Another school year, come and gone. Plan ahead for summer, by constructing a holiday calendar with your child. Not only will it teach your kid about the passing of time, but it will build excitement, all summer long!
What You Need:
- 3 large pieces of oak tag or stiff paper
- Index cards or paper strips
- Example calendar (to serve as a guide and let you know the dates for national holidays)
What You Do:
- Tell your child that you’re going to create your own summer calendar, from scratch. Make sure you have adequate space to work. A large kitchen or dining room table is perfect.
- Show your child a current calendar. Talk about how the calendar is set up—the names of the days and months, the number of days in a week, and the number in one month versus another.
- Lay your paper out and ask your child to count the number of days in the month of July. Then talk about the number of horizontal and vertical lines needed to make a calendar with 7 columns across (for the days of the week) and the appropriate number of rows (for the number of weeks in the month).
- Together, draw the calendar. While you’ll be doing most of the set-up, talking about the method behind the madness helps kids learn abstract concepts, and the visual of making the calendar at the same time, helps solidify things.
- Now it’s time for the details. Help your child write the names of the days of the week as column headers. Then help him write in the numbers (1-31 for July).
- Start filling in your calendar with upcoming family activities and events. Write in any upcoming vacations. Pencil in camp dates. Mark up family visits or special outings.
- Now that you have a few dates filled in, plan some fun things to fill in the blanks! It doesn’t have to be a huge event—it can be something as simple as a weekly walk in the park, a trip to the local library, or a nighttime ice cream run. Whatever it is, book it! And have something to look forward to doing together.
- Once all the main details are in place, let your child personalize the family calendar with their own creative flair. Display it in a location where everyone in the family can see it and pencil in new activities. And talk about time all the time!
Alicia Danyali, BS Elementary Education, taught primary-level students for four years at the International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The last four years of her teaching career, she taught at the Washington International School in Washington, D.C. She recently completed writing a series of children's picture books and is a mother of one young son.