Friday, September 18, 2009

Magnetic weekly planner for kids

I had this project in my head already since AGES ... so I am very pleased that it is finally done! I wanted to make some kind of weekly planner for my daughter where I could put down things like
-going to kindergarten
-activities we are doing
-certain "routines" we have (like having eggs for breakfast on sunday)
-when daddy is not working from at home

Lately she started referring to the different days of the week by their names and often wanted to know whether something was going to happen on "Monday" or "Wednesday" or ... However, she still has alot of trouble remembering what day of the week it is and what will come next so I thought this might help her to get it all in some kind of "order" eventually. At first I was thinking of making a timetable (which would have taken less time I suppose) but since we don't have a really rigid schedule and like to change things according to weather, liking, time ... whatever ... I figured a timetable would not really work. So I made magnets to use at our fridge which are arranged kinda like a timetable.

(If you click on the picture it will enlarge and you can see the magnets more closely.)

I was thinking alot about what to use to make the magnets. You could use pretty much anything ... fabric, felt, laminated paper, wood, polymer clay ... In the end I settled for simple coloured crafting cardboard and added magnetic foil to the back. It's comparably cheap and you can easily add or replace magnets if you need/ want to.

I simply made magnets with the weekdays (Monday till Sunday) and arranged them on the fridge in a row. (As I am German I used the german words of course.) I colour-coded them in making Saturday and Sunday red. Then I made round magnets which stand for certain activities, like
baking - cupcake
crafts - scissors
going to the library - books
going to the playground - swings
I just printed small cliparts and coloured them (only have a black and white printer) and glued these to round cardboard pieces. That's it.
I am planning on writing down the activities onto the round magnets as well in the future (just was a bit too lazy for that at the moment). And once she actually starts reading I will probably replace the pictures with just words. I love that you can really easily adjust this planner to any needs that you might have.
(For older kids that are learning a second language you could even make it in another language.)

I also included the months and seasons. They are again colour coded. So summer is yellow and all summer months are on yellow cardboard. Winter is white, fall brown and spring is green. I am planning to include the date as well - so I will make some number magnets. But I did not want it to get too confusing for now and I thought the date would be a bit too much at the moment. So I will do that later once my daughter mastered the weekdays and months.

I am planning on going over this planner with her each day and talking about which day it is, which day is tomorrow (and was yesterday), what we are going to do today ... and the rest of the week. She can pick out the magnets - which she loves!!! Couple days ago during the day I told her that we would have to go shopping if we want to bake something (we were not at all talking about the weekly planner or anything) and her reply was "We will have to put the shopping cart on the planner!" :-)
And another advantage it has - it also kinda breaks down the week for myself and I it is easier for me to keep track of what activities we do. It has happened in the past that we ended up colouring for days in a row, which is fine as long as my daughter enjoys it. But sometimes I am just at a loss about what to do the next day and she also seems not too satisfied with her choice. Now I can just ask my daughter what she would like to do and actually seeing her options visually in front of her makes it alot easier for her to choose something! Before she would often tell me the same activities over and over again ... Now she also picks out activities that we rarely did before (like cooking together for example). So far it really is working very nicely!


Mina said...

Such a great idea, I´ll try to do it to my kid, she loves organizing stuff and this one is very creative! Thanks!!

anne @ Floralshowers Craft Blog said...

this is a very cute idea. my little 3 year old is starting to ask about the days of the week as well. This would be a fun activity to do...I especially like the one with the little shopping cart on it. really cute!

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