A couple of summers ago I picked up a set of 12 postcards at a local art fair by an artist, Megan Moore. On each was a flower and the month of the year. I was just really drawn to the simple, vibrant look of them, and I like to support other local artists as I am able.
Then I got home and thought, hmmmm, what should I do with these? I could save them and send them along to friends on their birthdays (using their month of course), but I liked them so much I didn’t really want to give them away!
Instead I decided to do a VERY simple learning project with my children. I am a big fan of weaving educational moments into our everyday lives. I never want them to feel like learning is a chore. So, I decided to take a frame we had hanging around the house and frame the postcard of the current month. I set it out on the desk next to where my kiddos often sit to color or work on puzzles.
Once a month I ask my two older kids if they want to help me change out the month postcard (in case you’re wondering – my older kids are 4 and 2, and we started doing this about 2 years ago). And as we do it, we have a simple conversation about what month it is and which one comes next (I keep the other months behind the current month in the frame – they all fit and that way I won’t lose them). And sometimes depending on their interest level at that moment, we’ll go through all the months – on occasion shuffling them up and have us work together to put them back in order, or chat about the colors, or the letters and how to spell each month, or talk about the flowers. On the back of each postcard is a little blurb about the flower – each one represents the official flower for that month so sometimes we read about that too. Each month our conversation is a little different. Sometimes they are totally into it, and sometimes I am pretty much doing it by myself. Both ways are ok.
It’s definitely not a forced learning moment – just a chance to help them get familiar with their months, 12 times each year. And I will say now that we’ve been doing this for a couple of years, they are used to this being a routine thing we do. It’s fun to have a moment at the start of each new month to talk about what that month is about – what season it falls in, what we have to look forward to, things we have planned. It’s like a mini-fresh start each time.
I really enjoy the simple act of this.
If you want to try it too, as you can see, it is very easy to get started. You’ll need:
…a picture frame
…cards with the months of the year to add to your frame.
You could make these with some paper and pens/crayons/markers, design something on your computer, really anything. But if you simply want to get started without making some of your own, I designed some simple 4×6″ sized month cards for you to get started. I added in the numerical date for each month, so if you’re working with kids you can do both the months and counting practice. Just click on the photo of the months below and a PDF file will open for you to print. Enjoy!
I’d love to hear if you try it with your child(ren) and what you think about it.