Waldorf-Inspired Perpetual Calendar

perpetual calendar cover edit

I have been sitting on this project for over two years. TWO YEARS! It has been sitting unfinished in my closet for a loooong time, along with a few other projects. At about 35 weeks pregnant, I had an intense nesting urge. And part of my unnatural nesting energy went to finishing projects that were long overdue, including this one. Now, I only call this a Waldorf calendar because I use traditional Waldorf colors to correspond with the dates. But, really, it’s just a nice, easy piece of artwork that is natural and attractive, especially to children.

Aubrey started Kindergarten this year and has been enthralled with the concept of time. Whether it’s minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, she wants to understand it. It has been particularly fascinating for me as a mom to watch my daughter wrap her head around such an existential notion as time. And to help her, I wanted to give her some beautiful, concrete tools to track time. One of these aides is the perpetual calendar – a collection of wooden blocks with the days of the week, months, and days written on each face of the block to correspond with the day. I bought this set of blank calendar blocks from Michaels.calendar blocks.jpgThe first thing I did was sand the blocks and holder. They were pretty rough! I made sure to sand the edges and corners a bit, too. After all, my kids will be handling these every day! After the blocks were all smoothed out, I took out my watercolors and painted each side a different color to correspond with the days of the week and the months.

I wanted to use rainbow order for the days of the week to help solidify this order in my children’s minds. However, traditionally, the Waldorf colors for days of the week are not in rainbow order. I ended up using a modified color pattern but if I were to redo this project, I would just do rainbow order. Here is how I recommend coloring the days of the week. The traditional Waldorf order is in parentheses for reference.

Monday – Red (Purple)

Tuesday – Orange (Red)

Wednesday – Yellow (Yellow)

Thursday – Green (Orange)

Friday – Blue (Green)

Saturday – Purple (Blue)

Sunday – White or Rainbow (White)

For the month blocks, I used the Crayola watercolor palate with 16 colors. These are the colors I used for each month. Again, I don’t know if I matched the “Waldorf” colors exactly, but that was the inspiration.

perpetual calendar edit 3 colors named

After the blocks dried, I used a wood burning tool that I got from Hobby Lobby to etch the words and numbers onto the wood. This part was so intense between trying to write properly and trying not to burn myself. Handwriting has never been my strong suit (ironically, I’m the daughter of a very accomplished calligrapher) but I did my best. I know that my children will appreciate seeing MY handwriting on something I created just for THEM. So, while not the most beautiful penmanship, it is deeply personal and I hope my children will appreciate that. They’ll look at it and see the love I etched into the blocks (maybe… they’re not really that sentimental). Additionally, I think using a wood burning tool was overkill. I could have easily used a pen or something else to write with.

For the numbered day blocks, on the first block, I etched 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. On the second block, I etched 0, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9. The 9 will be used upside down to create a 6. This will give you all the numbers you need to create every possible day combination. I opted to leave the background of these blocks natural but there’s no reason not to paint them if you feel so inclined.

And that’s it! All you need to do is present this to your children, give them their first lesson by setting it to the correct day together, and then let them change it each day and learn a little bit more about how time works!

perpetual calendar edit 1

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