When my son’s third birthday was about three weeks away, people started telling him it would be his birthday soon. This resulted in him asking me every day if it was his birthday today and, one time, even a passionate crying session when his uncle had his birthday before him. He was so sure he would be next up that it seemed so unfair to him that someone else got to have a birthday first. When I shared this story at his playgroup, a mother gave me a great idea. She advised me to make a countdown calendar for him to have a visual picture of when ‘soon’ would be. This was great advice.
I had the idea of making clouds and an airplane and having the airplane hop from cloud to cloud until it came to the birthday cloud. But while making it, I decided that a hot air balloon would be better.
- Colored paper
- Cardboard sheets
- Crafts glue or glue stick
- Scissors or crafts knife
How to make a countdown calendar
I cut out the clouds from different colored sheets of paper and numbered them, starting with the highest number. The numbers represent how many more nights to sleep before his birthday. I made the clouds from thin sheets of paper. If you have some more sturdy paper, this would be better. Or even better, if you have a laminating machine you could laminate the clouds. I started with ten days left until his birthday, so I made 11 clouds.
The last cloud is the birthday cloud. For this, I drew birthday items on regular white paper. Next, I glued the paper to a cardboard sheet and then cut it out and glued it on the birthday cloud. Finally, I wrote the number 3.
Next, I drew the hot air balloon on regular white paper. Then, I glued the paper onto a cardboard sheet and cut it out. Then I picked out a suitable photo, cut it out with a crafts knife, and glued it onto the basked of the hot air balloon, so it looks like he is in the basked.
I fixed the clouds to the wall with a simple piece of scotch tape on the back, rolled up, so it sticks at both sides. Same for the balloon. I attached the balloon onto the wall instead of onto the paper, just next to the clouds, so the clouds wouldn’t get destroyed when the balloon hops from cloud to cloud. I had to renew the scotch tape on the balloon once when it stopped sticking well enough from all the hopping around on the wall.
My son loved it and helped me move the balloon from cloud to cloud every day. It worked very well. Now he had a clear idea of when his birthday would be, and when two kids from his playgroup had his birthday before him, it wasn’t a problem for him anymore. That’s why I wanted to share this idea with you. The clouds and the hot air balloon are just one idea of making a countdown calendar, but you can get as creative as you like! Have fun!