This idea started half a year ago, when I realized that my kids (at that time 3 and a half and almost 5) really didn’t have a clue which day of the week it was. Even worse, they didn’t even know what we did yesterday and what the next day would bring. When I told them we’d fly back to the Netherlands in 3 days, they looked at me like I was asking them how to calculate the area of a triangle. And as many of you will probably experience: we have to count days (or actually nights) many times a month. Like when family is coming over, going on holiday, birthdays, dad’s working abroad and coming back home, or a new (third) baby is coming soon… 🙂
So realizing that my kids were living in this big timeless world (which is actually also a gift…), the idea of making a calendar popped up in my head. As Pinterest is my big inspiration, I started to visualize how it should look like and how I wanted it to work. My head needs a lot of time to make it a workable thing. But now it does!
This is what you need:
- paper and a printer (I also used paper with a nice pattern for the backsides of the number cards)
- laminating machine (you can also use cardboard, but laminating is a bit more durable)
- a hole punch
- nails and a hammer
- a shelf (I used a shelf from an IKEA cabinet, I’m sure that it’s possible to find a cheaper solution)
After I gathered all the tools and materials, I made the number cards. I created them with Microsoft Word (use ‘ table’ to make all the cards the same size). The sizes of my cards are around 5 cm by 5 cm. I cut the cards and glued the patterned paper on the backside. I laminated them and made a hole with a hole punch. Very easy. If you’re interested in buying a hot laminator, you can find them here in KL (for example in Lazada)
Next I made the cards for the days of the week, months and year. The days of the week in the calendar I indicated with only the first letter (M, T, W, T, F, S, S). You can design them as you want. Same procedure as the number cards.
Then the hardest part of the process comes: you have to make sure that you hammer the nails in the right place. A mistake might ruin your calendar and that would be a pity! Although you’ll always have a second chance at the back of your shelf. First make little marks where you will put the nails. The calendar has 37 nails. I started, of course, below Monday and made 5 rows. The 6th row has only two nails. When a month starts on a Sunday and has 31 days, you’ll need the 37th nail.
I glued the M, T, W, T, F, S and S on the shelf and I hammered the nails for the year and the months in the right place.
Finally I hammered a few extra nails to store the cards you don’t need. And I nailed in a laminated worksheet where you can pin the day of the week. If there is a special day, you can write it there with a whiteboard marker. Until now I have only used it a few times.
This is the way I use the calendar. Before we go to bed, the kids turn over the day that has passed. They can see what day is tomorrow and how many days left before it’s the weekend (of course, that’s the most important thing to count). I indicate special days in the month by putting a post it on the special day (for example a birthday). When the month is over, we take all the cards off and replace them on the right nails. This is also a nice way to count with the kids.
Next step is finishing a clock and my ‘earth turns around the sun-project’. This will be part of the ‘calendar-wall’! I will keep you updated when its ready! By the way, having this calendar is also a very good method for unorganized people, like me. It’s not only clear for the kids, it’s also a big help for myself. Organizing my chaotic head, makes it a little bit more bearable. And under the title of ‘making it work for the kids’, you can let your imagination run free.