Calendar time can look so cute, so perfect, and so inviting for learning and… completely flop. Actually, that can happen with anything we present to children! In an effort to help children understand the days of the week and the months of the year in an age appropriate way, Jamie (from Play to Learn Preschool) and I, came up with this calendar. It’s a perfect first calendar for the home and classroom!
Jamie is the master artist of this — she has a way with making everything look beautiful. We talked about it, and when I saw it all put together, I was completely blown away! We’ve been working on this for a very long time, and our goal was to provide a way for children to start understanding time in a developmentally appropriate way. Some teachers are not even permitted to use a calendar in a preschool classroom. I know about this first hand because I worked in a program where the calendar was taboo. I do believe that we can start teaching about time in ways that are relevant and meaningful to children, even when they are not ready for a full blown calendar. This is why Jamie and I came up with this. We hope you love it as much as we do!
Years ago, I began to start changing my teaching methods when it came to the calendar. I noticed that even after weeks and months of talking about calendar concepts there were many blank faces among the room. The children just weren’t getting it. I was always leading calendar, even after constant repetition. After years of dragging children through the calendar time process, I turned calendar it into an interactive center on my easel. They loved coming up to the calendar and matching the numbers. I wrote an entire post about this called Making Calendar Time Meaningful. Now we have taken this to the next level!
There does come a point where children are ready for more! They are asking what today is. They want to know how many days there are until their birthday or Christmas. They question what the day after Wednesday is called. And they even want to know when winter will come — at least my kids do because we love to play in the snow (even at 7 a.m. sometimes). These are all signs that a child is beginning to understand time, or we could say that these are “emergent” skills because they are emerging.
Jamie and I designed this calendar to answer all these questions and more just for children ages 2-7. The calendar comes alive as children are learning about the days of the week through their favorite activities — going to preschool, a trip to the park, a visit to a museum, an upcoming birthday or holiday and much, much more. We even kept our International friends in mind, so this will work no matter where you live in the world. I have lived on three different continents and desperately miss the summer in January from when I was in Australia!
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You can use this on a bulletin board/cork board, on a commercial classroom calendar, the wall, a refrigerator, and even in a pocket chart. There are so many ways to arrange the calendar and customize it to make it work for your home or class. There are even spaces available for you to make your own options! This is how the home calendar looks in my daughter’s room above her writing desk. We used push pins with this because she is responsible enough to take care of them. I would use velcro dots or staples for a classroom setting though.
Jamie has her schedule up for her classroom. To see how she set hers up, you can click her calendar set.
There are also some wonderful additions such as a Daily Schedule. Daily schedules are so important in helping children to transition to the next activity. In fact, routines and predictability are foundations in a child’s life!
If you are a classroom teacher, there is also an attendance section. Plus, there is a traditional calendar when your child/class is showing proficiency in understanding calendar time topics.
It’s also super easy to store. I put ours in a 3 ring binder with page protector sheets.
As you see, this My First Calendar Set serves many purposes and grows with your child/class over many years! And for a limited time, it is only $5. That is a steal! To get all of these materials in a store, you would have to buy them all separately, and you are probably looking at $40 or more.
Here are all the wonderful resources you are getting:
- Home Schedule
- School Schedule
- Attendance Picture Cards
- Month Headers (with and without US seasonal decorations)
- Days of the Week
- Time Cards
- Seasonal Number Cards
This calendar is available for purchase through Teachers Pay Teachers in Jamie’s store. The most important aspect about this set is that it is designed for 2-7 year olds. It is completely developmentally appropriate for young children, and it is an incredible visual to help manage a schedule.
These are some of the extra materials you may want to have around if you don’t already:
We hope you enjoy this valuable resource — one that I wish I had when I first began teaching!