The first step to teaching kids how to read a calendar, is to pick a kids calendar to teach with.
There are at least 5 different types of calendars for kids. All of them are good, but they each have their perks and limitations.
Children’s Learning Calendar
One option some parents choose to buy is a calendar toy.
This type of children’s learning calendar is ideally suited for a preschooler, as it’s a good way for kids to learn through hands on play.
It often will include learning about the weather and possibly the activities of the day.
Some might even include learning about the seasons, emotions, mood, or temperature.
A calendar toy:
- is already done so parents don’t need to prepare anything
- can be neatly folded or packed up to put away
- learning through play is makes learning more fun
- often includes other skills like emotions, moods, seasons, and weather
- a limitation of this type of calendar is that you’re limited to learning about the current time period (day or month)
- learning is not customized to the child’s level
- does not grow with their increasing abilities
As an example, my daughter could tell me if it was sunny, raining, or snowing since she was very little, so I saw no reason to add this to our daily routine, just for the sake of doing it. Those limitations are why I did not choose this method.
A parent can custom create a calendar themselves. I have seen some pretty elaborate homemade calendar creations on various blogs and Pinterest over the years.
There are a variety of reasons you might want to create your own calendar. For example, perhaps you want a visual schedule for your preschooler.
Pro: you can customize it how you want
Con: It takes time and patience to create all those many fun and colourful parts.
Reusable Dry Erase Calendar
A dry erase calendar is another good option.
Pro: it’s reusable – you only need to purchase once and you can use it month after month
Con: can only use current month and you have to write out numbers and update each month
Here is a magnetic dry erase calendar that you can use on your fridge:
Using An Actual Calendar
Teaching children with an actual calendar is a great way for kids to learn and practice the Grade 1-3 math skills that involve learning about the calendar.
There are many pros to using an actual calendar:
- you can progressively add new skills as your child is ready for them
- you’re not limited to only the current day
- all the Grade 1-3 math skills that involve learning calendar skills can be taught
- it can be fun for the child to have their own real calendar
How To Choose A Calendar For Kids
For maximum fun, calendars should be:
- very colourful
- have fun characters or another theme your child can get excited about
- lots of stickers is a must for younger children
Here are some fun 2020/2021 calendars for kids:
For a list of 91+ calendar questions to ask kids to help them learn to read a calendar, see “Calendar Questions for Kids“.
Kids Agenda or School Planner
Another possibility is an agenda for kids. It’s an excellent choice for an elementary student.
Here are a few great options that I found for the 2020-2021 school year:
After choosing a fun, colourful, kid calendar that a child can get excited about, we now can turn our attention on how to teach kids about the calendar.