For the past 15 years, our little family, along with my husband’s large side of the family, has been gathering on the white sandy beaches of Captiva Island for our summer ritual of fun and relaxation. One week spent in the same time share, for over thirty years, first began with my husband, his brother and sister, and his parents. A once small, but traditional family vacation, has now turned into a great gathering of friends and family where we share food, wine, laughs, game nights, ice cream, burgers, and more wine.
When my husband and I were just my husband and I, it was the summer vacation we longed for all year round. Now that we have a son, not much has changed. Well, maybe a little has changed. There are, for sure, three times as many things to pack but now that we have a second generation of Captiva goers (our son and his 2 young cousins), we also have impatient young minds who don’t always grasp the idea of having to wait.
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If we even mention the words family trip, summer vacation, or Captiva, my son is sent into a frenzy of crazy, impatient toddler meltdown mode. He immediately thinks that if we say the ‘C’ word that it means it’s time go right now. Sometimes, it goes on all day. Every 10 minutes he’ll ask if we’re going to Captiva and every 10 minutes I have to say soon—soon we’ll go to Captiva.
Soon? Does a toddler even know what the word soon means? I don’t think so.
I do want J to look forward to his summer vacation just like the rest of us but in a more healthy way. I’d like to skip all the meltdowns when he realizes that we still have a month to go so I decided to make a Vacation Countdown Calendar for our summer Captiva trip. This Vacation Countdown Calendar can be themed to fit any family vacation. Check out Amazon or a local learning store for different types of cutouts.
Related: Beach Vacation Packing List for Toddlers
Vacation Countdown Calendar Materials Needed:
- Poster board
- Sun cutouts
- Letter stickers
- Double stick tape
Related: Why Traveling is Good for Your Soul
I assembled my calendar about 2 weeks before our summer vacation was going to start. As each day passes, we visit the calendar and he takes a ‘day’ down. We have a short conversation about how many days are left until our family trip and all the fun and exciting things we’re going to do. This colorful calendar has surprisingly eased his pre-Captiva woes.
I used suns on my Summer Vacation Countdown Calendar to represent our family trip and where we’re going, but you can use anything you want to fit the theme of your family vacation.
Do you have a family summer vacation coming up? How do you prepare your kids? Please share your ideas and comments below.
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Meagan is in her mid-thirties and has been married for almost 10 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the toddler years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents and sister, while blogging about her life and taking care of her three-year-old son full time (at work)!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.
Oh gosh that is so cute! I don’t have kids but I feel like I want a calendar like that for myself. I think it’s great that you’re teaching him how to learn to be patient at such a young age.
That is such a cute idea to make a calendar for vacations. I think my niece and nephews would love to make this.
That’s a great way to engage kids and to make them even more excited about the upcoming holidays. 🙂 If I ever have my own kids I’ll use your ideas for sure. 🙂
sarah camille says
This is such a cute idea to build excitement for anything new coming up! I think it would totally help with little ones learning to count as well. 🙂