Mini-Schedule: Fast Food

  • Situation

    What do I do when my child falls to the ground or has a meltdown while we are at McDonald’s?

  • Summary

    Provide a short picture mini-schedule that shows a few sequences –

    1. sit at table
    2. pick from menu
    3. wait for food
    4. eat
    5. prize

    You can draw the pictures; write the words if your child reads. As you do each activity cross it off so your child can see what is next and when he is finished.

  • Definition

    A mini-schedule is a visual schedule or visual sequencing of events for a short period of time NOT a day schedule. It can be in picture, object, word, or numeral format. A mini-schedule can give a sense of time and when an activity will end. Knowing what and when things happen can prevent many behavioral issues.

  • Quick Facts
    • Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Moderate
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    Ability to understand pictures, or words, or objects, or numerals

  • Process
    1. Be sure your community outings are not lengthy.

    2. Think exactly what you will be doing – if going to a fast food restaurant with a play area decide a few things you will be doing there (order food, eat, get prize).

    3. If possible put something preferred for your child at the end of the mini-schedule such as “get the prize” from kids meal.

    4. Show your child how to cross off each item as it is completed – or you cross it off.

    5. Be sure to follow through with the listed schedule.

  • Documents and Related Resources

    website for picture cards


    If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.