Before trips, our little counting lovers have been enjoying counting down to our vacation. For bigger trips I draw up a countdown like the one pictured.
*Take a piece of paper and draw out about 5-7 shapes. I often use this time to practice a skill they are learning. For example, the first time I made one I made all squares and each square was a different color because they were working on color names. When they were a little older I did different shapes like the one pictured.
*Hang your chart somewhere visible. We have used our fridge several times, but other spaces where you gather would work too.
*Have a marker handy near the chart.
Each day gather around the chart and have one child take a turn coloring in the next square or shape. For example, "Sam, can you color in the orange square today?" Then together we count how many days are left. I use my finger to point at each of the shapes to help them practice going from left to right and using correct one-to-one correspondence.
It is a simple, fun way to get excited about our upcoming adventure. Often after we look at the chart for the day, many questions pop out about the trip. This is also a great opportunity to review what you are doing or where you are going or who you will see or how you will get there. Whatever it is they are interested in or concerned about.
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