Monday, January 6, 2014

How to Make a Customized Potty Chart

There are plenty of free printable charts on the internet. But what I like about the DIY customized chart is that the expectations will be undeniably clear. Your child will see her own face and name, identify her own potty chair, and recognize her treat bag.  This type of chart not only leaves little room for ambiguity, but your child will enjoy having something personally made for her.

The first time I made my own customized potty chart I used Adobe Illustrator. This seemed to disappoint people who asked me about how to do this but didn’t own the software. However, the same thing can be accomplished in Microsoft word or another photo editing program with a little bit of know-how. For those of you who are not especially computer savvy, here is a way to make one using only a printer and copier.

You will need:
• A photo of your child's face
• A photo of your child’s potty (you may be able to find a good one through a google image search)
• A photo of the bag you keep your child's rewards in. The reason to use a photo of the bag instead of the incentive is so that you can change it if you want without changing the whole chart.
• A colour photocopier or an all-in-one machine with printer and scanner
• Scissors
• A Marker

Take the photo of your child and either cut it down to a small size or reduce the size on your photo copier. Use scissors to cut out the head.

Take one photo of your child’s potty and one photo of his treat bag and copy it once, reducing or enlarging the size if necessary. Use your scissors to cut it out.

Place the 2 copies you just made back on the photocopier (or beside the originals if the same size) and photocopy again. Now you will have 4. Copy once again and remove the treat bags; you will only need 3 or 4. Cut them out and photocopy the potties again to double the numbers.  Continue until you have the number of potties that you need.  I prefer to start with three rows of five, and later change it to 8 per row.

When you have enough pieces, arrange the rows on your copier and print one more time.

Using a marker, number the potties to indicate how many successful potty attempts your child must achieve before getting to open his or her reward bag. Write your child’s name or an appropriate title, such as “Jacob’s Potty Chart” or “I’m a Potty Champion!”  

Photocopy again, as many copies as you think you will need. Be sure to keep a scan or a paper copy before you start applying stickers, so that you can make more if necessary.

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