Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. A friend of mine who is a mom to three boys (and a former lifestyle editor) just came out with a brilliantly simple and sanity-preserving family organizer called the Giant Family Calendar.
And since it's almost the new year and I know there are families uptown, downtown and all across the world who will love it, I'm sharing it here.
Double the size of your average wall calendar–it's 22" x 16"–the GFC ($29) features one huge gridded page for each month, making it easy for everyone in the family to see the full schedule. There's also plenty of room on each day to add and subtract activities (erasable pens and pencils work best).
What's more, it's meant to be fun for the whole family: parents and kids can use the supplied stickers, from soccer balls and pianos to the words "playdate" and "no school," as visual reminders.
While the GFC is also a great tool for teaching children time management, it's main benefit may be preventing kids from pestering their parents about their daily schedule. Says my friend, "No joke–it helps keep me sane because I can just tell the kids to look at the calendar instead of asking me all the time what they have each day."