Making a paper chain is a fun way to help children count down the days until a special occasion or event. Today we made our annual paper chain to mark the days between now and Thanksgiving — and then kept going with red and green links to count down to Christmas. They are also great for counting down to vacations (Disney-themed paper for a trip to Mickey’s house?) or to mark the days while a parent is away on a business trip. A friend uses them to mark the days of her husband’s military training and deployments!
Think your little ones would like to get in on the paper chain fun? Here are a few tips to create your own.
Start by cutting 2″ (or narrower) strips of paper. I used Thanksgiving colors to get us from today until November 28, and Christmas colors to go from November 29 – December 25. A paper cutter makes the cutting so much easier, but scissors will work just fine (plus it’s good fine motor skill work for little ones!).
Write each day’s date on the paper strips. Last year I didn’t do this and we were constantly counting the links to see if we were on the right day. This year we can just check the date. If you have two kids who want to tear the links, one can have odd numbers and the other can have evens — no bickering!
Little helpers can get in on the action by making a pattern and keeping the dates in order (good math skills!). Bigger hands can help you staple the links together to create the chain. When you’re done, it looks like this!
There are lots of simple but significant ways you could make this project even more meaningful. Sit together as a family and write one thing you’re thankful for on each link. Write a Bible verse on each link. Write someone’s name to pray for, call, or write to on each link. The ideas are endless — have fun with this easy craft that gives children a visual representation of time. Happy counting down!