“Mom, what we doin’ today?”
Does anyone else hear that question about a million times a week?
Every morning my son greets me with that question, then again with “where are we going?” when I ask him to put on pants. Why does he think putting pants on means going somewhere? I have no clue. We wear pants around our house… I promise.
Anyway, both tired of answering that question and in an attempt to help him understand our “schedule” throughout the week, I put together his own special “calendar” to help him know what to expect.
We use these oil drip pans (I buy them at Walmart) in multiple places. We’ve hung them in the youth room at our church as a way to display pictures of past events. My mom has a couple in her living room to hang photos. I put one over my son’s dresser as a way to display his artwork and some special pictures… occasionally he’ll come across one I’ve printed and tell me “I want to put this on my special magnet board!”
Anyway, they’re nice and versatile. They are magnetic, and about 47″ x 25″ so they’ve got lots of surface area to put things on, but they aren’t overly huge. They’re pretty light so you can actually hang them up with Command strips (which I love because I am not good with a hammer, a drill, or anything nailish or screwish). And they’re pretty cheap! I think I usually get them for around $10-$12. Of course, I don’t recommend buying them when you also have a cart full of other stuff. If you set them up “tall” in the cart and then walk outside on a blustery day, the wind may hit them as if they’re a giant metal sail and send you careening into nearby traffic and crowds of people. That’s hypothetical, of course. (ooooooor maybe it isn’t.)
So one of these pans, some Washi tape (I used plain black), construction paper, and magnets are what I used for the base of this project. The concept is simple: each day of the week gets a line, then I made “events” that we enjoy regularly (church, Wee One’s Story Time at our local library, time with grandparents, etc.) that can be moved from day to day. A big red arrow points to whatever today is, and he is able to see what the plan is for the whole week.
I used a tape measure to figure out a good spacing for my lines (made with Washi tape), leaving some good headroom at the top to put “events” I wasn’t using. You could simply print small photos representing each event… I used my computer to print a picture and type what it meant. We are starting to work on letter recognition (and getting nowhere, in case you were worried about that) so I thought it would be nice for him to see some of the same words over and over.
I borrowed a small laminator for my stuff, but that isn’t really necessary. I just also have a two-year-old who I knew would like to play with the pieces and this kept them from tearing apart too easily.
Stick a button magnet on the back of each piece, and voila! Putting it together each week is kind of fun, and my kids really like going to the board each day to see where the arrow is pointing. Of course, they also like to move the arrow to whatever day has the potential to be the most fun (“oh look, Mommy… it is Grandma Day after all!”), but we’re working on that.
It is the most simple concept ever, but it’s been great. I love letting my three-year-old figure out himself why he needs pants on (“no, you can’t go to church naked” is a sentence I’ve actually uttered recently).