Sense of time for children is a difficult concept because it's abstract and up to the age of 6 children's brain is not able to abstract. Here's my method to help Oliver and Emily understand how many days are left to an event.
I draw on a paper sheet as many circles as the days that Oliver and Emily have to wait, I stick our "calendar" onto the fridge and then every morning, as soon as we wake up, we color in a circle. I usually make two calendars so that they can both color their own.
If there are events (even recurring ones) that happen in the meantime, I draw them over the corresponding circle: the swimming lesson, lunch with grandma, etc. in order to break the long wait with events that are closer in time.
I draw the last circle bigger and inside it I draw a detail of the event: a sun for a birthday (from the idea of the Montessori birthday), the mountain/beach for holidays, the mom coming back from a business trip, the birth of a little brother or sister…
Less is more
For children who still don't read, I recommend leaving out the days of the week: it doesn't serve the main purpose and it lets the child color the dots in whatever order they want.
For example, if the circles are in lines, it's likely the child will want to color them "in snake order", not from left to right: if we know that's possibility, it's better to draw the final circle ALONE in the last line.
Some more ideas
- If the child recognizes the numbers, you can write them in small print in each circle.
- You can also fill the paper with circles in no precise order and without a bigger circle at the end and when they're all colored, the day has come!
- If the child is reading (or is starting to read) you can use it as an opportunity to practice the days of the week: in this case there will be 7 circles per row and each column will have the day of the week written at the top. You can accompany the "calendar" with a wheel of the days of the week.
- If you don't want to use paper, you can use a tablet where you can write on (we use reMarkable).
- Get creative! This wasn't supposed to be a calendar, but it became one: at the top it's my day (when I traveled to Brunei) and at the bottom it's the children's day (they stayed in Bali with daddy). In the end I made two so each had their own.
I'll soon publish a post with some ideas that we use to practice the sense of time while traveling. You'll find it in the reccomended posts here below/.
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