A couple years ago I shared how my family counts down to our annual Walt Disney World vacations. At the time we were using old MagicBands and construction paper as links. It was a great idea that my son absolutely loved. But that was when he was 6. Now at 8, he is at the age where he is just beginning to figure out a lot of things on his own but still wants to be that little boy who believes in everything and gets excited for everything. While he already has a homemade 30 days to go countdown, he wanted something to start counting down at 100 days. We needed to up our countdown game. So how do you count down with the older kids while still making it fun, and exciting?
I had heard of making your own puzzle using family photos. Most of them are used to surprise kids for the first time, which is a great idea but this kid would know right away where he was going. So instead I modified it a bit. Instead of building a puzzle from scratch, we would complete one. Running to Toys R Us, I grabbed a really cute 300 piece Mickey puzzle. I put it together, leaving out 100 pieces. When the 100 days to go mark came, we would put one piece a day until the day we leave.
My son has loved it. I don’t know what he gets more excited for, trying to figure out where the pieces go or seeing it complete a little more. Every ten days we take a picture of it to see how far a long we have come (or rather how far we have to go) believe me it is incredible to see the difference. While there wasn’t a whole lot of change from 100 to 90, when you get to less than 70 days to go, there is a world of difference. I must admit even I get excited to see the puzzle coming together.