My husband has a trip out of town. A BIG trip. A LONG trip. And he's not just going out of town. He's leaving the country. Fourteen days in Beijing, and 4 days in Tokyo.
To help my girls better grasp the idea of how long he'll be gone - better yet, how soon he'll be back! - I took the idea of an Advent calendar countdown paper chain and turned it into a "Countdown 'til Dad Gets Home" project. Every morning while he's away, they get to snip off one ring of the chain.
Also, to give the girls a little cultural lesson and to specify where their Dad is, each link is designated, somewhat, with the characteristics of his host country's flag:
a yellow star added to solid red cardstock for the flag of China,
a red circle centered against white for the flag of Japan,
and red, white and blue ribbons for the USA (days of his departure and arrival).
We plan on working our way to the top, and we look forward to reaching that final ring on March 31st!