It's the holiday season- the beginning of December to be exact! You and your family are anxiously participating in the normal hustle-and-bustle of Christmas preparations. Parties are being planned, gifts are being bought, and decorations are being hung, making your house as festive as the north pole itself! You and your kids are especially excited, knowing that with each second that ticks by, the big day is just a teeny bit closer!
But just how close, exactly? Your kids ask you this all-important question, and for the first time in your entire life, you are forced to tell them the truth.
You don't know.
As the humiliation sets in and your kids go off to ask your spouse if they know how many days are left until Christmas, you sit down on the couch and mope forlornly. How could you forget the amount of time left until the most magical day of the year? What kind of parent, or even Christmas enthusiast are you?!
Not to worry! I can help you get out of your despicable situation! Do you remember that box of K'nex that you bought your kids on Black Friday? Go get it! Once you have the precious pieces of plastic in your hands, I will show you a simple and fool-proof way to build a beautiful and cheerful K'nex Advent Calendar that will never leave you guessing again!
Step 1: Pieces and Materials
To build the K'nex Advent Calendar, you will need:
-38 White connectors
-27 Blue slot connectors
-30 Yellow connectors
-4 Red connectors
-27 Grey slot connectors
-5 Diagonal "Y" connectors
-5 Grey rods
-1 Green bendy rod
-12 Red rods
-6 Blue rods
-5 Black caps
-63 Green rods
-46 White rods
-24 Yellow connectors to act as day markers
-1 Piece of printer paper
-Scotch Invisible tape
-A pen or marker
Step 2: Calendar Backing; Part One
Slide a grey connector and a blue connector together (pictures 1 and 2). Repeat to get nine pieces, and connect them using green rods (pictures 3 and 4). Make sure they are all facing in the exact same direction, as in picture 5!
Repeat the above steps to get three identical rows, as in picture 6.
Step 3: Calendar Backing; Part Two
Connect nine white connectors using green rods (pictures 1 and 2). Repeat to get four identical rows, as in picture 3.
Arrange the rows of white and blue/grey connectors as shown in picture four, and connect them using green rods, as in picture five.
Step 4: Calendar Borders
Connect seven yellow connectors using green rods as in pictures 1 and 2. Repeat to get two rows (picture 3), and attach each row to each side of the calendar backing using green rods (pictures 4 and 5).
Next, connect nine yellow connectors using green rods (pictures 6 and 7), and connect them to the bottom of the calendar (picture 8).
Step 5: Top and Corners
Take seven yellow connectors and two white connectors and connect them using green rods, as in pictures 1 and 2. Connect the piece to the top of the calendar using green rods, as in pictures 3 and 4.
Next, attach a red connector to each corner of the calendar as in pictures 5 and 6.
Fill in all spaces using white rods, as in picture 7.
Step 6: Day Slots
Connect four red rods to each row of blue/grey connectors, leaving a two-connector wide space in between, as in pictures 2, 3, 4, and 5. Fill in the two connector wide space using blue rods, as in pictures 7 and 8.
Step 7: Handle and Stands
Attach a green bendy rod to the top of the calendar, as in pictures 1 and 2.
Then, attach a diagonal "Y" connector and a black cap to each grey rod, as in pictures 3, 4, and 5.
Finally, insert each diagonal "Y" connector into a white connector on the back of the calendar, as shown in pictures 6 and 7.
Step 8: Title and Dates
Write a title for your calendar, as well as the numbers 1-24 on a piece of paper, taking care to make each date a reasonable size, as in picture 1.
Next, carefully cut out each number and the title, keeping each square approximately the same size (pictures 2 and 3). Add a piece of tape to each date, (picture 4), and tape each number to the red rods in front of each slot on the calendar in chronological order, as in pictures 5, 6, 7, and 8. Add the title, and check to make sure all dates are in order, as in picture 9.
Step 9: Day Markers
The remaining 24 yellow connectors will serve as perfect day markers for each slot in the calendar. To "check off" a day, simply stick a yellow connector in the slot with the corresponding date.
Step 10: Done!!!
There! Your K'nex Advent Calendar is complete!
As you rush back to the room where your kids are waiting patiently for an answer with your spouse, you are thrilled to reveal the magnificent piece of art that you have created using K'nex! The kids are enthralled with your creation, and for a few glorious moments they are awestruck as you explain how the calendar works, and finally tell them exactly how many days are left until Christmas!...
...At least until your spouse reveals that they simply used their cell phone to tell how many days were left! Agh! All that work for nothing! Well, not exactly for nothing... You did get a fun Christmas calendar out of it, and you got to relive childhood memories while working with K'nex... That definitely counts as something good... As a matter of fact, I'd say that that's a great start to the Christmas season!
Keep the good times coming, and have a fantastic holiday month!