Montessori-inspired linear calendars
A linear calendar for preschool kids is really helpful, while also fun to prepare – even at home or in the classroom.
I remember pretty well when I first heard about linear calendars it immediately grabbed my attention. My Daughter kept asking about time, and how many days we had till this or that event… but she was still too young to understand the concept of a “real calendar”. So what we needed was a different aspect, a sort of toddler calendar, that preschool and even younger kids can understand and use on a daily basis.
As we had some time to spend together at home, we decided to prepare our own one, which was besides being useful, a great time spent together too 😊
What is a linear calendar?
A linear calendar is a type of calendar that lists events in chronological order. Linear calendars are generally easier to read than other types of calendars because there are no new rows for each week, so basically, the whole year can be seen in one line.
What are the benefits of a linear calendar for preschool kids?
Montessori-inspired linear calendars have so many great benefits both for kids and the whole family!
1. Liner calendars look great😁
I mean really, linear calendars are great wall decorations! You can surely find one that fits the style and design of your kids’ room, and it is such a unique type of decoration.
2. A linear calendar can help your kids understand better the concept and passage of time
According to the article Time perception in children: A neurodevelopmental approach by SylvieDroit-Volet
“When children arrive at an age of about three years, when they are able to speak and understand verbal instructions, the experimental conditions used are similar to those used in human adults. (…) However, at 3–5 years of age, children are still not always aware of the passage of time and its relevance. (…) However, when they repeatedly experience the duration of events, or when the duration of daily activities is in question, they can accurately judge the length of temporal intervals as early as 3–5 years.”
As linear calendars provide a more concrete, visual representation of time, children can easier understand the progression when represented as a single line. Marking the actual days and using a sign (eg. a clip or a reusable sticker) helps the little ones experience the timing and duration of events even at an early age. Predictable daily routines and linear calendars complement each other very well in helping your kids understand better the concept and passage of time.
3. It is a great family activity to set up your linear calendar
When we prepared our first linear calendar with my Daughter we were actually stuck at home due to some flu she caught in kindergarten… so we had plenty of time 😅
She felt already pretty well and we were looking for some new kind of activity.
I printed our calendar and cut the sheets to get the 12 months in separate pieces. The best part came afterward: we had a great long chat about our loved ones, their birthdays, and other family celebrations and holidays. And marked them all on the calendar.
How can I make a linear calendar?
Making a linear calendar is super easy! Even it can be a bit time-consuming… But really nothing happens if you finish it the next day, so no worries.
You can take 6 sheets of paper, fold them into half to have one half-sheet for each month, and draw your own calendar!
You can also use ready-to-print ones, like this linear calendar, that you can buy on Etsy:
After having your monthly sheets, you can add important events, and mark birthdays, and holidays.
We laminated our one before putting it on the wall – it looked nicer and made the calendar more durable. But it is absolutely not a must.
How to introduce time to children by using a Montessori-inspired linear calendar?
Kids can usually understand the sequence of events quite well even at a younger age, which is why various routines and such special calendars are helpful for them.
You can start introducing a linear calendar as a kind of extension to their daily routine. Pictures and colors of each month can help them relate to weather, changes in nature, or various holidays.
I would suggest first preparing your calendar and just speaking about the events that are important for your family and finding their places on the linear calendar.
After putting it on the wall you can spend some time with the actual month, see what are the upcoming events, and even count how many nights to sleep till the first important one.
Use a marker (or a clip, or stickers) to “cross” the days that passed and find a few minutes to speak about changes (eg. if the weather is turning warmer as spring is coming), or some special events marked. Do not force these chats, just be ready to answer your little one’s curious questions. 😊
With access to a few simple materials, you can easily create your own linear calendar.