So, my oldest son doesn’t do great with “transitions”. For example, he loves school, but HATES when we tell him he has to stop what he’s doing to get up and go! Again, we were having a horrible time with potty training until a friend advised us that maybe he just needed a five minute warning before potty trips. Made ALL the difference in the world! We’ve always known him to be sensitive, so now that his little life just got twice as busy as it used to be, I wanted a way to help him through the multiple daily and weekly “transitions” he’d be experiencing in his new, more scheduled life.
I searched high and low for the perfect preschooler calendar, and the best one I found, hands down, no competition, was from Julie of Teaching the Little People. Please go check her post out. She offers some compelling info on how preschoolers relate to the concept of time. I think she’s really brilliant.
All you really need is a brad and some poster board to make your own version of her calendar. I brainstormed lots of ways I could make this some super adorable pinteresty thing, but at the end of the day, I just NEEDED this to help my kid! Some times you just got to keep it simple!
For my rotating circle, I let my son help me trace a circle from a large dinner plate.
The hardest part of this project was figuring out how to make seven even “slices” of my pie chart, without the help of a protractor. I eventually found some geeky math website (math! Yuck!) that would mock up a pie chart for you with given values. (It’s this one.) Then I printed the image, centered it in my circle, and just sort of traced. Do you get the idea?
My method for making slices was in no way setting me up to get it exact, so I wrote the days of the week toward the left of each slice and used arrows to generally point to “TODAY!!!”, “Tomorrow”, and “Yesterday”. (I also wrote “Coming up Later…” around the edge of the rest of the circle.)
I used colored pencils on the yellow part of my chart, but on the dark blue, I wrote with these, which my kids use for coloring on our windows. I was quite pleased with the result.
I liked the idea of his calendar having moveable “buttons” that could mark each day’s events. He goes to two different preschools now, so it seemed like the best way to differentiate them would be with photos of his teachers. For now, I just printed out black and white contact sheets of photos I found online. I used a quarter to trace circles around their faces, and cut my buttons out.
I decided to try this adhesive for my buttons. I can use them again and again and they leave no residue. They’re also surprisingly tacky… as much or more than a strong double stick tape would be! I think I’ve discovered something good, here!
Of course, we’ll add new buttons for holidays, birthdays, trips, or when grandparents come visit. I don’t think these low quality computer printouts will be the buttons I go with permanently, but they’re fine for now. They’re kind of hard to see. I would recommend high quality photo prints… either from a computer or from Walmart or Walgreens.
This morning was the moment of truth. After giving him an explanation of how his calendar works, I told him he could turn the wheel, and asked him what it said he’d do today. He smiled great big, pointed to the day’s buttons and answered, “First, we’re going to Ms. T’s class, THEN we’re going to Mrs. S’s class!” Success!!! He gets it!!! He really gets it!!!
And there were NO TEARS with transitions today, either. I just referred him to the calendar, and he was good with it! Amazing!