This was my 2nd time through Europe with a group of students and Amanda was only about 3 months old the first time. This time through I knew that Amanda would likely have trouble understanding why I was away and when I got back. To make things a little easier I decided to take a foam board and make 15 spots on the board. Each spot would have a photo of me hold up a number that corresponded to that spot. Each night Jen and Amanda would put up one photo on the board and we would slowly get closer to the day I got home! The 15th photo was me holding up a sign saying HOME! and we would put up the picture together once I got home.
We weren't sure if Amanda would understand but after about the 3rd night she wanted to put up all of the photos up so I would be home. When Jen told me this I felt like crying. Amanda was used to it after a few days. In fact the anticipation of putting the last photo up really got Amanda worked up and was so excited to meet me at the airport.
For those Dads or Moms that go away for extended periods of time this is a great idea for younger kids! Worked for us!