Ways To Countdown
Create two personalized calendars to cross off each day the family will be separated. Fill your child's calendar with pictures of their parent and the parent's calendar with pictures of the family. Young children have a hard time with the concept of time and seeing it visually will help them understand the length of their parent's trip.
Cut a slip of paper for each day or week the parent will be gone. Have family members write an activity on each slip of paper and place in a jar. Pull one out each day or week to enjoy a surprise activity. This does not have to cost a lot of money! It can be as simple as having a picnic at the park, family slumber party, or having ice cream for dinner. Some of our family's favorites are a trip to the bookstore or dinner at the local pizza buffet
Long Distance Kisses
When their parent is gone, one of the things kids miss most are hugs and kisses. Get a jar for each child and fill it with chocolates, one for each day the parent will be on the trip. Then have the parent leaving put air kisses in the jar in front of the kids so the chocolate kisses are covered with real kisses. It's fun to see the jar slowly empty and get a sweet 'kiss' each day from their parent.