DIY Color-Coded Calendar for Family Schedules.
With all the electronic gadgets available to us today, why is it still so hard to keep up with a family’s schedules? One reason is that small children don’t have access to the devices we adults use. Since these gadgets need to be open to specific “pages” for the schedules to be viewed, the information is not easily accessible to everyone at any given time.
Children need to learn responsibility for their own activities. If a child has a piano lesson on Thursday, then he should not need to be reminded regularly. When our children are involved in different activities, it can be difficult for parents and their children to keep up with schedules.
There’s an easier way, I found, for a family with children who are involved in a host of activities. It’s cost–effective, easy to set up, and even easier to use. Everyone can participate.
What our DIY Calendar looked like
Easy set up, easy use, easy corrections!
When our half-dozen kids were very young, I started making and using a simple calendar, thanks to Dry Erase boards and markers. We probably used this for at least a dozen years. It was wonderful for that season of our lives. If you’re in a season with more activities than your calendar has writing space, here’s an idea for you.
You will need a Dry Erase board and a place to hang the board or place it where it will be easily visible. Perhaps a hallway, office, dining room, office, or kitchen will have a spot. Choose the size board you’ll want for the space it will be displayed. You’ll also need a set of Dry Erase markers – one color per member in your household. If you have more kids than I do, you might need to use neon and regular colors. For example, one child could be regular green and another could be neon green. Even a three-year–old will know which color is his color.
Make your calendar. I used a regular size four-week calendar for the month with additional smaller slots for the following two weeks.
Instead of writing down the child’s name for an appointment, just write the information in his color. It saves time, and it saves space. Plus, it creates a rainbow of colors, which I can guarantee your kids will enjoy!
Color Coded Kids
For example, if Ben had an orthodontist appointment, I wrote Dr. Cocke 3 PM. Everybody knew this appointment was for Ben because it was in orange. If Jason had a piano lesson, I wrote 4 PM piano in red, because red was Jason’s color. If Tim was needed to help our neighbor, I wrote help Carol, 5 PM in blue. Tim knew that meant him because blue was his color.
If an activity involved everyone, we used everybody’s color: Livestock Show. When my three older boys had a piano lesson, I used their colors: Piano. You could always write the event in black and underline each color for each child instead of using different colors for the “event”.
Having a Dry Erase board in the dining room helped us stay on top of things, because dinnertime was often the time we talked about the following day’s schedule. When a child had Library in school and a book was due on that day of the week, a simple note “library day” reminded that child to make sure his library book was in his backpack the night before. Kids could add their own activities to the calendar. If we had to change a time or a date, a simple swipe of the finger and a different notation took care of that. An open space in a column on the side gave space to make notes of anything else during that month.
Special colors, special notes
The colors we used were Orange, Blue, Red, Purple, Pink, and Green. (Can you guess which ones belonged to the girls in the family?) We used Black for my husband or for the entire family. If your kids are old enough, they can choose their own colors (go ahead, find a way to let them do that without fighting over the same color!)
Adding notes of their own was special for our half-dozen. In 1998, I found a sad notation on our Dry Erase calendar. My husband’s brother was killed in an accident. One of our children made this notation for that date: Uncle Paul went to Heaven. 🙁 . I have to admit, it was difficult to wipe the calendar clean at the end of that month.
Our kids loved coming home from school to find a new calendar on the wall. They’d cluster around the days of the month, looking to find their individual colors. They seemed to think that the more frequently their color was on the board, the better it was.
We had quite a rainbow on our DIY calendar wall.The pot of gold at the end of that rainbow was having everyone where they needed to be on the right date and at the right time. Click To Tweet
So there you have it. Tweak it to fit your family and your preferences. Then relax, because you won’t be forgetting appointments anymore.