17 November 2006

Homemade 'calendar' helps preschoolers understand their weekly routines

CalendarAlong with the foamy soap hack, Kirsten sent me this winner: a homemade calendar that helps her preschooler know what to expect during the week. Knowing what I do about preschoolers, this is a fantastic idea.

Preschoolers are only just getting a handle on the passage of time. Kids that age very much live in the present, so anything that can help smooth transitions (especially now, when the holidays mess with their schedules so) is good.

And what a simple, loving way to introduce the concept of a calendar, the days of the week, and the seasons and holidays!

Here is a 'calendar' I made for my 3yo - to help him know when he has school, speech, and when visitors are coming. I whipped up and laminated this calendar, then I ordered wallet-size prints of all of our extended family who regularly visit, his school, grandma's house, him with his speech therapist, and even his sister in front of her dance studio (so he can tell when we go drop her off). I put a sun sticker on a piece of cardstock, cut it out, and laminated that too - it is what we use to mark which day is today.

The calendar hangs in the kitchen, at his level (on our magnet wall). All the pictures are held on with tape, and if something gets cancelled (or he goes off-track for school) I just take that picture down. It's helped him adjust when relatives leave after a visit - as their pictures are up on the days that they will stay.

I also drew and laminated little objects for holidays - a tree with presents under it for Christmas, an easter egg, a pumpkin, etc. I knew he had figured out the calendar when he kept trying to move the Christmas tree to the day with the sun on it.

Teaching kids to manage their time is so important as they move into their school years and beyond. Here's another homemade tool that puts kids in charge of The Schedule.



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The real pictures are a great idea! I tried to do this a few years ago with symbols and never thought about using real pictures.

Here's an idea that is helpful for all those questions like what day are we leaving, when is Chanukah, or when is grandma coming: have your child help you make a paper chain. Each night cut off one chain. The night before your even there should only be one chain left.

That's beautiful. I'm doing that TOMORROW, or as soon after as I can get pictures. My daughter drives me crazy asking "where am I going tomorrow"? I have a big piece of posterboard and I'd planned to do something similar, but the photos are just genius.

Very cool! This weekend I discovered the magnetic paper that you can buy at the office supply store and print out on your home printer. This can be used for photos, etc. as well and it's all ready to go on the fridge!

Excellent post!! I love this idea. Coming from a Mommy that loves structure. I try to keep as much structure in my house and my kids as possible. I always find that my children are better behaved and less out of control when they know what their day is going to include. I'm going to use this brilliant idea as a daily schedule. I will use magnets and wipe off markers. Thank you so much for the wonderful idea. Keep up the great work!!

Shana Albert

saw this on Zan Habits today. I thought I was being original when I posted on this same thing last week: http://threesneakybugs.wordpress.com/category/projects/for-kids/
Apparently not! But I do love the idea of something to indicate what day it is. I'm envisioning a magnet for our calendar.

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