If you’ve been hanging around here for any length of time then you probably have heard me talk about my ever adoring love for a fridge calendar. Or a wall calendar, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that there is a very good reason that I think some of you absolutely must have a physical calendar somewhere in your home on prominent display. I’ll give you a minute to guess why I might feel this way.
Okay are you ready?
The #1 reason you absolutely need a family fridge calendar is so your kids can be in the loop about the activities of the day. Sounds simple enough right? However I know that many families aren’t currently using a family calendar, instead opting for digital. However, whether you personally use a digital calendar or not, if you have kids, a wall or fridge calendar is a must. It’s especially important if your kids don’t have a smart phone. You know I don’t have too many hard fast rules on this blog. Organizing is so individual that I never like to say that one way to organize something is better than an other. But in the case of a calendar, I must make this exception.
With all the technology these days, the fridge calendar is becoming a thing of the past and you know who is getting left behind? The kids that’s who. Specially the young ones that don’t have access to online calendars and even for those that do, it might not be something they check regularly. You know what kids check regularly? The fridge. ALL THE TIME. So if you have a calendar on the fridge they are going to see it. Often. And you will too. It’s unavoidable unless of course you don’t eat and then you might not see it but something tells me that chances are good you will.
Want to know what happens when kids check a calendar on a regular basis and can see what’s happening? They stop bugging you. Seriously it’s quite brilliant actually and so very simple. Kids love knowing what’s on the schedule especially the younger ones. Also it helps them learn about scheduling and commitments and actually being prepared for those commitments. I have found this to be true with all three of my kids who are now 20, 17 and 11 and who all have very different personalities.
There are just so many benefits to a family calendar. These include making sure everyone is on the same page with who needs to be where and when. As my kids got older they’d start writing their own activities on the calendar. Once they started jobs as teenagers it was especially helpful to have them write their work schedules on the calendar. This way we had one central location for all the pertinent information.
I’m not against a digital family calendar at all but if not everyone in the family has access to it, then the youngest get left out of the process. I have quite the age gap between my kiddos so even though my teenagers might have their own smart phones, my youngest didn’t. In fact he still doesn’t and so we will continue to use a family calendar. This allows us to stay connected and he can continue to learn valuable skills.
If you already use a digital system, I’d love to encourage you to maybe do a combination of practices while you have little ones. It is pretty incredible what a simple calendar can teach children about time management and organization at a very young age.
Examples of information we put on our family calendar:
- school events
- after school activities
- garbage and recycling days
- vacations (kids love to count sleeps!)
- work schedules
- church events
- etc, etc, etc
If you have a particularly heavy schedule you can even get wild and crazy and designate different pen colors for each family member. But that often takes more work so it’s not something I do. We like to just write the name of the person and the activity beside. I do use a different colored pen to write down birthdays/anniversaries though since I do this all at once at the beginning of the year.
Yes it takes a bit of work to remember to write all this information on the calendar in the first place. An empty calendar is not ideal so it does take some commitment to make it happen but it does get easier. Especially once you start experiencing all the benefits that come with this habit.
It is so important to teach your kids the art of scheduling. It’s also important for the burden to not fall solely on the shoulders of mom. Juggling and prioritizing schedules is hard work and everyone in the family should be involved in making it work. Like I’ve said many times before, when you use a family system, you teach your children how to manage and be responsible for the system alongside you.
My youngest is the first one up most days and he is often the one to check the calendar first. He then likes to remind me about the day’s events. It’s so very helpful! If he sees that his class is going swimming that day, he knows to go put his swimming stuff by the door. If he sees that it’s pizza day at school he knows not to pack his lunch. He’s done this since he was old enough to read and even before then we used a visual calendar similar to this one (affiliate link) to help him know what the day ahead held. Now he is old enough to take his school notes and transfer the information to the calendar himself. Such a beautiful thing!
Training from a young age is essential if we want to raise kids who know how to manage their own time. Us moms (and dads) should be working ourselves out of a job.
Many of you know that the family fridge calendar that I have loved and used for many years is the Ultimate Family Calendar by MotherWord. I absolutely love it because it’s a great size with lots of room to write each day. Also the magnets on the back are super strong and I’ve never had a problem with the calendar sliding down.
These two things I love the most about it are highlighted right on the front. Although interestingly enough, all the fun stickers it comes with we have never used. Not entirely sure why we don’t though. Also the Ultimate Family Calendar runs from September 2017 to December 2018. I use mine from January to December and just discard the first four months.
At the end of each day we cross off the day. That way we always can tell what day it is at a quick glance.
**Side note: if you have a stainless steel fridge that magnets won’t stick to, use these Command 3M Picture Hanging Strips (affiliate link). They work perfectly and won’t damage your fridge.
Unfortunately it’s now time for this post to take a sad turn. It’s this time of the of the year that the Ultimate Family Calendar becomes available in stores. A couple of weeks ago while at Costco I purchased a brand new 2018 calendar.
I unloaded my cart of stuff into the van. My husband then proceeded to return the cart to the cart area. It wasn’t until we were in the van driving out of the parking lot that I saw someone, out of the corner of my eye, take something out of the cart that we’d just returned and get into their car with it. I could clearly see it was a calendar and that’s when my heart sank. In that moment I realized that I hadn’t actually put my calendar into the van. We had in fact accidentally left it in the cart. Neither my husband or I had seen it there tucked standing up at the back of the cart. We were too far away at this point though to do anything about it though. All we could do is watch the car drive away with my calendar inside.
However it’s okay and here’s the two reasons why. First I want to believe that maybe this girl really needed a calendar and God wanted to bless her with one. That’s cool and I’m going to pray that she really loves it and it makes her as happy and organized as it makes me 🙂
Secondly, and this is also a bit of a confession. I had actually already purchased the 2018 Ultimate Family Fridge Calendar from Walmart. Yep, that’s the one you see above with the green cover. The one from Costco has the orange cover and I was curious what the difference was between the two. Now that I see the two covers together it looks like the only difference might be that the Costco one has 100 bonus stickers (which I don’t use anyway).
So I still have a fridge calendar for next year and all is not lost. It all worked out in the end 🙂 If you are interested in getting this calendar please keep in mind that it seems to go fast (at least here in Canada anyway) and then it’s really hard to find. So grab it when you see it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it on Amazon to link to for you. Sorry about that!
I would love to hear how many of my readers already use a family wall or fridge calendar. How many of you are interested in trying one now after reading this post.
Have a great day everyone!
- This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!