Along with the foamy soap hack, Kirsten sent me this winner: a homemade calendar that helps her preschooler know what to expect during the week. Knowing what I do about preschoolers, this is a fantastic idea.
Preschoolers are only just getting a handle on the passage of time. Kids that age very much live in the present, so anything that can help smooth transitions (especially now, when the holidays mess with their schedules so) is good.
And what a simple, loving way to introduce the concept of a calendar, the days of the week, and the seasons and holidays!
Here is a 'calendar' I made for my 3yo – to help him know when he has school, speech, and when visitors are coming. I whipped up and laminated this calendar, then I ordered wallet-size prints of all of our extended family who regularly visit, his school, grandma's house, him with his speech therapist, and even his sister in front of her dance studio (so he can tell when we go drop her off). I put a sun sticker on a piece of cardstock, cut it out, and laminated that too – it is what we use to mark which day is today.
The calendar hangs in the kitchen, at his level (on our magnet wall). All the pictures are held on with tape, and if something gets cancelled (or he goes off-track for school) I just take that picture down. It's helped him adjust when relatives leave after a visit – as their pictures are up on the days that they will stay.
I also drew and laminated little objects for holidays – a tree with presents under it for Christmas, an easter egg, a pumpkin, etc. I knew he had figured out the calendar when he kept trying to move the Christmas tree to the day with the sun on it.
Teaching kids to manage their time is so important as they move into their school years and beyond. Here's another homemade tool that puts kids in charge of The Schedule.