Last week I shared a little about our calendar center and showed how I set up our little weather station. That is by far the favorite of the kids. After all, they get to go outside, rain or shine, and take measurements. I think I’m going to add on a rain gauge, but more on that later. If I actually follow through!
So, next up, the date!
That’s simple enough. Every day that we do our calendar time, we advance the date. The children tend to do this on there own, even on weekends, because it seems to bother them to have the wrong date hanging on the wall all day long. Putting it together really is simple enough, and if all you need are the months and numbers, here they are! You can download your own copy here: Calendar Center Months and Numbers
You will ultimately need to print of the numbers three times (six complete sets). That will give you some extras, but who doesn’t need extra number cards?
If you want more instruction on how to put it together and exactly what I used, read on! And yes, this involves some affiliate links. And although it would be great if everyone threw everything in their carts so I could earn a few cents, I’m really doing it so you know exactly what I’m talking about. Because I didn’t get any of this from amazon. Most of it was just laying around in various places it didn’t belong and the rest I picked up the copy store while I was waiting for my laminating job!
First off, did you notice my dry erase marker holders? Binder clips! That was my own personal moment of genius. Then again, I get excited over pretty little things. Like how well a binder clip holds a dry erase marker right there where I need it but out of reach of little hands who only use them to color themselves, anyway.
Next up, of course, are the months. I just made up a set that fit nicely on a standard poster board, printed them off on card stock and cut them apart. They would need to be smaller if you wanted to add the day of the week, too, but I like them a little bigger so they are easy to read. And trace. And copy.
I love having the months of the year on binder rings. It just helps emphasize the whole cycle of the months thing. And they can totally pull them off the calendar to cheat on their exercises when they forget what month comes next. Or, you know, just to practice. Because that sounds way better than “cheating.” A hole punch obviously works to punch the holes, but I thought I’d throw a shout out for the second coolest thing I’ve ever bought for homeschooling: my Japanese book drill. More about how I use it later, but for the moment, suffice it to say that it is perfect for making neat little holes anywhere on your project. Even the center of your poster board.
There are cheaper ones available if you only want to use it occasionally. Unfortunately, the nice one at amazon only comes with one bit and you probably want the larger, 4mm or even 4.5mm bit for this project. If you like making books, however, this one is definitely worth the price along with all the bits!
And, of course, a hole punch works, too.
To hang these and the numbers up, I just used these nifty little hooks. The best part is, they are removable. So when you get all your hooks arranged neatly on your poster and go to hang everything up and suddenly realize you put one upside down, you can totally fix it without destroying your poster. Not that I’d know from experience. Ahem
For the year, I put four pieces of Velcro on the laminated poster and then put some on the numbers. You could get away with just a few years worth of numbers, but I made a full set. Then we can use this to practice adding tens and hundreds as I ask, “What will the date be ten years from now? Two hundred years from now? A thousand years from now?” And they can switch out the numbers with the Velcro.
After they put the comma where it belongs in the date, they copy it on the nice space provided. It’s a bit of lined posterboard. This stuff is great if you happen to have it. I have one sheet laminated to practice literacy skills. Once upon a time, it was part of my calendar time, too, so you might see it later! At any rate, this stuff is kind of pricey. You might want to just get some poster board or large paper to cut down to size. The lines are nice, but not necessary. This was given to me when I used to teach and I’ve dragged it through three moves!
The last thing I did was take a bit of leftover laminating film and attach some Velcro to make a pocket. This is a great place to put flash cards. More on the cards I have in mine later, after I convert it to upload!
And that’s it! Everything I used to make the date section of my nifty calendar! Stay tuned for the days of the week next!