Parenting Keyrings

“The keyring and routine chart helps me have a more child-centred day.”  (Mother)

The original keyring tool was created by one of St Michael’s deputy managers to help parents at a residential assessment centre to learn to schedule and complete daily tasks. The keyring and routine chart that goes with it is a straightforward, inexpensive and effective way to support parents to manage essential chores. 

Each morning, families are asked what their chores will be for the day. To help them decide, they select from a range of images showing routine household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, washing up, making the bed, shopping and tidying the home. 

The images are put on a keyring where they act as prompts to action during the day. As each chore is completed, parents take the image off the keyring and put it onto their daily routine chart. 

In the evening, staff meet parents and discuss the chart with them.  Images are transferred onto a weekly chart which maps day to day progress. If parents have been unable to complete a task and it’s still on the keyring, the reasons for this and how it could be managed in future are discussed. 

The idea of the keyring tool has now been further developed and is being used to help parents with learning needs to break down basic care tasks such as making up a bottle so that they practice and learn the stages. 

“The keyring helps me remember what needs to be done each day – and it’s good to see the keyring emptying and the routine chart filling up with what I’ve managed to do.” (Parent)