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What is working for us - a child friendly calendar and learning the days of the week

What works for us - a child friendly calendar at How we Montessori

Are your children organised? Do they know what day of the week it is?

When Otis (4 yrs) wakes up in the morning the first question he asks is 'what day is it today', he's trying to determine if it is a school day, if it is soccer today, what is going to happen today or next, what does he need to wear. Even if we have (as we often do) discussed it the night before. 

I think it's really important for consistency, stability and for the child who is finding out about the world around them, they need to be able to find out for themselves what day of the week it is.

When I was trying to find the right calendar for us I needed to consider Otis' stage in development and what it was that was trying to learn. This is exactly what we mean when we say to provide a supportive, prepared environment. Otis wanted to know;

  • What number it is today (what is today's date)
  • What day is it today (what is the name of the day)
  • What are we doing today

He did not and does not have any consideration for the month, hopefully this and seasons will come next. 

Importantly I did not want a calendar with too much on it, I wanted the information to be clear, I wanted what Otis was trying to learn to be clear. I also wanted a calendar that was easy to adapt, personalise and add onto later. 

Otis labelling today at How we Montessori child days of the week, calendar

We chose this calendar (c/o Child.com.au). After about a month I decided to laminate the cards for durability. Otis likes to stand and look and play around with the cards. I can just see him using this calendar to count down to Christmas day or his birthday.

I have added dot stickers (which come off easily) for significant days, this month for Father's Day and a birthday party Otis is excited about. The coloured dot stickers have a key (which is not pictured) - orange dot for a school day, pink means music etc. Although we don't use them a lot the pockets are very handy. It's easy to pop a note, an invitation in the pocket so we don't forget.

I need to have the week to start on a Monday and I can do this with this calendar. The calendar is also easy enough to use that Otis can help to update it with the change of the month. At the moment Otis can only count to 20 with some accuracy so this practice of counting to the end of the month is very worthwhile. And perhaps the most important feature is our 'today' card, it just slips over the clear pocket (or it could go in the pocket), Otis changes it every day and it makes it very clear which day is today! It would also be very easy to add decorative stickers (perhaps birthday, Christmas, Easter stickers) and personalise further if we wish. 

Child calendar at How we Montessori, pocket calendar, learning the days of the week.

The calendar is currently attached to the boys' bedroom door with command hooks. Their door is always open so it doesn't flap around or get in the way and it's in a very convenient location. Otis can check which day it is before he gets dressed!

I also love the large format of this calendar, the cards are large enough the child can easily handle them and it's easy to read. There is some physicality to reading and using this calendar and I feel it would be well suited to a preschool or classroom environment. 

We have this calendar which was freely chosen by me but c/o and many thanks to Child.com.au (same calendar available in the US here and UK here).  Ours is as photographed here which looks slightly darker blue that the picture in the listing and ours doesn't have the black strips on the bottom. The days of the week and month names are also in Spanish on the reverse side of the cards. If you are looking for a slightly more complex calendar, perhaps for a older child you might like this one which includes the weather, seasons and year (US here and UK here).

I'd love to hear about or see which calendar you are using at home or at school and how much detail you include for your preschooler/s.

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