December 1, 2010

Christmas paper chain!

Posted by Becka

Every year, the kids each make a construction paper paper chain. At the top is a poem, that states each day (24 links) you take one link off, and the next day will be Christmas! These are SO much fun, and we have been doing this since my 11 year old was 1 (so, his second Christmas!)


December first till Christmas
Is the longest time of year
Seems as though old Santa
Never will appear
How many days till Christmas
Is pretty hard to count
So this little chain
Will show you the right amount
Take one loop off every night
When the sandman casts his spell
And Christmas Eve will be here
By the time you reach the bell

Well, recently I came across a craft idea that require NO tape, staples, or other adhesives for this project!

At first, I was skeptical, since I only saw ONE picture and have NO clue how it would work. But it is a GREAT idea!

You'll need: paper, scissors, pencil, and two round templates (1-2 inch and 2-3 inch).

Making the Links: I cut a regular size paper into fourths--in half vertically and then in half horizontally. This creates a chain link approximately 3 inches long. You can go for the jumbo size and use a whole sheet of paper (yielding a 5.5 inch link), or even a teeny tiny version. Any size rectangular paper will work.
Fold your paper in half vertically. Next fold it in half horizontally. You should now have one folded edge on the left side, two folded edges on the bottom, and four edges on the right side and top.

Using the larger round template, draw a semicircle starting at the top, left corner with the straight edge along the folded left side. Using the smaller template, draw another semicircle within the larger semicircle. A little less than a half inch from the left side draw a vertical line starting at the bottom of the paper and ending where it connects with the semicircle. I call this bottom part the "stem."

**Note: The center cut must be wide enough for the next chain link's unfolded stem to fit in. Also, try to keep a good distance between the tops of the semicircles. The smaller the distance, the weaker the chain link.**

Now cut along all your lines. This is a finished link. If you want all the links to be identical in your chain, you can create a pattern to trace from this first link. If you want each one to be individual, don't bother drawing any lines--just cut freehand (it adds a charming spontaneity).

Connecting the links into a chain: Vertically fold link 1 and feed it through a horizontally folded link 2. Repeat this process until you have reached the end of your chain. Then secure the very last link with a small piece of tape.

Shape variations:
Rectangle--Very easy to cut the straight lines of the outer shape. Great for younger children if an adult can cut the centers.

"Y"--This was the easiest for my son to cut. I drew a line that curved up towards the top right corner. Then I cut out the centers.

Heart--Perfect for Valentine's Day.


The original blog can be found HERE. She has some other GREAT activities!! We may have to do some of them when weather permits!

Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

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