Grace started preschool three weeks ago! It wasn’t much of a change for her since she’s been going to “school” there since she was 3 months old. (Technically she moved up to preschool just before the summer so she’s been with the same teacher and kids for a few months now, but the curriculum has officially started now that it’s September. ) The only change for her is that she won’t be going 5-full days now that I’ve joined the Stay-At-Home-Mom-World, she will be going 3-half days.
On the days that Grace is home with me I still want to keep momentum with school and her overall development so I decided to make a “preschool calendar.” At first I searched for one that I could buy, but they cost upwards of $40 and the one’s for like $20 were either too small or felt too busy/overwhelming. Plus I thought I could make something WAY cuter 😉 So I scoured Pinterest for ideas, my main inspiration came from this version from Shoeper-Mom and this one from A Day in the Life of a Classroom Teacher. With ideas in mind I got right to work.
Once I figured out exactly what I was doing (ha ha,) it was fairly easy and inexpensive to put together. Here’s what I ended up with:
Here’s what you need and how I did it:
- Diorama board (Hobby Lobby, $2.99 after 20% coupon)
- Clothespins (I had some on hand from a previous craft but you could probably pick up a pack from the dollar store)
- Self-adhesive velcro squares (needed 3 packages, $9.57)
- Months of the Year/Days of the Week printables (link to free printables here from A Day in the Life of a Classroom Teacher)
- Weather Chart printable (link to free printable here from Rowdy in Room 300)
- Emotions chart (link to free printable here from Teachers Pay Teachers)
- Calendar and numbers (Lakeshore Learning, everything in the store was 20% off during August so I snagged both for $4.38)
- Laminator ($4 for 8-ft of lamination at Lakeshore Learning, lamination was also 20% during August)
- Total cost: $20.94 (plus tax)
1- I printed all the free printables on my home computer/printer using cardstock that I already had.
2- Then I took the prints and calendar/numbers to Lakeshore Learning and used their large laminator – having never used a laminator before I did a little YouTube research before going but luckily it was the week before school started so there were a few teachers there also using the laminator and they were very helpful to this first-timer! 8-feet of lamination – now that’s some serious laminating!!
3- I cut all the laminated pieces over a few nights, after the kiddos were in bed and while binge watching Season 1 of This Is Us
4- I arranged all the pieces on the board until I got everything just where I wanted it, then I used the stick-velcro to start securing everything to the diorama board. I noticed after a few days/weeks that the calendar and emotions board didn’t stay adhered to the board with the velcro so I eventually replaced the velcro just on those pieces and used permanent double sided tape and so far it’s held up nicely!
5 – I used some colored cardstock that I had to make pockets for storing the extra numbers and weather cards. You could use glue or double-sided sticky tape for this, I used double sided permanent tape.
6- Take the clothespins and glue the “today is, yesterday was, tomorrow will be” signs to the top of the pin — this will allow us to move the signs up and down the board as the days of the week change.
7- Do the same to one more clothespin for the weather chart to move up and down from hot to cold. I still have to add an arrow to this clothespin, I plan to use either colored cardstock or find a cute arrow printable on Pinterest that I can easily print and glue to the clothespin.
8 – My husband went out go town on business so I wanted to mark the day that “Daddy’s comes home” on the calendar. I used some leftover cardstock to make a star using a cookie cutter, added some velcro and stuck it to the calendar. We used this as a countdown all week long to see how many more days until Daddy arrived. Had I thought about this sooner I would have laminated the star. Luckily the calendar dates came with blank squares that I can laminate and write-on with dry erase markers, that way I can use those as markers for special events (grandparents birthday, field trip days, etc.)
Viola! Our preschool calendar board is complete and Grace has been super excited to use it on the days she’s home with me!! Overall I think it turned out pretty neat!