It’s Not All Mary Poppins

DIY Weather Calendar

A few weeks ago, our neighbourhood had its annual Yard Sale. Dozens, possibly hundreds of homes take part. Not mine, mind you, because I somehow managed to miss the announcement (dammit!). I woke on Saturday morning wondering why there was so much conversation in the street…

My husband took a stroll around, and came home with a goodish sized piece of… um… I’m not quite sure what this stuff is, really. It’s plastic, I’d say, quite flexible but not at all stretchy, about 2 mm thick and 80 cm square, dark blue on one side, white on the other.

Best of all, it was FREE!

“I have no idea what it is,” he said, “but I’m sure that, what with the new craft room and all, you’ll find something to do with it!”

He really is a great husband, and a smart one, too, because he was right! I’d bought a weather calendar a couple of years back, but had never been struck on the design. With THIS baby, I could make something that really suited my purposes.

Here is it! (Sorry about the glare…)

Ta-dah!!! This was my first version. I subsequently added ribbons to delineate the columns, and I like it much better that way.

I had a scrap piece of yellow bristol board that was almost the exact perfect size to hold the cards. “Almost” meaning that it was just a smidge too short, so I had to leave out one category of weather. You’ll note there is no “snowy” in this list. I wish I could do without it, but it’s sadly essential here in Ottawa. That’s okay. When we get to “snowy”, I’m pretty confident I can safely remove “hot”!

The weather pictures are glossy, but unlaminated, so I covered them all with transparent shelf paper. (Aka “Con-tact paper“.) The red embroidery floss is a simple loop — in at the front, through both layers, and back again — with the dangling ends tied in a bow at the front. The threads, see, make dividers between the stacks, keeping the cards neatly piled instead of all sliding into an untidy heap.

Now a small tangent. Once the calendar was on the wall, I decided it would be nice to give it some seasonal decorations. Not only do we learn about the weather, but the calendar can also help teach the children the days of the week (we talk about the weekends, even though they’re not shown), the passage of time, the idea of reading from left to right, the idea of charting information in row and columns, AND the passage of the seasons.

Wow. That’s a lot from a freebie piece of plastic from a yard sale!

Anyway. I decided we needed some seasonal decoration. I happened to have a nice glossy brochure from the NAC, which just happened to have nice, stencil-weight covers. I cut out a maple leaf and a generic oval leaf. Emily was more than pleased to do a bit of sponge-painting with a dab of red and yellow paint, and a tissue or two!

Let them dry, cut them out, and ta-dah! Lovely, simple, seasonal decor. The oval leaves I cut out with pinking shears, just for fun. (I sure hope my gran was wrong, and using good scissors on paper does NOT dull them…) But it’s a cute effect, nonetheless!

A closer look…

There! I am very pleased! The kids love to “do the calendar”. Emily, at 4.5, probably gets the most out of it, but 2.5 year-old Tyler enjoys it a lot. Baby Lily hollers “SUNNY! SUNNY! SUNNY!” whenever she sees the sunshine picture, which is something. I’m not convinced she makes the connection between the sun in the sky, the sun icon on the card, and the calendar on the wall, but hey, it’s vocabulary, right?

Oh, and yes, there is a garbage truck at the top of Wednesday’s column. Garbage Day is an IMPORTANT weekly event. Tyler in particular needs to know when Garbage Day is happening. He needs to know so that he can keep watch out the living room window, so as to see those WONDERFUL NOISY MACHINES going by. He needs to know so that if we’re out walking, he can hang on to the stroller on the side farthest from the street, in case one of those TERRIFYING NOISE MACHINES should have a sudden urge to leap onto the sidewalk and stomp on a small boy.

You never know.

Check out the “HOT” at the bottom of Friday. I put that on myself, after the kids had gone home. Friday was a weird day: at 2 in the afternoon, when, at this time of year, we’d be as warm as we’re going to get, it was 18 or 19C. That evening, after dinner, I stepped out onto the porch — and someone had cranked the thermostat out there! Holy Hannah! It got up to 27C, which, here in Ottawa in late September (and particularly at 7 in the evening) is nothing short of hot.


And captured, on the calendar, for posterity.

Fun times.

September 27, 2010 - Posted by | Canada, crafts | , , , , ,


  1. I love it! The calendar is a much anticipated event around here also! We also have several songs to tech days of the week, months, seasons, ect.!

    Comment by Jess | September 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. Fun! I like how YOUR weather calendar recognizes that each day can have a variety of weather, not just whatever it is at the moment of “calendar time.” When I taught kindergarten-first grade, during the first part of winter the kids always wanted to put “snowy” even if it wasn’t actually _snowing_ because there was snow on the ground. I wonder if yours will do the same…

    The only complaint I have with it is that the rainbow isn’t in rainbow-order (Roy G. Biv, you know)! Sorry – it’s something that always bugs me. That, and when artists make corn grow out of the top of cornstalks, instead of on the sides of the stalk. *shrug*

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | September 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. Hi, this is my first comment here. I´m an unexperienced mother of a three year old and I´m learning so much from your blog.

    I loved the calendar and the idea of making one to my daughter. (I hope I won´t procrastinate this too long…)

    Thanks for giving so much great advice for free. You rock!

    Comment by Marilia | October 1, 2010 | Reply

  4. […] Right now the triangles are taped to the ribbon. Eventually, the plan is to put a hole in the top of each triangle and attach them to the black ribbon with alternating orange and black ribbons. Of course, that will mean putting letters on the other side, since the triangles will be able to turn. And then, because I like it so well and want it to last without fading, I intend to laminate the whole thing, either with a laminator, if I can be bothered to take my lazy self down to the far reaches of the back of beyond where the laminator is, or with my much-beloved Con-tact, which is in the kitchen. […]

    Pingback by Halloween … hangy thingy « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | October 18, 2010 | Reply

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