When we were planning our daughter’s very first trip to WDW, little did I know that one aspect of our trip planning would become a new family WDW tradition!
In December 2008, our daughter was almost 4 1/2 years old. At that time she was not able to grasp the concept of time……Christmas is in 2 days, we visited your grandmother yesterday, I went to a friends yesterday tomorrow, etc. We decided to try and help her understand how long it would be until we were heading down to the Happiest Place on Earth! I read about people making countdown calendars to help build anticipation and give a good visual element that actually show the days left until departing for WDW. So with ideas in mind, I started making our first countdown calendar! And Brooke loved this! Each night before she went to bed, we marked off the day and counted the days left until our big trip. By the time the big day arrived, she was so excited and ready to go!!
So now, just about every time we have a trip to WDW planned, we HAVE to make a countdown calendar! Brooke is old enough now that she enjoys helping make the calendars.
Our first task is to head to Home Depot to stock up on Mickey paint samples (shhh!). Then we make sure that we have poster board, glue sticks, markers and stickers. Here is a look at all of our supplies before we begin creating.
You can’t get these anymore at most Home Depots. But there are a couple options now.
- Disney Journal Cards from Amazon.com
- Mickey Punch
After we pull off the ears, then we glue one down on each day of the calendar. We have fun picking the color ears that we use on each day. We even have fun with the actual name of the paint colors. This time Brooke really liked the color A Smakeral of Honey!
When we are finished gluing all of the ears down, then Brooke gets to decorate with all of the stickers that she wants! She has such fun with this part adding her own personal touches. You can never have too many stickers on a countdown calendar!
Then we figure out how many days we want the countdown to be. Usually we have about 30 days on the calendar. After we study the calendar and figure out the dates, then we draw the grid and write in the dates. Brooke likes to write the dates, and she concentrates really hard!
Each night before Brooke goes to bed, she gets to mark off a day and then we count how many more days until we leave for our next adventure. When we first started doing this, it also helped Brooke learn to count (she was just learning this in her pre-school class). Gotta love an educational element thrown in there too!
Our countdown calendars may not be the fanciest ones, but we sure do have fun making and then using our creations!!
How do you countdown to your next WDW Trip?
Here are two other great ideas for countdown calendars if you are more skilled with computers than crafts from our friends at Disney Photography Blog and Disney Tourist Blog.