Calendars have an important role in everyone’s life right from their tender age. Right from preschool, the children may begin to know their timetable by understanding days, weeks, and months. It can be effortless for these young students to learn these notions from interesting activities. This way, tips, and tricks can be easily discerned.
While they may not be dealing with complex scheduling, the youngsters start handling simple information like when the exams are, when the school starts, and when it is a holiday. With that view, we here listed out a few calendar activity ideas for preschoolers to make them ready for better executive functioning.
Calendar activities: A fun way to practice scheduling
While scheduling attributes are important at later stages, ensuring a concrete foundation can be easy when an individual learns it earlier. Accordingly, even in later school life, learning about calendars through games or activities can help in tasks like organizing, planning occasions, and making necessary future arrangements.
Better executive functioning can bring about better coordination between family members too.
In research by Carman Neutaedter it was outlined that family calendars play an important role in their study of around 44 different families and their routines. It is highlighted with good calendar routines of family, individuals can be aware of each other’s schedules, thereby can ensure coordination and better relationships between them.
How will these calendar activities assist kids?
Learning to get into calendar routines can assist a little one to understand the before and after of a day and a date. With this knowledge, they can feel safer with good planning and making things more predictable. This way, confidence increases about how the world around functions.
To understand a calendar, your child will need a variety of skills, including the ability to recognize numbers, the knowledge that there are 12 months in a year, and the capacity to determine which year follows the previous one.
- The calendar, on the other hand, can be used to teach, expand, and reinforce a variety of skills across the curriculum, including time concepts and chronology, reading skills, and more.
- The activities are not only entertaining, but they also provide an opportunity for parents and children to spend valuable time together, and parents can get to know them better.
- Children under the age of seven are assumed to have a limited understanding of time, which includes the days of the week, months of the year, and the use of time units such as hours and minutes. However, before they begin to solidify the other time-related concepts, your child can continue to grow their vocabulary of days and months and begin to understand time sequences (before, after, next, etc.).
Activity ideas for students to get a better understanding of Calendars
To give a better idea of calendars and their employment in daily life, here we have crafted a few unique activities for young learners:
1. Birthday card
This will help students to have a good knowledge of the names of the months. The teacher prepares a set of birthday cards with one month written on each of them. To start with, the teacher picks one random card and then shows it to the students.
Students sing “Happy Birthday to you” and then the teacher asks, Who was born in this month.
The youngsters may respond with the date and month’s name or a complete statement, letting them answer such as “March.”
Now, the teacher gives out three points about this month:
- At what place this month comes. Here, march comes as the third month
- What comes after this month- April here
- Which months precede it- February here.
2. Dates added or subtracted
Dates can be added and subtracted. If the child asks, “when will we be able to start picking strawberries?” You answer it by saying, “Six weeks from today, the strawberries will be ready to pick.” By pointing to today and counting forward six weeks, you can assist the youngster in counting the weeks.
“Dad just bought our van three weeks ago.” By pointing to yesterday and counting back three weeks, you can assist the youngster in counting the weeks. This will make them understand and know the difference between terms like “from today” and “weeks ago”.
3. Tear-away calender
- The teacher/mentor procures a tear-away calendar.
- To start with, they discuss the day (Monday), the date (12th), and the month (March). Say it aloud in the class that “Today is Monday, march 12th, 2012,”.
- Now, the students are encouraged to repeat it after the teacher.
- They can keep the tear-off pages to help sequence the days and dates.
If the teacher speaks out the full form, we have a better chance that the student will understand it much better. This will improve their knowledge of remembering what the date is and what day it is as well as which month is going on.
4. Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday
- Using the calendar, discuss the concepts of today, yesterday, tomorrow, next week, last month, and next month. Teachers can prepare a weekly or monthly calendar on the board.
- Now, today, tomorrow, and yesterday are determined before starting the class. For example, if today is Monday, yesterday is Sunday and tomorrow is Tuesday.
- Then, the instructor can narrate what was done, and what will be done tomorrow. For instance, “We learned 1 yesterday, we will learn 3 tomorrow . ”
- Later this can be made complicated with learning months. For instance: “You will do it next month… In two months, you will…, and so on.” For young/special needs children, ideas like next week/month and last week/month are difficult to grasp.
So if we regularly speak to them in this way, it will certainly be going to help them understand the concept better.
5. Letting the student schedule
Give out the task to children to schedule their upcoming events, which may turn into an engaging game to play with the kids. It can be an easy-going and fun game; at the same time, students will be learning about the dates and days of their appointments.
- The teacher makes a monthly calendar on a chart and hangs it in the classroom
- To start with, students are asked to identify what is today. The teacher can then show today on the calendar. Say, it is the 12th today.
- Now, they mark a new date to determine an event like a class test or competition. Say it is on the 18th.
- Later, they can ask the little ones to count the dates to estimate how many days are left. Here is the answer: 5 days.
- This activity can be repeated every day till the event date, making it a regular practice. Also, students can drastically learn to look at the calendar appropriately.
6. Talk about the holidays
On the calendar, write down birthdays and dates of noteworthy events and observances. Ask the child “In which season does your birthday fall?” it is a good way to extend learning. Christmas Day is December 25th, isn’t it? Isn’t Halloween on October 31st? Take note of national holidays and make the children learn why we celebrate them.
Isn’t July 4th the Fourth of July? Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and so on are all examples of holidays.
Talk about all those holidays. For more fun, you can even talk about the significance of that day.
7. Make a poem
Teach a poem on memorizing the month’s number of days. For example, we have one poem here for you.
“September has thirty days; April, June, and November have thirty days.
Only February has twenty-eight days; the rest have thirty-one. Unless it’s a leap year, in which case February’s days are twenty-nine!”
Now, instructors may ask pupils to identify and point out the dates and months described in the calendar. The mentor can assist new learners and give feedback by reciting correct answers later.
The knowledge of time, dates, and seasons is crucial. With a history of more than 2000 years, calendars are of great importance. Professionally, they are often assertive for better managerial skills. Students may need to learn about calendars at an early age to master calendars at a young age. The activity ideas can assist you in crafting a noteworthy session of instructing students. Note that these also have other benefits like analytical thinking and visual memory. Accordingly, make sure to provide an apt learning experience even with minor changes to the above ideas.
- Neustaedter, C., Brush, A. B., & Greenberg, S. (2009). The calendar is crucial: Coordination and awareness through the family calendar. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 16(1), 1-48.