getting back on the horse
the horsey top (Butterick 5119, again)

The waiting chain

Let me start by saying that this is not a new idea, by any stretch of the imagination.  However, it has saved my sanity more than once.  And, shoot, there's a smidgen of a chance that someone, somewhere, could use this as well.


It's our waiting chain.

See, Fidget is really impatient for things.  She is terribly interested in our plans for the day, the week, tomorrow, whatever.  Where we're going, when, what holiday is coming, and so on.  This interest is great except that she has no real concept of the passage of time.   So Next Week means, well, the same as tomorrow.    And the questions never end. 

Not that I mind answering questions like that every day.  It's just that she isn't getting it, the idea of track-able time.  My answers mean nothing to her. 

Somewhere along the line I remembered a teacher-friend of mine who had made a huge paper chain throughout her kitchen so their family could track the days until they left for a family trip to Hawaii.  Every day they took off one more link and got one day closer to their trip.  I thought it was brilliant.

So, when we told the girls that we had planned a rather last-minute trip to Florida to see my folks, Fidget immediately asked, When I get up from my nap, we'll get in the car and go to the airport and get on the plane to see Nana and Papa?

No, sweets.

I had her help me make the chain and we hung it up front and center in the kitchen.  Removing a link each day is an exciting ritual for her.  She never forgets.  (Although she still gets confused when she wakes up from a nap; it seems like another link should come down then, too, I guess.)

the only way I can keep fidget at bay

The best thing is that she has a visual reference for our plans.  She knows just by looking at this chain that she made that it's not Today yet.  She also knows that on day 5 she has another outing planned, so she can see that coming up, too. I love watching those little Aha moments.

(Oh, and the little horsey top turned out perfect.  She wore it two days in a row, but the lighting has been awful for photos...)

One more thing.  If you have a chance, stop by Grace's new collaborative project, Near:Far.  It's beautiful.




I read somewhere that, while we know time travels in a straight line, little kids see time as a big circle. So what you've done with the paper chain is put time in a "line" a really, really cute way.


That's a great idea. Mine are too big now to need it (how sad is that?), but it's a great idea.


What a brilliant idea. We do paper chains to count down to Christmas, but I never thought to use it for other events, too.


I think its a fabulous idea, but at first I thought you were going to make one to count down to the baby! That would of been something :)


Fidget sounds just like addison! he gives me anxiety sometimes. i love this idea, and i am gonna use it!


Jack is the same kind of kid, and I love this idea. When he was smaller i made him a paper train, with different cars for things like school days, and we would move the train cars every day to help him keep track.

Nowadays he is a big boy and he counts on the calendar! :-)


Makena is the same way. I was talking to her today about preschool for next year and she said 'when we wake up?'


Great idea! Are you making one for your next farm trip? Or is it still a secret? Have fun in FL!


Super idea. S and K don't "get" elapsed time either. I'll have to remember this one.


Oh, clever! We need one of these for birthday countdown :)

Thank you so much for the mention of near:far.

xo, K

heather smith jones

That is such a great idea, it makes time more tangible for children. And oh, it looks like you'll be seeing some warm sunshine very soon!

Mrs. DD

Great idea! I did the same thing when my children were little


i like how the chain is near the wine rack.

katie Pedersen

We use on of these at our house for when Papa is gone. I loved the idea of using this idea:

Add it to the list, right?

I thought it would be a great excuse to get the pearl snaps I always want. Love the horse shirt too.

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