Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Countdown to the Mouse

We did some crafts in preparation for our big Disney World vacation this summer.  Ordinarly, I had not planned to go while my kids were so young, but since my inlaws were offering accomodations...

We began our countdown by creating a visual calendar that Zaxxon could watch getting shorter.  We reused a paper chain that has been floating around the house since Christmas, cut it down to the remaining number of days before our vacation, and added a Mickey Mouse at the top.

Cutting out Mickey

Each day, he got to tear off one link and watch the chain get shorter.  He knew that once there were no links left we would go visit where Mickey lives.

I also, often at the last minute and sometimes on a whim, wrote activities on the chain links so we would have something to do to prepare for the vacation.

22 days out:  Watch Peter Pan
     I hadn't watched this as an adult before.  Wow.  Tinkerbell is a vindictive little snot.

21 days out:  Decorate his suitcase
My inlaws gave this to him for Christmas, and it is a great combination of toy and useable suitcase.  It's durable enough that a child can climb on it and ride it through the airport, and it locks so said child cannot spill his toys all over the concourse.  This was his carry-on, and probably will be for years to come.  (It's a Trunki by Melissa and Doug, if anyone cares.)

20 days out:  Look at a map of where Mickey lives.  We wound up looking through the beginning of a kiddie Disney tour book, too

19 days out:  No activity.  Forgot to even tear off a link until the next morning.

18 days out:  Watch Mama and Dada's videos of the last time they went to where Mickey lives.  He got a little bored, but got excited about some parts

17 days out:  Finish watching Mama and Dada's videos.  Hubby takes a lot of video footage, so it took a while to fast-forward through all of it

16 days out:  Eat a Mickey Mouse pancake

15 days out:  Watch Snow White

14 days out:  Make Mickey Mouse ears
This idea was in his kiddie Disney tour book.  It's just a headband with ears, simple enough!

13 days out:  Eat another Mickey Mouse pancake.  These are pretty standard in our house

12 days out:  Look at Mama's pictures of where Mickey Lives.  This time we just looked at still pictures of our last Disney vacation (before children.)  He was starting to recognize some of the rides and was getting excited about them

11 days out:  Look at videos of Animal Kingdom.
     We've told him this one is the zoo near where Mickey lives.

10 days out:  Watch fireworks!
     I wanted a firework dry run so we would know if it was worth it to keep him up/out to see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.  In years past, he really hasn't liked fireworks.  We didn't get as close as I would have liked for my experiment--in fact, waiting for them to start was really hard for him since we weren't in a good place to run around.  My conclusion, based more on the illegal fireworks being shot off near us than the official show, is that he'll be nervous but ought to do okay.

9 days out:  Finish watching Animal Kingdom video

8 days out:  Library Day.  Pick books for the trip
     I particularly like "The Noisy Airplane Ride" by Mike Downs.  It's great for preparing a child for what they might experience during a flight.  It's also great for any kids who are fascinated with airplanes (and Zaxxon's been picking them out in the sky, even ones that are only tiny dots, since he was younger than two.)

7 days out:  no activity.  Kal'El took the link off this day--though we hadn't planned it that way...

6 days out:  Pack your clothes!
     I had Zaxxon pick the clothes he wanted to bring--after requesting that he choose bright colors (so we could find him more easily among a crowd.)  I only reversed one of his decisions.  Then he helped put everything in his suitcase later on.  He wanted to pack everything--toys, books, his toothbrush--but we informed him that we still needed all that stuff until the day before

5 days out:  no activity

4 days out:  Look through the rest of the Mickey book

3 days out:  Bake cookies to take on the airplane
So close now!!!!!

2 days out:  Eat a Mickey Mouse pancake and watch an Epcot video
     Excitement level is getting high in the house (with the corresponding crash in behavior.)  We're mostly packed and all looking forward to the big trip!

1 day out:  Pick which toys to bring and watch your favorite Disney movie while Mama and Dada finish packing

Everybody's wearing mouse ears.  It's time to go!!!!!

(And guess what--we're back already.  I don't post about this kind of thing until it's over.  More on the actual vacation at another time)

Tot School

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

What a great way to countdown to a special event! Love the family mouse ears!