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Counting Down with Kids Too Young for Calendars

This is an impromptu post inspired by C yesterday morning.  As we were sitting at the table eating breakfast, he asked me, “How long ’till my birthday?”.  I told him the number of days but that didn’t seem to satisfy him.  Nor did my explanation that it’s next month (he’s entering into that wonderful phase where all he does is question, question, and question some more).  Finally I decided to show him.


Have you guys made this type of countdown chain with your kids?  They’re such a great way to help little ones who can’t read a calendar to conceptualize time.  We made one link for every day left between now and C’s birthday.  Each morning when he gets up C will be allowed to cut off one link and when the chain is gone it’ll be his special day.



We cut a few sheets of construction paper into strips and C decorated half of  the yellows with a birthday cupcake stamp.   We used a glue stick to secure our chain links.  This project is nothing new, I know, but sometimes we forget about the simple stuff that makes kids so happy.


And speaking of birthdays, I was supposed to post today on C’s favorite toys from years past as well as my picks for this year.  But since that got postponed, I now have time to add some of your input. Which toys make it on your “all-time best” list?  Which ones do your kids never tire of playing with?  Let me know in the comments below – thanks!

Similar Stuff:
Does Your Family Have a Birthday Tradition?
7 Tips for Birthday Party Success
Presents: How Many & What Kind are Best? (Plus a Stocking Mini Tutorial)



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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle September 20, 2011 at 4:35 am

Hi there, this is a lovely idea! All the things I am learning from this blog is wonderful. I have never had an interest in kids, or experience so having one myself will mean that i have to find lots and lots of resources!! This is my number one! :)


Lea September 20, 2011 at 5:04 am

This is a lovely idea and yes we do this exact thing..I commented about it on your recent post
about traditions http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2011/09/starting-birthday-custom.html

As mentioned previously we do the links to correspond with age because little ones really can’t wait too long I find;)


Lea September 20, 2011 at 5:08 am

Hey I just thought of a fun alternative. Maybe a bunch of balloons with special notes inside. Pop one each morning. Fun? If you don’t mind loud noises. Hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com September 20, 2011 at 5:33 am

That’s a great idea Lea. I wonder how many days you could get out of the balloons. I also loved this countdown chain that Dana did at MADE last summer for their beach vacation:



Lea September 20, 2011 at 6:53 am

Yeah good point about the balloons. Maybe no more than a week. Thanks for sharing the link. I LOVE Dana’s chain and another lovely blog to look at too.


Trisha September 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Love it! We do this every year to count down the 25 days until Christmas. Each link of the chain has something special for us to do that day written on it. Drink hot cocoa, bake cookies, listen to holiday music etc. My kids and I look forward to it every year.


Alicia C. September 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Wonderful idea!


Emily September 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

We have also decorated a popstick for each day as a count down to tne end of a holiday and put them in a special cup. Each day the child can take one out and see how many sleeps are left until we go home. You could do this for a birthday too!

Toys? Doll house, books, bike, Lego, doll, play food, tea set… Nothing astounding – all good (old-fashioned) toys!


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