To help my son visualize his 4th birthday approaching, I made a train birthday countdown for him, which turned out quite nice and useful 🙂
I honestly didn’t see the point of having a birthday countdown till I had preschoolers in the house. Once you have small kids, you notice how it is harder and harder for them to stay patient the closer they get to their birthday.
For some weeks already Lukas is super enthusiastic and eager to get to the “big day”. Every day – sometimes even a couple of times a day – he would be asking me how many more times he has to sleep till his birthday. I can tell you that after 3 days I kind of had enough of this “game”.
But my little guy was genuinely interested and eager to find out how long he still had to wait. So I decided to make a birthday countdown for him. This way it would be easier for him to visualize the passing of time – and hopefully give me a break on the daily questions. He loves trains and I tried to make something fun and exciting for him, so I made him a train birthday countdown.
You should have seen Lukas’ enthusiasm after school when he came home and discovered his birthday countdown train. He got to open a wagon every day in the morning up to his birthday, so every day the train was getting shorter and shorter. This helped him to understand the passing of time and anticipate the arrival of his birthday.
His birthday was 10 days away, so our birthday countdown train had 10 wagons. He couldn’t wait to start taking the wagons off the wall and opening them – because in each wagon of the birthday countdown train there was a surprise waiting for him.
This train birthday countdown proved to be quite educative because it didn’t only help the kids to better grasp the notion of time but it gave us the opportunity to :
- Practice math by counting the number of days left till the birthday and discussing daily about it. We would also do some adding and subtraction of the days and make predictions for the number of days left from tomorrow onward…and so on.
- Practice sharing with other kids. Although the train was for Lukas’ birthday and had a surprise activity for him, I would make sure every envelope had some candy and stickers to be shared with his sisters.
- Practice patience because we had to wait every day till the next morning to be able to pick another wagon with surprises.
I’ll explain in my next article how I made this train birthday party countdown and what surprises I put in each wagon.
This was fun to make and fun to have in the house, so chances are we’ll do another birthday countdown again next year. In fact Victoria already started planning her next birthday party and one of the points on the birthday agenda is a fairy birthday count down.
No idea how I’m going to pull that one, but I have some moths to think it over.
Update: We did the fairy birthday countdown for Victoria. Have a look at her reaction when she first saw it.