Early Childhood Homeschooling Made Easy

Taking teaching and your child's future into your own hands.

Countdown to Disney World Chart – A creative visual display

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I think I mentioned awhile ago that we have a vacation planned this year to go to Disney World. We’re taking Kayla there the week before her 3rd birthday.

My plan was to tell my daughter about our trip about 90 days in advance. It wouldn’t be too, too early, but it also would give me some time to explain to her exactly where we’d be going and what to expect. This will be her first time going on a plane, spending more than one night in a hotel, and going to large theme parks. She’s been to carnivals and a small kiddie theme park, but never anything this massive.

My plan didn’t work out. My mom decided to record an episode of Windy City Live (a Chicago-based show) where they went to Disney World. My mom was excited to show it to Kayla to get a reaction. Kayla was literally in awe of what she saw. She had tons of questions about this place called Disney World.

A few weeks after that, my sister and her family left on their vacation to Florida. One of their vacation destinations was Disney World. Kayla was ready to pack her bags and go with them. Not only was her favorite cousin leaving on vacation without her, but they were going to the same place she wants to go. She was devastated. For two weeks, all she talked about was how she missed her cousin, and that he went to see Mickey Mouse. This started her obsession with Disney World. She started asking to see books, to watch videos (on You Tube) of Disney vacations, and even grabbed some brochures while at the Disney Store. She asks me every single day if we’re leaving to go on vacation to Disney World today. Or tomorrow? And I’m not lying when I say that she started wearing her new princess Jasmine costume around our house all day. She even does forward rolls in this costume.

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I tried to show her a calender and explain that we have four more months until it’s our turn to go on vacation to Disney World. The calendar seemed to be too confusing for her. She didn’t like that there were multiple pages to look at that she had to flip up to see the day when we’re leaving. That’s when I decided to look into Disney Countdown calendars. I thought there would be tons of them to buy, but I was having a hard time finding one to buy or print from the internet. I did, however, find a ton of cute ideas on pinterest. This is when I decided to just be creative and make my own.

I looked around the house to see what types of Disney stuff we have laying around, then I decided what I would need to buy. I cut up an old Disney gift bag that Kayla had from one of her birthdays. I used that to create a big board. Kayla and I used her paint to paint clothes pins with the colors of Disney character’s clothing. (The main characters like Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy.) We painted enough clothes pins for each day we still have before we leave on our trip. I then used a 12 x 12 sheet of red scrapbook paper to create a little sign to represent the number of days we have left until our vacation. I used a small piece of a dry erase board to attach to the sign so we’ll be able to change the number of days left on a daily basis. I then let Kayla decorate the sign and overall board with some of her Disney stickers. Now we have a really big board/chart that clearly displays how many days we have left until our vacation begins.

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Kayla was able to be completely involved with making the board, which she is super proud of right now. It will show her the exact number of days we have left on a daily basis, and she will be able to remove one clothes pin each day. The clothes pins will help her visually see for herself that we still have a long time to wait, but she will also be able to see the number of clothes pins go down each day. This will be a great visual learning tool for her, and it will give us an opportunity to work on counting and numbers. I know she will feel better when she sees the number of clothes pins decreasing.

We even made a special clothes pin to represent our last day before we leave. I know she will be super excited when we finally get to that clothes pin.

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I hope this idea inspires some other parents out there to make their own creative countdown charts for upcoming vacations, events, or holidays.

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Countdown to Disney chart with Kayla

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