To do: Use a calendar to help your child prepare for changes in routine
Time: 10 minutes
Materials: A calendar and a chat
Children love routine. Try utilizing a calendar at home to help them prepare for any changes in that routine like doctor’s appointments, family holidays or vacations or days off from school!
Try one of the 5 calendar activities below:
- Begin the start of each month with a blank calendar, like this one. Consider what your child is capable of. Are they already comfortable writing numbers in order? Then start with 1 on the appropriate day and let them do the rest. Maybe they aren’t writing, but can dictate numbers to you while you write? Ask them, “Can you help me count? I’ll write while you tell me.” Perhaps fill out one copy with numbered days, and let your child copy on a blank sheet. Just follow the child!
- If you already have a calendar hanging up, look at it together with your child and speak about upcoming events. Use little stickers to mark birthdays, parties, or play dates. Show your child where to stick them, then count down to that day! Children love being prepared and you can point to the calendar every day to speak about upcoming events, even dentist or doctor appointments!
- Make a DIY calendar together. Simply using a blank piece of paper or even paint chips like this example, make a big project out of your homemade calendar. Let your child practice using a ruler to make a grid and decorating the outside of the calendar with drawings or stickers! Speak about the climate in your part of the world in this month, what types of clothes will you wear? Will you play inside or outside this month?
- Mark time passing. Have a little sticker that says “Today” on it. Every morning, ask your child to move the sticker one day over on the calendar. Speak about the day! “Today is Monday, today is a school day, today we practice soccer.” If your child is a natural storyteller, speak about what you did yesterday, “Yesterday was Sunday, it was not a school day, we went to the park.” In this way, the daily routine will be reinforced by the calendar, not by mom or dad, and the child will become comfortable in the consistency and knowledge of what the day will bring.
- Sing a days of the week song! Here’s one version, or you can make up your own. To the tune of “Oh My Darling Clementine”: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday…Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. There are 7 days, there are 7 days, there are 7 days in the week…there are 7 days, there are 7 days, there are 7 days in the week.
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