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Picture boards are an essential tool for many nonverbal students, and their instructors. They are also known as token boards, schedule boards, transition boards, first-then boards, or visual communication boards. These invaluable tools provide students with a way to visually associate ideas about their everyday life, and to communicate with their instructors and family.

What are Picture Boards?

Picture boards come in many forms, but all include pictures. The images allow the child to communicate their needs, make choices about what they want, or to know what will come next in their daily schedule. These devices are often associated with decreased behavioral issues in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and nonverbal children, because they allow an alternative expression of needs and ideas.

How can Picture Boards be Used?

Picture boards can be used to help a child communicate with you, and for you to provide visual schedules to them in a way that is easy to understand. Picture boards will typically start with pictures of desired objects like food, places, and familiar people. Over time, sentence strips are added. For example, a picture of a chocolate chip cookie that reads below, "I want cookies." For some students, these boards eventually transition from pictures to words.

Parents and educators also use picture boards are to create schedule boards, a visual schedule of the child’s days. For students who have a difficult time transitioning between actives, using picture boards is a great way to motivate them to shift settings or actions.

Limitations of Traditional Picture Boards

Traditional picture boards are made of one or two inch laminated squares attached to a board, or door, or a binder by Velcro. These components undergo heavy use and are prone to being damaged or lost. Alternatives use baseball card holders or picture albums, but lost components continue to be a problem.

Traditionally purchased picture boards necessarily have a limited range of images, descriptions, specific scenarios. More can be constructed, but the process is frequently labor and time intensive.

Creating Picture Boards

Using Storyboard That, teachers and parents can create better picture boards. Compared with the variety of items available to traditional picture boards, Storyboard That's options are almost endless. Plus, picture boards with Storyboard That are easily customizable. With hundreds of scenes, characters, and thousands of images in search, there is always an image that can be used.

With Storyboard That, these boards can be quickly saved and stored in your dashboard, allowing you easy access to find them later. They're electronic, so they won't get damaged or lost, no matter how much they're used.

Here's an example of a board a user might create:

For a closer look, take a look at some of our other articles on Picture Boards!

How to Create Picture Boards with Storyboard That


Understand the Purpose of Picture Boards

Recognize that picture boards are valuable tools for nonverbal students to communicate their needs and make choices. They can also be used to create visual schedules and aid in transitioning between activities.


Choose a Platform

Access Storyboard That, a user-friendly platform that offers a wide range of customizable options for creating picture boards. The platform provides a vast library of scenes, characters, and images to suit various needs.


Select Relevant Images

Identify the pictures that best represent the desired objects, people, or activities for the picture board. Choose visuals that are meaningful and familiar to the student. Use the search function on Storyboard That to find specific images or scenes.


Customize the Picture Board

Arrange the selected images on the picture board using Storyboard That's intuitive interface. Add labels or descriptions to the pictures if necessary. Customize the layout and design according to the student's preferences and needs.


Save and Store the Picture Boards

Save the created picture boards in your Storyboard That dashboard for easy access and organization. As electronic files, they are protected from damage or loss, ensuring their availability whenever needed.


Explore Additional Picture Board Ideas

Take advantage of the wealth of resources provided by Storyboard That, including articles on behavior reminder boards, first-then boards, how-to boards, and schedule boards. Expand your knowledge and explore creative ways to utilize picture boards in supporting communication and daily routines.

Frequently Asked Questions about Picture Boards

What are picture boards?

A picture board is a tool used to help nonverbal students communicate their needs and make choices through images.

How can picture boards help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and nonverbal children?

Picture boards can provide an alternative expression of needs and ideas and are often associated with decreased behavioral issues in children with ASD and nonverbal children.

What are some examples of how picture boards can be used?

Picture boards can be used to help a child communicate with others, provide visual schedules, and create motivation for transitioning between activities.

How can Storyboard That be used to create better picture boards?

Storyboard That offers a wide variety of customizable images and scenes that can be quickly saved and stored in a digital format, making them easily accessible and less prone to damage or loss.

Find more storyboard activities like these in our Special Education Category!
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