Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Counter and an Activity? Wha?!

I've got a lot of automated doodads specifically geared toward ticking down the days, minutes and seconds to upcoming events. The majority of which are focused on Walt Disney World.

That's all well and good for sustaining my excitement, but what about tuning in a five year-old?

I've been running solo with the kids this extended weekend while my wife celebrates ringing in a new decade of life with her twin sister in Los Angeles. With my five year-old's birthday and my wife's birthdays now in the past, the next milestone in his eyes IS our trip to Disney World. This provided us with an opportunity and an activity!

What You Need

The 50 ft. view: we're making a paper chain. Each chain link represents a day. Each morning, your kid tears off one of the links, and you have X amount of days left until your vacation. It's an easy way to visually countdown the days to an upcoming vacation with your kids.

The materials are quite simple. You need paper, a paper cutter and tape or a stapler.

Step 1
Do the math. Calculate how many strips you need to cut and plan accordingly. The last thing you want to do is count and recount the paper chain one link at a time.

Step 2
Cut the paper into long, equal strips. I like to cut 'em lengthwise so that each strip is about 1.25" wide by 11" tall.

Step 3
Interconnect the links. My son would coil each link and then I'd staple it. We did this 66 times, as our next trip is 66 days away. The collective paper chain became quite long.

Step 4
Spice it up. We drew some Mickey heads on the final link to signify the day of the big trip. For some reason, he felt that Valentine's Day should be represented as well, so we counted 20 some days down the line and drew in some hearts on it. (They intentionally didn't look as sharp as the Mickey heads.)

Step 5
Hang it up. We put ours upstairs in the playroom, right outside his bedroom. He wanted to preemptively pull a chain off before bedtime, but it allowed papa (moi) to provide a pearl of wisdom on patience.

What's a way you build excitement for an upcoming trip?
Post a comment and let us know!

1 comment:

  1. I just read message boards all day long!

    This looks like a great activity. Paper chains and Little Einstein jammies are the perfect way to spend a weekend! :-)