Saturday, October 27, 2012

Calendar for the Kids - Free Printables

For some reason many of my most vivid memories from my early years in elementary school center around the "circle time" calendar.  You know, the one with the interchangeable dates, months, seasons, and weather cards.  Remember those?

When my son started home-based public education (via I knew I wanted one as part of our daily routine.  I looked around at some of those offered through educational/office supply stores, but they always seemed really gaudy and kind of obnoxious looking (if that makes any sense, ha!).  I wanted something slightly more aesthetically pleasing and customized with only the elements I wanted. 

So I decided to make my own.  The items I purchased were one 20"x30" foam core board, 1/8" and 1/4" chart tape (optional), and self-adhesive velcro.  Materials I had on hand were printer paper and ink, colored cardstock, colored pencils, laminating sheets, a black marker, ribbon, and page protectors.

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I began by using my big metal square to draw the large rectangle for the calendar, one inch in from the left side and one inch up from the bottom. The rectangle measures 15" high x 19.25" wide. Then I marked off measurements for the small interior squares, vertically every 2.5" and horizontally every 2.75", then drew lines across.

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Then I covered the lines with the chart tape, interior lines first, then exterior. You could also use a marker for this step. I made the exterior line thicker than the interior lines. Originally I also made the bottom line of the first row thicker because I was going to put the names of the days of the week in those boxes. Then I realized that a couple times during the year there are dates spanning 6 rows, instead of 5, so I ended up putting the names above the large rectangle. If I was going to do it again though, I would stick to my original idea and put the names in the first row of boxes, then just put multiple dates on the last row of the calendar when the need arose.

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I eyeballed the placement for the other items on the board, around the calendar square (the year needed to be moved over far to the right to accommodate the longest month).  I printed out all the words that I would be transferring to the foam core board, covered the back with pencil (to simulate carbon paper), placed it face up on the board and lightly traced over it to transfer, then traced over that with black marker.

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For all the little numbers and holidays, I printed them out on regular computer paper and cut them apart. Then I put a tiny bit of scrapbooking adhesive on the back to hold them in place in the laminating sheet as I ran it through my laminating machine.

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After laminating I cut them apart and put a small square of velcro on the back. I ended up putting the loop side on the board, and the hook side on everything else.

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For the months I colored the words in colored pencil, backed them with similar colored cardstock, then laminated them. Also for the weather and seasons, after printing and cutting them down to size, I backed them with cardstock then laminated them.

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Finally, I punched a couple of holes at the top of the board and threaded ribbon through to hang it, and attached some page protectors to the back to hold the unused cards.

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It definitely took a lot of time, but my kids totally love it. It's a great addition to the daily routine.

If you'd like to make your own using the images I created for my calendar, download and print out these files (click on the name to access the file):
Major Holidays (US and Canada primarily, and you can always add your own)
Months and Numbers

I'll be linking up to these fabulous link parties:

Monday -  Craft o Maniac Monday -- Craftastic Monday -- Amaze Me Monday -- Make it Great Monday -- Polly Want 2 Party  --  Tuesday -  Get Your Craft On -- Sew Cute Tuesday -- Upcycled Awesome -- Tip Me Tuesday -- Tuesday Talent Show --  Wednesday -  Seven Thrity Three -- Wallet-Friendly Wednesday -- Create and Share -- Whatever Goes Wednesday --  Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna -- Thursday -  Strut your Stuff Thursday -- Transformation Thursday -- Thrilling Thursday -- House of Hepworths -- Friday -  Remodelaholic Friday -- Flaunt it Friday -- Frugal Friday -- Weekend Wander -- Show and Share Day -- It's Fun to Craft! -- Tickled Pink Fridays -- Weekend Wrap-up Party -- Catch as Catch Can -- Friday Flair -- Feature Yourself Friday -- Simply Link {Party} -- Pity Party -- Design Dazzle --  Saturday - Saturday Spotlight --  Sunday -  The DIY Showoff Project  Parade --  Sunday Showcase Party -- Creative Bloggers Party -- I Heart Naptime -- Think Pink Sundays


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