Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekly rhythm chart

Calendar objects for game night, special holiday, school day, car trip, and home lessons.

I've been wanting for ages and ages to make a visual calendar for Starboy's week, to go along with his morning/evening routines chart. Waldorf folks would call it a "rhythm chart."

I had great inspiration from Sew Liberated, Playful LearningPlay at Home Mom, Homeschool Harmony, My Name is Snickerdoodle, and A Kid's Day. I'm sure you can see their influence. I encourage you to get inspiration from other artists like this, but if you are creating something to sell, you need to come up with something entirely new, and make sure you buy/obtain rights to use the imagery. Copyright or no, it's crappy to steal ideas from other creatives in order to profit from them.

Art class, baking day, hiking, home art project

I wanted a chart that was easy to manipulate. Absent a bulletin board—and really purposely avoiding a pocket chart—I wanted to do something magnetic. But I also wanted it self contained, so rather than making it fridge-centeric, I got a cookie sheet from the dollar store. It's a little smaller than I'd like. But this way it could be hung on a wall if we wanted it to.

I wanted to make the weekend days a different color, because Starboy knows them as "the day Daddy stays." But I found the columns hard to read without any distinction, since everything is crammed together. So I cut strips to delineate the different days via color.

It's really not as readable as I'd like, and that's why I haven't glued those paper strips down, yet. There may be more improvements to come.

The whole calendar.

Game night, special day, zoo day, post office, birthday
School day, car trip, Grandma/Grandpa day, library, playdate
Lessons, art museum, camping trip, aquarium, fitness walk

I wanted to make little collages, like Meg did at Sew Liberated (with influence from the fantastic Show Me a Story). I didn't think it was possible in these small squares (about 1 1/2"). So I had this great idea I was going to draw each item, but I immediately realized that was ridiculous and went straight to clip art from the Internet. It's a fair use, since we only use the chart at home, and it's not for sale. Much of the art is free from Discovery Education, I always have loved Mark Hicks' style, and used his images on my classroom hall passes and handouts when I was an elementary teacher.

I used a round and a square punch to make each shape from scrapbook paper, then I punched a second piece of cardstock and glued them together to be stiff. If you can find a chipboard shape you like, I recommend that as a better course. It's sturdier and lots less labor intensive.

If you have a Cricut or a Silhouette, then I don't want to talk to you. 

I colored the clip art with these lovely Lyra colored pencils (highly recommend), then trimmed it and glued it to the squares. I shellacked the squares with a glue/water mix (faux Mod Podge) only on the front side. I found if you glue both sides, the square will curl, particularly if the paper grain of the two layers are not aligned. (Actually I put the backing on after the square was decorated, so I could glue it and shellack it at the same time.)

I used a glue gun to put the magnets on the back. Glitter glue! You know you want it.

I have some super-strong magnets to temporarily hold the calendar to the fridge. I'd like to swap them out, because they are the kind of magnets that, if a kid swallows two or more of them, real problems could occur internally. I'll probably glue some lesser magnets right to the board, or else sew a long fabric sleeve for the magnets, so they can't be swallowed individually.

The fridge did seem like an obvious place for the calendar, so that's where it's living now.

1 comment:

  1. Here is another beautiful chart: