A few months ago, Drama Queen hit a stage where she was really trying to understand what happens when. As a result, we spent a large amount of time repeatedly talking through when particular events and outings were going to happen. It got old for me pretty quickly…and she needed a way to visually understand the concept of time.
This is what I put together:
I bought the calendar at a teacher’s supply store and had it laminated there. (I normally try to avoid those because I get SO tempted to buy so many wonderful things! Teacher supply stores for me are what electronic stores are for my husband!) At home, I searched for all the clip-art I wanted for the various activities and printed them out. I found that it’s much easier to copy/paste multiple clip-arts (what do you actually call the plural of clip-art?) onto a drawing page than print each picture individually. The next step was to laminate them. I started out using lamination sheets, but, ugh, those drove me batty! From the Montessori Print Shop website, I learned that there are little personal laminators that are pretty inexpensive (I think I paid $40 for mine), and you can quickly and easily do all your laminating at home, with no worries of it leaving giant wrinkles and such. I wish I had known about these all along! These would have made my life so much easier in college and while teaching in schools!
Each Saturday, I sit down and plan out the next week, then attach the activity cards on the appropriate days. I only do one week at a time, so each column has room to show ALL the different activities taking place that day. I had originally planned to use velcro to attach them, but then decided that my stack of extras would be MUCH smaller and easier to manage if I just use tape. That has ended up being a very good decision.
I keep the extras in a little box in my desk drawer, easy to pull out and switch cards around when we have a change in plans for a day! (Like having back-to-back doctor appointments for Mr. BANG and myself last Thursday instead of getting to go to my women’s Bible study group. That was fun.)
I keep the calendar velcroed to the wall near the table where they eat breakfast and lunch. After I’ve served breakfast, I bring over the calendar and talk through the day. Usually at the beginning of the week, I talk about what is happening during the week. They also like to go over to it during the day to see what is coming up. Right now, they are both ecstatic about spending a week at their grandparents’ house, so Drama Queen has been having a lot of going to it and counting how many days left until “the very special treat” (as she referred to it) begins!