My kids love getting their hands into a good craft project. A few weeks ago, we were looking for something fun to do and decided on a wheel of the year calendar. This is a great visual representation for kids who aren’t yet reading, and helps them to get a feel for the cycle of the year. We are pagan, so we listed the pagan holidays, along with the national holidays that we celebrate. Birthdays and other special days could be added as well.
Our first step was to get a big piece of newsprint (I have a giant roll that I never think to use), and cut it into a square. Next, we used a large round tray and traced the circle onto the paper. This is your “wheel”.
Next, we picked four pieces of construction paper (but you could get creative here)into wedges to represent each season. Winter is a pale blue (ice, snow), Spring is a yellow (the beginning of green), Summer is green (lush trees) and Autumn is orange (Fall foliage), on our calendar. We glued these all on to our circle so that each wedge is one quarter of the circle.
We then took black construction paper and cut it into 4 strips, as long as our circle’s diameter and about a half inch wide. We glued these first in a cross across the lines of our construction paper (one strip each direction), and then used the other two strips to draw the “cross quarters” for our pagan holidays.
Since each of the points of these lines is a pagan holiday, we labelled these holidays – Yule, Candlemas, Ostara, May Day, Litha (Summer Solstice), Lamas (Mid-Summer), Mabon (Fall Equinox), Halloween. We drew pictures with each to represent what it was for our non-readers.
Then we labelled our seasons. We put the word in the center with a line spanning between the beginning and the end, to give the idea that Winter, for instance, begins at Yule, and includes all of the holidays until Ostara.
Now, we added in the other holidays we celebrate – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving – each with a picture to help identify it for the non-readers.
And here is our finished product, hanging up in our playroom where the kids can inspect it whenever they wish!