A flexible, evergreen, infinite, perpetual, kid-friendly calendar!
Making a perpetual calendar is a project for kids to do with their adults. It requires measuring with a ruler, cutting paper, writing words/numbers, decorating paper, selecting patterns & colors. Let your kids do as much of their own calendar as they can! Your role is facilitator, manager of logistics.
Before you jump in, consider how you will use each calendar and how many you'd like to do. You can even do two at once. We made one for each kid's room. You could make one for the kitchen or mud room or even a mini-calendar!
Ingredients for each calendar:
- The calendar: One 20"x30" posterboard, foam board or heavy corrogated cardboard, any color.
- For writing names, dates, etc.: Thick, vivid magic markers or paint markers in a variety of colors
- The dates: 31 squares of white cardboard 1.5" x 1.5"
- Framing behind dates (optional, see white calendar above): 35 rectangles of a variety of patterned & bright colored cardstock, magazine images, paper ephemera, 2.5" wide x 2.25" tall. If you want to skip the paper background, kids can color in the boxes.
- To attach day names, framing behind days or dates (optional) to calendar: double-sided tape, mod podge or glue.
- To attach adjustable dates, month, holidays etc. to the calendar: 1 roll adhesive backed Velcro circles, very thin, round or square.
- Framing behind the days of the week (optional, we did this on both calendars): 7 rectangles of bright colored cardstock 2.5" wide x 1.5" tall.
- Days of the week: 7 rectangles of bright colored cardboard, 2.25" wide x 1.25" tall
- Framing behind month name: Patterned cardstock, about 6" wide x 3" tall (size as desired)
- The month names: 12 rectangles of white cardboard, about 4" wide x 2" tall (size as desired)
- Holidays & special days: for each holiday, birthday, special day you want to put on the calendar, you'll need 1 square of white cardboard or patterned paper modge podged to cardboard, 1.5" x 1.5" We did birthdays for the folks that live in this house and major holidays. You might want one for the start date of a vacation or school or a sport. If you have too many "extras" you won't see many of the real dates on the calendar.
We developed several flexible, perpetual calendars a few years ago for my daughters' rooms. Low tech calendars with potential! The orange calendar is our second infinity calendar.
- With pencil & ruler, measure a space in the center of the board roughly 14" tall x 21" wide. Draw horizontal lines spaced every 2.5" and draw vertical lines spaced every 3". You will have a grid of boxes with 5 rows (horizontal) and 7 columns (vertical).
- If this looks good and even, use a thick marker or sharpie to draw over the grid lines.
- Using double-sided tape, modge podge or glue, attach 35 framed date backgrounds in each of the gridded blocks. When selecting images, let kids choose within one box/pile of paper or cut images from a magazine. Or... skip the paper background and ask kids to color or draw patterns in the gridded boxes with colored pencils or markers (not crayons).
- Attach the 7 framed day name backgrounds above the columns.
- Attach 1 framed month name background at the top center of the calendar.
- Write the numbers 1 through 31 on the date cards.
- Write the days of the week on the day name cards.
- Write the months on the month cards.
- Write and decorate the holiday/birthday type cards.
- On the foam board calendar, attach one hook (more pointy) side of a velcro piece to the center of each framed date background, to the center of each day name background, and a few extras vertically along the left and/or right sides of the calendar. The extras are to store unused holiday/birthdays, the next month, days 29/30/31 when unneeded.
- Attach one loop (soft, fuzzier) side of a velcro piece to the back center of each date number (31), to the back center of each holiday/birthday type card, to the back center of each day name card (7), to the back center of each month name card (12).
- Have kids research the current month and set up the calendar with the current month, current dates, etc.
- Kids will need a tiny reference calendar for the next few years, so they know how to set up each month's dates. Hint: print from the web and tape to the back of their calendars.
- Keep the extra month names in a little box. Hint: velcro to the back of the calendar for easy access!