Celebrate the New Year with this Homemade Calendar Craft
Another year, more things to learn. Numbers, colors, and shapes? Baby stuff. Now it's time to move onto more complicated things— twelve of them, to be exact. We're talking about the months of the year.
So how do you teach your child about the twelve months, with their tricky names, and even trickier chronological order? By using a wall calendar, of course! But not just any calendar—a personalized one. By focusing on holidays, birthdays, and special celebrations, you're sure to get your little one engaged! And what better time to start than as the current year winds down? You can get them excited for the hard-to-understand-for-a-kid New Year's celebrations and enjoy your calendar for a full twelve months.
Before you begin, make a list of significant monthly events. Here are a few suggestions:
JANUARY: New Year's Day, MLK Day
FEBRUARY: Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, Mardi Gras, Black History Month, President’s Day, Chinese New Year, Ash Wednesday
MARCH: Dr. Seuss Birthday, St. Patrick's Day, Spring Equinox, Spring Break, Daylight Savings Day
APRIL: April Fool's Day, Easter, Earth Day, Passover
MAY: Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Teacher’s Appreciation Day,
JUNE: Father's Day, Summer Solstice, Midsummer's Day, Summer Vacation
JULY: Independence Day
AUGUST: Back to School
SEPTEMBER: Autumn Equinox, International Day of Peace, Grandparents Day, Rosh Hashanah,
OCTOBER: Halloween, Yom Kippur
NOVEMBER: Thanksgiving, El Dia de Los Muertos, American Indian Heritage Month
DECEMBER: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice
Don't forget to include family members' and friends' birthdays! For a list of silly holidays such as "Peanut Butter Day," or “Wombat Day,” check out Holiday Insights.
- 6 sheets of 8.5 X 11 cardstock, cut in half
- Coloring and writing materials
- If making a collage: photos of family members, back issues of monthly home magazines
Creating Your Calendar
- Write the month on each lower portion of cardstock using a thick marker. Take it even further and use blue for months with 30 days (April, June, September, November), red for those with 31 days (January, March, May, July, August, October, December), and green for that oddball February. Box them in.
- Using your list of celebrations as a guide, start drawing people and objects relevant to the month’s festivities. For example, draw hearts and chocolates in February; an American flag and fireworks in July; orange fall leaves in September; a Christmas tree/menorah in December. Don’t forget to draw your child on their birthday, celebrating with a gigantic cake!
- Don’t really feel like drawing? Make a collage! Flip through and cut out relevant photos from magazines. Home, cooking, and décor magazines are particularly useful, as they feature a lot of holiday-themed content. For birthdays, cut out photos of family members and friends (stick with digital prints; you don't want to ruin special memories of vintage photographs!)
- Arrange and glue down your collage artfully for each month. If there's a certain holiday or celebration you can't get a cutout of, have your child draw it in! Adding illustrations keeps things from being monotonous and lets you call this a "mixed media" project. Fancy.
- Add in some borders, glitter, silly speech bubbles, and other decorative elements.
- Find a long stretch of bare wall, and tape all the months up in a single row, kids' height. Make sure to use painter's tape or something similar so you don't damage your wall!
Once everything's up, walk through each month, discussing the significance of each photo or drawing. Make sure to refer to your calendar at the beginning of each month to prepare for upcoming celebrations, and at the end to reflect and look back on all the wonderful occasions you’ve enjoyed.
This is similar in feel to flash cards as a straightforward, visual learning tool. But it's a million times better because it's personalized, hands-on, and doesn't come with tears. By simply hanging everything up, you'll be piquing your children's interest and curiosity, while letting them learn at their own pace.
This is such an easy project that you can re-do it yearly with updated photos and even more holidays. Why not try a variation of this project and create a weekly calendar? Include significant days like Monday night ballet class, Tuesday piano lessons, Wednesday karate practice, Friday nights at grandma's, Sunday brunches, and so on.
What's on your calendar? Tell us some of your most beloved holidays in the comments below!Tags : arts and crafts new year's