Let’s Make a Calendar!
This long-term activity plan helps children track and understand changes in the seasons, while also giving them responsibility over a project. It is best suited for older children in any size of group.
Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:
What you will need:
- A camera
- Duct tape to mark the floor
- A large, blank calendar to display in class (you can find a handy resource for printing your own HERE)
Preparing the activity:
- Choose two scenes within your setting environment. At least one should be outside. The other can be looking out of a window, or an area where coats/shoes are stored.
- Using the tape, mark a box on the floor where the photographer should stand each day. It may help to add an arrow in the box to make sure everyone faces the same way, making the photos as similar as possible.
- If using That Nursery Life’s calendar template, print out 12 copies of to A3 size and write out the correct months and days on each page.
Doing the activity:
Each day, one or more children take responsibility for taking that day’s photograph(s). Each photo should be printed out (not too large!) and added to an annual calendar on the wall.
Over time, the children will start to notice changes and patterns in the images as the calendar fills up. Each month, make a point of reviewing the calendar with the children (perhaps as part of circle time).
Things to note could be:
- Changes in the weather or seasons, e.g. flowers starting to appear or leaves falling off trees.
- Changes in the children and their friends, such as hair growing, getting taller or friends arriving/leaving the setting.
- Changes in the staff team. If staff have left during the year, this would be a good way to talk about and remember them.
- Changes in behaviour. For example, if taking a photo of the coat rack, noticing fewer big coats and umbrellas as the weather gets warmer.
- Other specific events, such as a fancy-dress day or visitors who featured in that day’s photo.
Enable children to notice patterns or differences by reviewing the past month, or previous months (e.g. Can you count how many rainy days there were in April month? Were there more or fewer rainy days than in March?) and to recount memories prompted by the photos.
Tracking the activity:
Communication and Language: Speaking: “Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences.; Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks e.g. who, what, when, how.”
Understanding the world: The world: “Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects.; Talks about why things happen and how things work.; Developing an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time.”
Understanding the world: Technology: “Knows how to operate simple equipment, e.g. turns on CD player and uses remote control.; Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones.; Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images.”
Communication and Language: Speaking: “Extends vocabulary, especially by grouping and naming, exploring the meaning and sounds of new words.; Links statements and sticks to a main theme or intention.; Uses talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.”
Mathematics: Numbers: “Counts up to three or four objects by saying one number name for each item.; Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10.; Counts out up to six objects from a larger group.”
Understanding the world: The world: “Looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.”