November 15, 2012

November Calendar For Little Ones

 The teacher in me has always had a thing for calendars.  When you walk into your child's kindergarten or first grade classroom do you immediately notice the cute calendar/meeting area?  I do.  Every time I see one it makes me miss my own (well, my adopted own).  Mrs. Linda Lewis (amazing lady!) was my cooperating teacher my first year of teaching.  She passed her handmade calendar on to me when she retired (score!).  I wish I had pictures of every month, but I don't.  She made every single month as cute as the October one below.  This was before the Cricut, the Silhouette, or any other electronic  cutting devices.  We did have our ancient hand-cranked die cut machine in our school workroom, but I don't think she even used that.  The majority of it was done by tracing, drawing, and cutting out by hand.  Talent and patience!

Mrs. Lewis's Handmade Calendar
(sorry about the glare)

I remember telling my husband when I was pregnant with our twins that I was worried about turning off my teacher mode long enough to be in mommy mode. I thought for sure I'd be doing everything I did in my classroom in my home with my boys.  He was quick to remind me that I might be a bit too busy being a mom to teach all day long.  I adamantly disagreed with him.  Well, needless to say, after three months of no sleep and an exhausting (but wonderful) first year of being a new mom with twins, I had to eat my words.  Being a mom was consuming my every waking minute, as it should have. 

Fast forward a couple of years, and my hopes of being the teacher-mommy seemed a bit more attainable.  I was sleeping and had a good grip on the twin thing.  One of the first things I made for my boys was a calendar corner.  Classroom calendars are so adorable, but they serve a greater purpose.  Teachers use them to help cover many areas of their curriculum.  Months, weeks, days, numbers, counting, patterns, today, tomorrow, before, after, how many days until... the teaching possibilities are endless.  I love being able to teach my boys things without them really knowing I'm teaching them.  You'd be surprised what a child can learn by simply having access to a calendar.  I always make my calendar big enough  for my boys to see and at their eye level. It's as simple as that.  And of course it needs to be cute!

I make a new calendar every month.  I know that's probably crazy to some people, but I've got it down to a science and I kind of enjoy it.  Looking a Linda's October calendar makes me think about laminating one, but I like to switch the background color for each month.  
Here's what I used for my November calendar.

1.  Brown craft paper (it comes in a roll) from the dollar store (I cut it down to roughly 21"x 15")
2.  A yard stick for measuring 
3.  Sharpie for the lines
4.  Martha Steward alphabet stamp set for the days of the week and numbers
5.  Orange letters cut out from my Cricut (I used the Classic Font cartridge)
6.  Orange glitter for the November letters
7.  The turkeys I used on our Thankful Journals from Michaels
8.  Embellishments for special dates

There are tons of other things I could add to the calendar itself, or around it, but for now it works for us.  We also have a lot of scheduling items that could be added to the calendar, but I'm afraid that would make it too crowded and a bit overwhelming.  We keep this calendar fairly simple.  I honestly never get tired of watching my boys head over to the calendar from time to time to count the days until a special occasion, to see what day it is, or to check how many more days they have until church day- their favorite day of the week!  :)
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