Gresham is turning 4 next Sunday!!  He is so excited.  He wants to have a dinosaur birthday party.  I told him a little over a week ago that his birthday was in 3 weeks.  He was SO excited to hear this, but as it turns out, it’s hard to count down three weeks time with someone who has no concept of how long a week is!  We’ve tried explaining, but it just goes over his head.  He keeps thinking that today is the day!  He told me, “I just can’t do it!  I can’t have a birthday!” (meaning he can’t wait that long!)

I saw this idea for an advent calendar in a High Five magazine, but I can’t remember which one, or find the article!   They used a Christmas card and cut it up into squares to make a puzzle.  Each day, your child adds a piece until the puzzle is completed on Christmas day.  I thought that this might help Gresham get his mind around how long it is until his birthday in a more concrete way!

Step 1:  Find a picture.  We used a free printable dinosaur coloring page.

Step 2:  Cut out a piece of posterboard or cardboard the same size as your picture.

Step 3:  Divide your picture into pieces.  The magazine used squares.  I decided to use puzzle piece shapes to make it more fun.  As you can see, mine are not exactly neat or even!  We needed 12 pieces to get us to Gresham’s birthday.

Step 4:  Number your pieces.  As you cut them apart, trace each piece on the posterboard and add the corresponding number.

Step 4:  All done!  Glue on today’s piece!

It was easy for Gresham to understand that when we get up tomorrow, we’ll glue on piece #2 and so on, and when the puzzle is complete it will be his birthday!  Yea!

You could use this idea to count down to birthdays, Christmas, the end of school, a relative coming to visit… anything!