Weekly Calendar for Foster Kids
Change is difficult for kids of all ages, but it's especially hard for kids in foster care, who are thrown into a totally new situation (often with very little warning).
Help foreshadow and create predictability for kids in foster care by providing them with the structure and visual cues they need to relieve their anxiety.
Our one-of-a-kind visual schedule for foster kids was co-created with Foster Parent Partner Laura and designed to help kids plan for everything from birth family visits to medical appointments. We've also included bonus content from Laura to help foster families implement the schedule and get the most out of it.
Are you a nonprofit organization or system that helps foster kids? We've created a calendar specifically for foster system nonprofits, available in bulk.
Pairs well with...
Weekly Calendar for Foster Kids
Made of heavy-duty, thick steel with a tough outer coating, this magnetic chart will stand up to years of sticky fingers.
Write directly on the board (and your magnets!) for tons of flexibility. Or use Sharpie, then remove it with hand sanitizer.
Attaches to magnetic surfaces like a refrigerator, or walls using perfectly-sized brad nails.
Super Tough Glass Magnets
Weekly: fits 4 magnets per day
Daily: fits 7 magnets per row
Task: fits 7 magnets per column
Measures 11" by 5.5"
Use one week at a time, or create an always up-to-date perpetual calendar with multiple weeks.
You may be wondering...
Why wouldn't I DIY this?
But often, we spend so much time trying to solve the problem that by the time our glorious velcro routine chart is actually done, we've lost the steam required to implement it.
Our founder has done all the work for you — ten years of work, in fact — coming up with the perfect system for your family.
The result is a system that might look simple, but has every single thing accounted for — including a fall-back for routine items or activities that you forgot.
After all, the last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of time DIYing something, paying to have it laminated, and then discovering you forgot something.
Plus, you can feel good that you're supporting a single mom's hard work.
What makes this different from other visual schedules?
“We've tried to create visual systems before, but we really struggled to pull systems together that we could see all the way through and stick with.” — Jessye
You may have downloaded a visual schedule on Etsy or tried to DIY your own. Maybe you got one on Amazon, or you have a big command center, but the kids aren't referencing it.
Mighty + Bright's visual schedules are different (that's why we get feedback like Jessye's!). Every aspect of our well-thought-out visual system is thoughtfully designed to get kids on board. Here are a few of the problems our schedules solve:
- Kids don't look at the command center. Kids need their own calendar with only their stuff on it. When there's too much to look at, their brains basically short-circuit and they get overwhelmed.
- Kids don't stay motivated to use it. Kids need something engaging and fun in order to stay motivated (that's why we use fun stickers, which kids LOVE, magnets that make that satisfying "click," and fun add-ons like our Stay on Task braceelt. We also have a special way of introducing our schedules, which you'll learn about in your Power Up.
- Kids won't even try it, because they don't like being bossed. Kids need to feel like they had a say in their schedule (don’t worry, we’ve got a hack for that in the Power Up.)
Why are these so expensive?
We fully recognize that these charts aren't cheap. But there are several great reasons for that.
High quality with a thoughtful design
We've spent the last ten years perfecting these schedules. They're extremely tough. Made of thick, powder-coated metal and finished with a thick dry erase varnish, they're built to stand up to years of sticky fingers and constant dry-erasing.
They're also thoughtfully designed. Every aspect of these charts — from the neutral color of the chart itself to our exclusive method of using reusable stickers — is intentional. They're strategically designed to engage kids, so they actually get used long-term. They may look simple, but that's because we've taken all the guesswork out of it for you, so you're ready to go in fifteen minutes.
Meant to last years
These charts grow with your kids as they mature. If you buy this for your four year-old, they'll still be using it when they're thirteen (seriously! Teens are usually too cool for the stickers, but the love of dry erase is lifelong, both on the magnets and the chart itself).
Unlike a $10 chore chart from Target or a DIY from Pinterest, these are investments that are meant to last.
We're a small business
And speaking of Target, another major factor in our prices is that we are a small business.
We don't have the buying power of Target, which means our products are more expensive for us to purchase. We also don't have the same flexibility as Amazon — we are real people.
Sara runs the business. Angela runs the warehouse. Katie helps with social media and managing projects. And Cherry helps source products. When you buy from Mighty + Bright, you're helping real women put food on the table every night. In fact, 50% of our operation are single moms. And we are very, very grateful.
I have multiple kids. Do I need a calendar or chart for each kid?
If we want a tool like this to work, we want our kids to feel a sense of pride and ownership and like they had a part in building it.
Part of being a kid is feeling like life is happening to you. All the grown-ups make all the decisions, they're constantly telling you what to do and what not to do...just bossing you around, all day long.
Being part of the conversation about what is going to happen during the week or day gives kids a sense of control that every human needs in order to relax, no matter what their age is.
When you're splitting the calendars between multiple kids, you can understand how that sense of control might be diluted.
When they feel a sense of ownership over the calendar because it represents them and their lives, they feel a sense of pride. And with that sense of pride, comes a willingness to use it. And when they use it, they feel even more pride, and more responsible, and they continue to use it.
When something belongs to just us, we like it better. And we want them to like this and use it. So as much as I wish I could tell you that the kids can share it, it's going to be much more effective if they have their own.
We know that buying a chart for each kid can get very expensive, which is why we offer discounts on 2+ of every calendar kit.
What if I want to show a whole month at a time?
The decision to carry only weekly calendars was not made lightly — it was made based on research about what kids can handle.
The truth is, depending on the age kids can handle only about a week or two at a time. Especially when they're going through something difficult, it can actually increase anxiety to see too far down the line.
Also, depending on their age, they might not be able to think that far down the line. When a kid asks for a snack and you tell them they can have one in five minutes, they react like, "that is literally my whole life, I will starve to death." So if five minutes feels like that, imagine what a three weeks might feel like!
The goal is to display the child's life for them to understand — not to create a command center for the whole family. In this case, making it as simple as possible is a benefit.
That said, if you have a reason to show more than one week at a time (such as co-parenting arrangement where the child sees a parent every other weekend), you might want to create an always up-to-date perpetual calendar. Here's a post from Instagram showing you how to do that.
How will I know how to use this? What's a Power Up?
It's really intuitive, but just in case, every calendar comes with our digital Power Up™ for Everyday Structure.
We’ve spent over a year distilling the most important research and thick parenting books into a totally approachable, not-boring Power Up™ PDF that you’ll actually read. Remember: you don’t need to be a superhero to be an incredible parent. You just need the right tools, and you need them to be easy to execute. We got you.Learn everything you need (and nothing you don’t) about how to teach the vital mental health skill of Building Connection. Each Power Up™ includes:
✔ A quick-start guide to using the physical tool and implementing it in your household,
✔ Easy-to-read, one-page or less "deep dives" on the topic so you really understand it,
✔ Research and resources to learn about why each skill is important and how you'll know that you've succeeded in teaching it,
✔ Printable Coloring Sheets + Activity pages for kids to do without your assistance, reinforcing what they've learned and providing a reminder of the benefits of using the skill,
✔ Optional video Q&As (they're also written out in the Power Up booklet) and audio content to listen to at your convenience (and only if you want to!),
✔ Answers to frequently asked questions about each skill (and the ability to submit your own, to be answered by our experts),
✔ Recommended additional resources if you want to take a deeper dive on the topic
How It Works
Kids feel safest when they know what to expect. Visual schedules not only help kids to understand their lives more clearly — having their own calendar actually empowers them. See, life happens to kids. But when they know the plans and feel like they've had a say in some of it, they don't need to struggle for power every day. That means way more tolerable behavior.
Set up a weekly time — most families do Sundays before or after dinner — to go through the follow week's activities. Together, have your child rearrange the week's magnets, adding stickers to magnets for new activities and placing them on the correct day.
This habit will be a game changer: not only because you're showing your kids what to expect every day, but also because this time gives kids an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and connect with you. That's why we call it a "Connection Calendar."
Our schedules pair perfectly with our books to explain difficult concepts to kids, like general change, divorce, cancer (either their own diagnosis or that of a parent or sibling).
Mighty + Bright's Charts
Mighty + Bright's charts are sturdy, fully magnetic, dry erase, and designed to be easily taken on and off, over and over. This makes weekly planning easy to do from a dining table, couch, or hospital bed.
Every chart has two options for hanging:
- On a magnetic surface using the already-installed magnetic backing
- On a wall, using the included brads (note that the top of the brad is small enough to fit through the holes on the chart, so you can still take the chart off the wall).
While the fridge is the center of many homes, some charts are better suited for other locations, like:
- near a child's bedroom
- in the bathroom for morning and evening routines
- on a kitchen wall
- near backpacks in a mud room
- on the back of a door