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When is Tomorrow Mom? How to Make a Count-Down Calendar

From the time my children were born, I dreamed of all of the places I would take them one day: New York City at Christmas, the beach to see the ocean for the first time, and at the top of the list – DisneyWorld.

This winter we are making that journey to the Happiest Place on Earth with our four and a half year old daughter, and our two year old son. The magic of the planning has been enough to make me giddy, but all of this excitement has overwhelmed my kids.

The idea of six months, then six weeks, then 30 days is about as helpful to preschoolers as trying to explain to them the value of Pi. That is why I decided to make a 30 Day Trip Countdown Calendar – much like an Advent Calendar – to help the kids keep track of just how long it is until the big day.

Materials:
– Two contrasting colored pieces of posterboard
– 30 appropriately themed stickers
– Permanent marker
– Cutting board
– Craft knife
– Clear mailing tape

Step 1:

Use the permanent marker to draw 30 shapes, each one three sided, on one sheet of posterboard. Be creative! Face the shapes in various directions – even try one rounded side for some! Be sure to make them large enough that when they are folded back by the children, the sticker will be

visible. Number each shape in descending order from 30 to 1.

Step 2:
Use the craft knife and the cutting board to cut each shape along the lines you have drawn. Be careful not to cut more than three sides, or the flap may not stay closed.

Step 3:
Place the second piece of posterboard under the first. Gently lifting each flap, either place the sticker directly onto the bottom sheet, or use a pen or marker to place a dot indicating the location of the flap’s opening. If you use the latter method, you can then place the stickers on the bottom sheet after you have moved the top sheet to the side. When you have finished placing the stickers, your top sheet should look like the second illustration, and the bottom sheet should look like the third.
Step 4:
Using clear mailing tape, tape the top sheet on to the bottom on all four sides. Each morning, the children can fold a flap back revealing a sticker that builds excitement while giving the kids a visual representation of how long they need to wait until the fun begins!
My only problem now? The kids keep asking me, “How long until I can open another window?”

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