My Husband The Almost-Grad’s family has been planning their visit for his graduation for months. That can be hard on a Munchkin who doesn’t understand the concept of time just yet, especially since she hasn’t seen these grandparents in almost a year, aside from our weekly Skype conversations. For weeks she’s been talking about “Gamma” & “Gapa,” “white boat” (the Hudson ferry), & “pinky cuppies” (pink Magnolia cupcakes). So as the day of their arrival has drawn near, I made her a paper chain to count down the days.
Every morning she gets so excited to pull off a new link & watch the chain grow shorter.
But I decided to add a new twist, to help her get excited about more things we’ll be doing with the grandparents than just boats & cuppies. Every time we pull a link off, we write the number of days that are left (you can see that for some of them I wasn’t awake enough yet to count…) & something she’s excited about for their visit.
Yes, the boat & cuppies are on there, & for the first several days we had to help her quite a bit to think of things, but over the last several days she’s started to verbalize more, stringing more words together: “ha-cops, pwanes… wwwwwon [with finger making a #1] moosem” (there are helicopters & planes at one museum, the Intrepid) & “dice bones” (dinosaur bones) at the other, the American Museum of Natural History. Plus, this morning she thought of one all on her own: “hand hand… Gapa” (hold hands with Grandpa). Yes, we’re all very excited to see them & go to the museum, the park, & Commencement. But this exercise has produced the remarkable unintended consequence of enhancing her verbal skills!
How do you help your kids get excited about big events like visits from family?