understand their days from beginning to end. Let’s discover together one tool that can help you present and develop this concept successfully.

The Fireflies curriculum for ages 3 to 5 includes a set of Sequence Cards each month. The Sequence Cards for the month of May include photos for the children to observe how honey is made. They will observe how the process starts with a honeybee collecting nectar and then continues with a beekeeper caring for the hive. The Honey Sequence Card Set will offer a unique challenge for children since it’s unlikely that many of them have thought about or observed this process before.

Benefits of sequence cards in your setting

Sequence cards enable children to understand that tasks and special jobs involve steps and processes. They develop patience and the understanding that a task has a beginning and an end. Understanding the sequence of things eases children’s frustrations and encourages them to divide the tasks into smaller steps for greater time management and to make doing them easier.

Cues for including sequence cards in your daily routine

  1. When the children are working on a task or artwork, remind them of the sequence cards you have been working with.  Ask, “What is the sequence for this task?” Recall with them what they did before, what they are doing now, and what they will do later.
  2. As you look at the Sequence Card sets, discuss the emotions and good manners shown in the pictures, such as persistence, concentration, focus, and hard work.
  3. Consider displaying the cards in the art area or in an area that best matches the pictures on the cards you are working with. For example, the Honey Sequence Card Set may go well with an activity in your science area or with stories in your books area. Some children may use them for motivation, and you can also use them to give positive reinforcement while they work.

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