Welcome back to Mommy Monday! Today I want to show you something that I made recently for my girls who are currently 2.5 years old. You see, my girls already have a fairly complicated schedule for their age. They visit their dad a couple of times a week, and during the school year they go to their nanny's house while I'm working. And one of my girls is VERY uncomfortable with unpredictability. She was waking up every morning and running through her list of possible occurrences for the day: "Today we play with Mommy?", "Today we go to [nanny]'s house?", and on and on. So I took to trusty Pinterest to find some kind of visual calendar that would work for toddlers. I knew I wanted to be able to show who they were with when, and other big activities they would be doing- going to the library, church, or visiting grandparents- especially during summer vacation. Although I found some simple daily routine charts with velcro, and some pre-made magnetic chore charts and routine charts, I couldn't really find what I was looking for. So I came up with my own. I had seen the idea of using an oil drip pan from Walmart as a magnet board before, so I decided to use it to create a calendar, and while I was at it, go ahead and add a chore chart too. Why not? They are really into helping around the house right now. Better take advantage.
So here's the visual calendar at the top of the board:weekly calendar for myself and had some scrapbook paper left over, so I used those as strips for each day of the week. I literally just put double-sided tape on the back and stuck it on the pan. I have a bunch of different letter stickers from my paper scrapbooking days (lately I've gone the more digital route) so I used those to label each day of the week. I got some adhesive magnet sheets from Amazon, printed out some clipart and photos of important caregivers etc, stuck it on the magnet sheets, and cut them up into little squares. And done! The girls love looking at it each day. I use one of my magnets from the fridge (the little round striped one) to mark which day it is today. I eventually added some blank magnets as well to indicate "free play" time at home, because they were concerned that they were not going to get to play when I didn't have it on the calendar :) It's nice because it's easy to change things out as the week progresses and plans change, but still gives them an idea of what is coming up that week. Since they measure their days by meals and sleeping times, I included those each day as well.
Underneath we have the chore chart:
I had a pretty intense internal debate about this one: should I have a chore chart for each of them, or a shared one? Having recently gone through potty training, I decided that for now, I was going to stick with a shared one. One of my girls does not do well in competitive situations (as I quickly found out when I gave them sticker charts for potty training), and I feared that's what it would become if they each had a chart on the wall. Also: what things should I include as "chores"? (disclaimer: I definitely do not use the word "chores" with them. We call them jobs and they think "jobs"="privileges".) Should routines things like brushing teeth be included or not? I ended up choosing to include some routine items, and I can replace them with other chores when they get older. The nice thing about this chart is I can add or take away chores to be done that day depending on what is happening- if we're not going to be at home for any of our meals they can't do the dishes. If they are eating breakfast at daycare, they will only brush their teeth at home once that day. They love getting to take turns moving magnets to the "done" side, and we have a little celebratory dance every night when they move them all over. So far it's working well!
I still have some empty space at the bottom. I know there is something awesome waiting to be added there- I just haven't figured out what yet. Any ideas??? Oh, and did you notice my place to put the extra magnets? I dumped the crayons out of their box, covered it in duct tape, and stuck it on the wall above the pan with thumb tacks. The oil drip pan is attached with a few command strips. The girls have even tugged on it a few times but so far it all seems very secure.
Do you have a calendar or job chart for your toddlers? Or do you have a visual calendar in your classroom? Leave your ideas in the comments below- I'd love to hear from you!