Young kids usually have only a vague sense of time. They probably know that an hour is longer than ten minutes, and a week is shorter than a month, but it’s difficult for them to gauge time’s passing. Making a paper chain calendar can help.
What You Do:
- Pick a date in the future that has some meaning for your child, for example, the first day of school, the date a relative is set to come visit, a birthday, or the start date of a favorite activity, like soccer. Ideally, the date should be about a month away.
- Pull out your calendar, and with your child’s help, count the number of days until the event you’ve chosen.
- Give your child the construction paper strips and explain that each strip stands for one day. Together, count out the correct number of strips (one for each day until your event), then help your child make a paper chain, by gluing the end of each strip together to form a link, then adding the rest of the links to form a “chain”.
- Hang your chain in your child’s room, or in a prominent place. Each day, allow her to remove one link from the chain. As the days pass, this will give her a visual picture to associate with the numbers she sees on the calendar.
Not only does this provide a concrete image for the passing of time, but it gives your child a great excuse to practice counting backwards!