It really happens in an early age that kids try to understand time. They want to know what is tomorrow, yesterday, day before yesterday etc. Its not like they don’t feel time, they do. But they want to know how its called, what they feel as past, present and future. It is so important for kids to learn time management in our age – Kali yuga – when there are so many options, information, entertainment and learning possibilities and so many ways to spend ones own time. Its important to learn not to waste time and learn to utilize it wisely.
Kid Calendar is the best way to learn time, its pace and speed.
Put the calendar in a place where it can be easily be seen. For instance, our calendar was set on the wall just a cross from the dining table, so that while eating the calendar was in my sons view. Far enough not to distract him from eating, but close enough to catch his eye once in a while and ask questions, engage into discussion about what day it is, what month it is, what month is to come, when is his lessons with private teacher and when is the dentist appointment. We even had parent’s appointments mark on kids calendar, like the days when Daddy is traveling to Liepāja for lecturing and consultations or the days when Mommy has her seminar. Thus kids can get themselves ready for days when Mom or Dad will be away for whole day or all evening. Thus they learn how adults plan their time in advance and learn to adjust to the family plan and learn to plan their time and activities.
Now that Pauls is 5, he has mastered the calendar to such extent that he doesn’t need the visual calendar most of time. He makes calculation of time in the head and keeps in mind different appointments that he has. I think its due to the use of visual calendar starting from age 2,5. Pauls knows what color of the day it is and planet that is the ruler of the day. He adjusts the color of the clothes he wears on the particular day and makes sure we cook something that corresponds to the ruling planet of the day. This is what adults do in our family and he has learned this vedic lifestyle patterns as well. He knows that there is a connection between the planets, colors, food etc. And he knows the reason for that and why it should be done that way, because we have explained to him.
At the same time kids learn about solar system and different physical and astrological characteristics of planets. For instance, Jupiter is the largest planet and with its big gravity attracts meteorites and “shooting stars” so they don’t fall on Earth. This makes Jupiter the great protector and “superman” of Solar system. He is super clever and a teacher of other planets. His color is yellow and his working day is on Thursdays.
So how did I make it? I got my inspiration from Evelina, a mom of 4 homeschooled kids. I made some adjustments and added information about planets and colors. You can also add some information that fits your situation and family traditions.
As a base for calendar I took canvas from crafts shop (hobby shop or art shop, whatever its called in your country), put a dark colored sheet of paper on it and pasted on the adhesive plastic film. Secured it with the staples on the back of the canvas frame. This is how I got glossy surface, which is quite important to have, if you’re planning to use something sticky, like pieces of glue pads or anything else sticky that could be adhered and removed multiple times.
Then I made labels of dates, month names, weekdays, numbers of weekdays (used while child can not read yet), 4 seasons, photos of tree in different seasons, symbols of weather conditions (sunny, cloudy, rain, snow etc.), names of planets in Latvian and in Sanskrit, and pictures of planets. I added downloadable PDF’s of labels below in English and in Latvian. Download, cut out and then laminate them. The colors I used for weekday labels corrspond to the color of each graha (planet): Monday is ruled by Chandra (Moon), which represents white color, Tuesday is governed by Mangala (Mars) and it is color is red, Wednesday – Budha (Mercury)- green etc. The same thing I did with graha (planet) name’s labels: Surya, Chandra, Budha etc. Labels of months are in different colors too: Winter months are blue, Spring months are green, Summer months – yellow, Fall months – red. This has nothing to do with grahas, but with seasons. Children understand the seasons better, if they are shown in different colors.
Then you have to figure out the indicator of the present day. I crochet a big snowflake with the whole in the middle and laminated it, so we have it as an indicator. But you can draw and cut out whatever picture or symbol you want. For example, a flower or a star and cut a whole in the centre. Don’ t forget to make labels of family members and friends to mark their birthdays. In this pic you can see our family labels. Create symbols of activities, like “a tooth” for dentist appointment, “om” for yoga class, “ABC” for lessons that kid is attending, small photos of family members to label their upcoming birthdays etc. Free your mind and let the imagination flow, but make the labels simple so that children can understand. Thus child is developing his skills of abstract and symbolic thinking.
I also printed and laminated 4 images of the same tree in 4 different seasons.
I made labels with planet photos as well so the kids can learn planets. What you will have to do is, explain characteristic features of each planet, like the rings of the Saturn and the craters for the Moon.
As you can see, we as a vedic family look at the time with much respect. Vedic approach to time management and time phenomena in vedas were the objects of my research. I shared the research results at a seminar with my disciples a couple of years ago. The complex phenomena of time has both practical and mystical attributes. I think its essential to talk with kids about various “faces” of time: why time sometimes feels fast and sometimes it slows down, why it is important to plan time, what yuga are we living in etc. Thus they get the broad picture of this interesting and complex dimension we all live in.
Should you have any questions, feel free to ask me in comment box below.
Good luck at “Timing”!