Borrowed from Diary Of A Mom...
"We have a trip coming up. A kinda big one. The kind with a lot of moving parts and the need for a fair amount of prep in order to make it successful for little Miss. I’ve been talking to friends and accumulating advice to help smooth our way.
Of all the tips that I gathered (like ‘When there are two queues and you have to choose between the right and the left, always choose left’. You’re welcome.) my favorite is the paper chain.
Brooke does very well – OK, she does well – traveling, but after more than one night away from home she begins to get anxious. No matter how much she may be enjoying the trip, she has trouble understanding how long we will be there and when we will be coming home.
Years ago, I started drawing out calendars. As soon as we reach our destination, we sit down together and map out our days. I draw in the plane or the car or the boat that got us to our destination and another on the day that we will be heading home. Each day, we write in our plans and each evening we mark off another day’s passing. Each and every day we count the days left and talk together about when we’ll be going home.
It has helped immensely, but it still isn’t perfect. Enter the paper chain.
In a conversation earlier this week, my friend Carrie shared what she did for her little guy on their last vacation. Instead of a calendar, she made him a good old-fashioned construction paper chain. Each day of their trip was represented by a link. After each day was over, its link was removed. The chain got smaller and smaller as the week went by.
I can’t tell you how much I love the simple brilliance of this idea. My girl NEEDS a way to see the days passing. She needs a tangible representation of how much longer the trip will last and when we will be headed home. She can see the chain. She can touch it and feel it and hold it. She can even decorate the links or draw the day’s activities on them. She can control it. The possibilities are endless.
And even better, it can be used in any situation where time or patience are an issue. Waiting room? The links can represent five-minute increments. Days before school starts at the end of the summer? Got it covered."