I just love this time of year – the anticipation of all the fun coming our way just leaves us all a little giddy! We usually try to get some camping in before Memorial Day, when it starts to get too hot for
me it to be comfortable. Then it’s July 4th, and before you know it, it will be beach time, not to mention all of the fun things in between!
With all of these fun family events coming up, it’s fun for the kids – for all of us really – to keep track of the time leading up to an event or a holiday. For my youngest child, it’s a tool we use to help him manage time and reduce his anxiety with change – it’s a life saver!
Rather than creating a countdown calendar for just one event, I decided to create something that could be used throughout the year.
Given that it was to be a general calendar, it required a simple color scheme that would match the existing decor in my kitchen, where the calendar would live. Black and white is about as basic as you get, and the red offsets nicely against pretty much everything.
Using decorated clothespins as markers for the remaining days, I allowed for up to 30 days between events. You can find a free printable of the numbers here. The tin bucket was found at Target in the $1 aisle and works nicely to store the extras.
The base was made out of a 4″ piece of circular plywood, found in the wood work aisle at Michael’s, a leftover brick of wood to use as a base for the magnets, punched card stock, extra strong magnets, Velcro (to attach the holiday tiles) and scrapbook lettering. I applied a thin coat of white spray paint to the base initially – everything else was added using a glue gun.
For the individual events or holidays, I created felt tiles, using a felt cutout, adorned with scrapbook embellishments, most of which I purchased on clearance throughout the year. This made creating the tiles so easy!
I also tried my hand at creating the images for my Thanksgiving and Christmas tiles. After a bit of research, using every description I could think of such as “layered paper”, “diy scrapbook embellishments”, I finally figured out that what I was actually searching for was “paper piecing”, and that it is really very easy – if you can trace, cut and glue, you can paper piece. If you are interested in trying this on your own, you can find free patterns here.
I created tiles for most of the major holidays, as well as a few personal tiles to represent our annual beach trip, camping trip, and trips to the zoo – an Ayden favorite!
The countdown calendar is already doing it’s job – Ayden and I began counting down to our upcoming camping trip, which really helped him to understand the number of days left to go and did much to add to his excitement!. It has curbed the repeated questions about when we are going, and it’s so much easier for him to understand when he’s able to see it visually. It’s a hit!
Although this project was primarily for the kids, I decided to add a tile of my own.. I figure if perhaps if I just start counting down the days, a plane ticket to Paris will magically appear? I know. But, a girl can dream, can’t she?