To help you out in case you want to do something similar, and don't want to spend time recreating the wheel, I included a PDF of all the (non-personalized) pieces I printed. They're at the bottom of this post.
Here is our new morning calendar/circle time bulletin board:
Here's the closeup of the pieces:
Seasons and weather
Emotions. I like how Ellie decided Sam, who is still in my tummy, was feeling happy, and Daddy, who was sleeping after work, was feeling silly! She also wanted to add our dog, all her dolls, and some other family members. Apparently this section should have been bigger :-)
Activities for the day
Calendar and verse
Everything is attached with Velcro instead of push pins. I want to leave this in her room for now, and do NOT want push pins everywhere! Plus, when Sam is born, he'll be joining our "circle," and I certainly don't want a baby swallowing sharp little pins. I picked these up from Wal-Mart:
They are perfect because both sides are the same, so instead of having pairs only (hook and loop style), each piece can be used individually to hook to any other piece -- so there was NO waste. I ended up using three packages for the whole project.
Everything is also laminated, so hopefully it will last awhile. I left a bit of space at the bottom of the board in case we wanted to add something else later!
I wanted tags for "yesterday," "today," and "tomorrow," but all the ideas I was seeing were based on using push pins (like hanging key ring tags, etc.). I didn't find a perfect solution, but this works for now:
I bought big plastic paper clips, and then taped paper to the big section with the tags written on them. They easily clip to each day's piece. Again, not perfect, but workable!
I also debated about how to store the extra pieces. I tried envelopes (too fat with the Velcro on them) and bulldog clips (same problem), thought about hole punching and using binder rings (but I was worried they'd wear out too quickly and that Ellie couldn't do it on her own), and considered a sewing or hardware-type sorter (but wanted Ellie to be able to see everything at once). I settled on buying poster board, stapling it to the back, and putting down a spot of Velcro to store each piece. Tedious? Absolutely. But I'm really happy with the solution. It's very easy to see all the pieces and pick the appropriate ones, and everything stores in the same amount of space.
Here's the back, unfolded:
Days of the week are across the top, then months under them. Each month has its "special" calendar days -- holidays and family birthdays -- beneath it, so when we build the calendar for the month, we can add our special dates. On the bottom flap are the emotions (four sets of angry, tired, silly, cranky, happy, excited, and sad -- one for each member of our family, in case we all feel the same way some day!), spots for unused calendar pieces, weather and seasons.
On the back of the bottom flap are the other pieces, and it folds up like so:
This has the days and years for the "Today is" part of the calendar, all our activity blocks, and an envelope that holds the verses for each month.
The best part is that after ALL this work, Ellie LOVES it.
She loved talking about the season and why each season had a different image on it (summer was suns, fall is leaves, spring is flowers and winter is snowflakes). We talked about how hot it is, and how it can be sunny even if it's cold. She ran to the window to check the weather and declared it sunny, then grabbed the tag with no prompting and put it where I pointed out the Velcro was.
We talked about emotions (she thought it was hilarious that Sam might feel angry right now) and why each of us felt the way we did today. Then we went through and talked about the plan for the day, and she picked corresponding activity tags.
Then, we talked about the day of the week (she found the right green "Wednesday" tag by matching the letters to the top of the calendar!!), month, day and year, and how "yesterday," "today" and "tomorrow" work. Last, we said our verse together a few times.
I am SO excited to continue this special circle time every morning. It only took about 10 minutes, but she talked about it ALL day and said she couldn't wait to do it again TOMORROW :-)
Here are the files (.pdf):