Building Your Lists

Your lists include the activities you will use to build your Collaborative Schedule. To build your lists, you’ll need equal parts turn taking and working toward yes (with a splash of “Must Do” for flavor).

We begin our lists with three headings (although depending oh how many people are participating, you may have more). They are:

  • Must Do
  • Little Miss
  • Mom

We write all our Must Do activities down first so that we have an idea how much time remains for Want to Do activities. Examples of our Must Do activities include preparing/eating meals, reading (for summer reading club), therapy appointments, chores, and grocery shopping.

Next, we take turns writing down one Want to Do activity at a time. My personal rule is that I will not say “no” for any item that Little Miss wants to include on the list, but sometimes we have to work together to get to yes.

Mom Tip: I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to remember to schedule quiet time each day. We try to plan for 15-30 minutes each day where Little Miss and I can be on our own and do our own things. You can learn more about how we do that here.


Let’s run through a little example. On today’s schedule, we have ABA for two hours from 4-6 p.m. and we must also spend 30 minutes reading for summer reading club. Our Must Do list will include:

  • ABA
  • Read
  • Lunch*
  • Dinner*

We usually create our lists during breakfast so there is no reason to include it on our schedule.

listsNext, I’ll ask Little Miss what she would like to do today. Let’s say that she says “play.” If it’s something really vague like that, I work with her to choose a specific play activity (for example, pretend cooking in her play kitchen). To do this, I might offer suggestions or sometimes we even take a walk through the play room and look at toys she enjoys.

When it’s my turn, I like to suggest arts and crafts activities or adventures I’ve seen on Pinterest (you can see what I’ve been pinning here).

We go back and forth like that until we each have 2-3 items. Once we have that, it’s time to build our schedule.

Next (Building in Quiet Time)