Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life
 

A New Year Coming
 Make a Family Calendar

April 2003 Issue

Do You Hear
What I Hear?

A New Year Coming

Words to Live By

Rub a Dub Dub
Safe in the Tub

Waste Not Want Not

Mail Bag

Gerber Life
Family Times Archive

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It’s hard to believe, but a new year is fast approaching. If you’re craft-oriented, making a family calendar might just be a great little weekend project to share with your child. With the proliferation of home computers, word processing programs, and digital images, a fun personal calendar from your child’s perspective can be just the project to brighten the days and months during the year ahead. A homemade calendar also makes a great holiday gift for grandparents, teachers, and day-care providers when your little one wants to be involved in the gift-giving process and wants to give something special.

Most word-processing programs and simple graphic design programs that come as standard accessories to computers today include a calendar template. The months are already setup for many years in advance and all you have to do is import some of your child’s favorite pictures to coincide with each month. Some calendar templates are a full-page with the calendar portion occupying half of the page and the image area for a picture taking the remainder of the sheet. Other options may be to have the calendar portion as a whole sheet unto itself and then have your chosen picture or pictures on the sheet above (just as with most wall calendars).

Begin by helping your child assemble some of his or her favorite pictures for the calendar. Let them be anything your child desires (you’ll be able to look back years later and have some great stories about how your child made his or her choices!) The next step is to get the pictures into a digital format. If they are prints, you can scan them (provided you or someone you know has a scanner) or you can take them to a photo-finishing store, have them scanned and placed on a CD for easier access. If you have images you have taken with a digital camera, all the better. Just make sure your images are at a high enough resolution that you will be able to print good quality images at a 4" x 6" or 5" x 7" size (or whatever size would best fit your calendar layout).

Print your calendar pages for the entire year and allow them to dry thoroughly. You may want to purchase a higher grade of printer paper (photo quality paper) for your calendar, which will allow the images to reproduce more like a photograph. The heavier weight of the paper will also make the calendar a bit more durable for a year’s worth of use. Next position and print your images for each month. Plan properly so that you can print the image(s) on the reverse of your preceding month calendar sheet. Remember to add a cover sheet and a final sheet to give your calendar a finished look. Then, when the pages are connected together, the image will hang above the calendar portion. Make sure you know how your printer prints on a page so you have the image correctly oriented on the sheet (so it doesn’t appear upside-down or printed over your calendar page). Allow some room around the border of both the calendar sheet and the image so you can use a hole punch to punch holes along the connecting edge. Then, using ribbon, yarn, cord, sisal or raffia, loop through the punched holes to connect your calendar pages together. An added hole punched in the middle of the opposite side will make hanging the calendar on a thumbtack a bit easier for the recipient. If you run into any problem areas planning your calendar, grab a commercially made calendar and observe its construction. Let your child personalize the cover page and/or the captions for the photographs he or she has chosen. Let them tell you what to write or, if they can write well enough, let them add those finishing touches.

In no time at all, you’ll have a memorable gift that will be the perfect touch to a grandparent’s office wall or the family refrigerator and you’ll be able to watch your child’s joy at giving a gift made from the heart!

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