You can use time lines to teach kids about their own lives or about historical events, but however you choose to approach the subject of chronological order with your child, it will be much more memorable with a few hands-on activities. A personal time line will provide a meaningful example of how important understanding the sequencing of events can be.
All About Me Timeline
Create an "All About Me" time line with your youngster with a few easy-to-find materials and a little imagination. Tape some construction paper end-to-end and draw a vertical line down the middle, using bright colored markers to write your child's name across the top. Starting from the bottom up, post important dates and milestones in your little one's life. Start with his birth date and then move on to the date of his first word, first steps, first lost tooth and first day of preschool. Fill in the time line with holidays and family vacations, using photos to help illustrate your time line to make it more special. Let your child help glue the photos on and add his own personal touches with stickers or drawings. You can add onto this time line as the years pass by. It will serve as a conversation piece when hung in the kitchen or your child's bedroom.
My Day Timeline
Time lines don't always have to extend over a long period of time. Use the events of your child's day to create a time line that will also serve to reinforce the routines that your family uses each day. Begin in the morning. Have your child draw a picture or write out the activities that he does in the morning and place them in order on a string with clothespins or on some paper you have taped together. Ask him to show you the things that he does throughout the day and place his illustrations on the time line. Follow this up with your evening and bedtime routine, and you will have a time line that can double as a daily schedule.
New Year Timeline
A fun way to start off a new year is to make a time line with your child. Glue some colorful sheets of paper together and hang them on the wall. Draw a line down the middle and title it with the year. Start your creation in January with pictures of events and build on it throughout the year. By taping or clipping your pictures to your time line, you and your child will be able to easily remove them in December and create a scrapbook or memory collage. Then begin the new year with another time line and continue the fun.
Today in History Timelines
Older kids will enjoy making time lines that don't necessarily focus on them. With your help, your child can research a day in history and record the events on a time line. Or maybe your child has a particular interest that the two of you can explore and place the sequence of its evolution onto your homemade time line. Get creative! Kids will love the experience of discovering new ideas and facts. Using a time line can help them visualize the events in a way that is easy to follow and understand.