- One (1) Piece of Paper
- One (1) Pen
- One (1) Box of Crayons
- One (1) Small Bow
- Twelve (12) Holiday Stickers
- Counting - One to One Correspondence
- Understanding the Concept of Time
- Social Skill Development - Traditions
- Number Identification
- Fine motor - Drawing within the lines
- Fine motor - Using Stickers
- Gross Motor - Jumping
- Following multi-step directions
- The adult should draw one horizontal line across the middle of a piece of blank paper.
- Next, draw five vertical lines, equal witdth apart, from the top to the bottom of the piece of paper (creating 12 boxes).
- The adult should use a pen to write the numbers 1 through 12, writing one number in each box in numerical order,
- Tell the child that there are 12 days until Christmas (you can explain what your family plans are for Christmas).
- Ask the child to trace each number using the green crayon. Ask the child to repeat the number they are writing as they write it.
- Once complete, tell the child they can color in each box with any color crayon that they choose. They should color within the lines of each box and no two boxes can be the same color.
- Tell the child that they have created a countdown calendar! Today is day number 1!
- Before bed each night, allow the child to put a sticker on the number that corresponds to that day. Today we will put a sticker on number one, since day one in the countdown is over! Tomorrow, we will put a sticker on number 2.
- After the child puts a sticker on number one, ask them to count how many days are left in their countdown calendar (there are 11 days left).
- Tell the child to jump the total amount of days left until Christmas (they will jump 11 times on the first day).
- Continue repeating steps 8 through 10 every night until Christmas! On the morning of Christmas, congratulate the child that they finished their countdown calendar! They made it all the way to Christmas. It's time for celebrating! Allow the child to place a Bow on the number 12 (resembling Christmas day).
- Leave the calendar near your child's play area so they can pretend to use their countdown calendar in their play. Are there any other times that they would like to use a countdown calendar? How about a coutdown till New Years Eve? Someone else's birthday? A special weekend event?
Countdown calendars are great for teaching numbers, counting and time. Children know more about what is happening in the present and it is hard to conceptualize the future. This countdown calendar strategy makes time more accessible for children.
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