The start of the new year is a good time to really start focusing on learning more about the calendar, days, dates and their relevance to our everyday life. At the end of last year I shared my desire to really enhance these topics for Gess this year and shared some of the activities I am doing there. This is simply to follow up on that blog (Season, Holidays and Calendar Activities) and share a few more ideas that I have added to it.
To begin with I wanted to share how I implemented the thoughts I had on how I might have each month highlighting the season, holidays and other important information. Well, here is the template I made and how it turned out. I first found a blank calendar at familycrafts.about.com and used it to start my template. At the top of the page I have a line to write what month it is. Under that we look at what order that month is (January is the 1st, February the 2nd, etc) and how many days are in it. We then glue on pictures to represent the seasons and holidays. (I just grabbed random clip-art online for those.) Here is my finished template. Feel free to use it if you like the idea.
Here is how our January one turned out.
Each day we go over the items of significance and will keep it on the wall all year adding each month as they come along. I think drilling this almost daily will be really helpful.
This is in addition to the calendar activities we already do each day. Every morning Gess does two things to start our day. I tell her what today is, "Today is Thursday, January 7" and I give her a sticker to put on the calendar for that day. I found a good calendar for this as at a Wal-Greens last summer. It is a bit larger and makes the days really stand out well.
The other thing she does it check the weather and mark it on our weather board. This leads really well into our Calendar book that not only keeps track of the days, but has you mark certain elements of the weather each day and graphs those results at the end of each month. The calendar book is also great because at the beginning there a section called "About Me" where you answer lots of questions about yourself. How many hands do you have, how many eyes, how many fingers, when is your birthday, how old are you? This really does help enhance how the calendar impacts your personal life.
I found one more thing that I thought helped tie that together perfectly. I found this idea at one of my favorite craft blogs, No Time For Flash Cards. It is called DIY New Year Photo Book and is a great way to visually show your child how they got bigger with each year. By allowing them to help make the craft it really gives it that hands on aspect that my daughter loves so much. I am even letting her cut out the pictures that we chose so she can get in even more motor skill work. (I'm always looking for things where she uses cutting and gluing.) We haven't finished ours yet but I encourage you to go to the No Time For Flash Cards site to see how to make them and look at the one they made. I will end by showing you how big Gess was the start of the New Year. I hope this will be a great year of learning for us all.