Thursday, November 12, 2009

counting down

tristan has recently been quite enthralled with counting things. he's gotten good at pointing to only one object at a time, while saying the correct number and he does quite well until he gets to number 12...he skips 12 and goes straight to 14 and then the rest of the numbers after that are a jumble of 14's and 16's....we're working on it. but anyhow, i still think he's doing pretty well for an almost 3 year old. (of course i do, i'm his mommy.)

now, for as long as i can remember, i've been pretty enthralled myself with counting down. i think i get it from my mom. she's the one who strung fruit loops on a thread and ate one every day that she was engaged counting down the days until her wedding. i remember taking her idea and stringing cheerios on a thread, eating one each day until my birthday. the only thing i didn't account for was the fact that the cheerios got really stale and, after a day or two, were no longer very appetizing. advent calenders were also quite a big deal in our house growing up. my parents, being quite frugal, would purchase one chocolate filled advent calendar, and one with Bible verses telling the christmas story behind every window that was opened. my 3 siblings and i took turns each december morning before school, one of us opening a window and eating a chocolate, and one of us opening a window and reading a Bible verse. then, when i got engaged, my mom bought me a pretty glass bottle and filled it with chocolate covered almonds; one for every day until the day of my wedding.

reading some of my friends' facebook statuses lately has admittedly got me feeling a bit jealous. in canada, thanksgiving occurs at the beginning of october. once halloween is over, the christmas season pretty much begins in full force. down here in the states, since thanksgiving isn't until the end of november, its isn't nearly as common to decorate houses for christmas any earlier than the day after thanksgiving. this morning, while helping tristan count circles and squares in one of his storybooks, i had the brilliant idea to make a countdown paper chain with him, counting down the days until thanksgiving, christmas and his birthday.

i set to work cutting strips of colored paper (orange for thanksgiving, red for christmas and blue for his birthday) while tristan set to work drawing in a toy catalogue. then, after i had set pieces of tape at the edge of the table, tristan helped by putting the tape on each paper chain link and....voila! our masterpiece.

i'm SO not the crafty, artsy type of mom, so don't laugh at my lame attempt at creativity. still, i was quite proud of myself for thinking of a fun little project that we could do together. now, every morning after breakfast, tristan will break off one chain link and we'll have the opportunity to count down how many more sleeps until the next big day. the biggest challenge for me will be not to let on that i'm actually the one who is the most excited about the whole count down process!


dj kosmotronix said...

I love the picture he is coloring, kids see what they see, and that's art.

Teaching kids to anticipate family time keeps everyone together, and to do something for someone else. Keep up the good work!


Rhea said...

Heidi, I think this is brilliant and really creative! I am not very craft/artsy either. Way too much

inquisitivesensitive said...

LOVE this idea, and I did this EVERY year growing up!

It's actually a really good thing to do for Tristin's math skills as well. When you have a physical line of objects and count them every day he is going to develop and master the concept of 1 to 1 coorespondence, which is knowing that each item in a group has it's place/number. You can also teach him parts/wholes with this as well- the 3 colors are all PART of the WHOLE chain for the final day.

Also, this is such a developmentally appropriate way to handle days/weeks/months. Children do not possess the mental capacity to understand time/calenders until they are 6-7 years old. Basically, you are wasting your time if you try to teach them it before 6, and are much better off helping them understand time in terms of "when we went to the park," "before you go to sleep," and "after lunch." I have an article on the subject' if you are interested in reading it I can email it to you. :)

Great job Heidi! I hope for an update on how he is doing with the chain and how excited he gets :)

~Heather H.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Nice idea...and you are doing a great job of keeping up with an obviously bright child.

This year I'm itching to get decorating for Christmas early, since we've already had snow twice.

Grandma J. said...

I think your chain and the colors associated with it are brilliant and beautiful. I'll have to make one for counting down days until we see y'all!

Uncle Jimbo said...

My countdown is at 17 days!!!

I just thought I'd shout out with my love of numbers and their getting smaller. Started at 288 btw

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh yes. . .Thanksgiving decor came donw November 1st and I'm well on my way to Christmas.
I love that you are so creative and I love how each family passes on such fun traditions. .
happy counting.

dj kosmotronix said...

So I got my cheerio countdown string freakishness from you!! I always wondered where that came from. I would hang my cheerio string on the pin that held my calendar to the wall....go figure. I'm sure I hung one to keep track of how long until we got to drive over to your place for Christmas.

Cheerios will play a major part in Kaiser's life, too. How to count to aim inside the toilet, etc, etc.


Aimee said...

I love this idea. And I think it turned out really lovely - the colours look good together too. I want to do more stuff like this with my kids. I might be taking this idea. Such a good way to visually depict time. good job! I loved the backstory on the generational love of counting down too!