CRAFT: Paper Chain Advent/Countdown Calendar

Happy Holidays, RMT’ers!

Earlier this month, we dug out our holiday decorations, which is something that T has always looked forward to each season. It’s also fun for me to go back through so much of the artwork from years’ past to see all the fun things T has made over the years at school. Ah, memories (sniff)….

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS! YES, I USE CAPS AS I AM EXCITED!

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS! YES, I’M USING CAPS AND SHOUTING AS I AM EXCITED!

One of the best and most useful projects that we go back to each holiday season is this simple paper chain Advent/ countdown calendar. T made the original item in his Kindergarten class, and it’s something we can bring back out each year and re-create very easily. All that’s needed is construction paper, scissors, tape or glue, and now that T is older (8 at the time I am writing this) around 30 minutes for time to complete start to finish.

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If you want to make your own countdown paper chain calendar, the first thing you need to make is a “base” to start the chain from. T already has this and we reuse the same one each year: A simple paper Christmas tree cut-out. You can add the saying we have, or create and type your own, print, cut, and glue on.

You also will need to create one special “gold” paper ring to affix to the base. This will be a ring that you do not cut off of the chain, so you can make it with construction paper or another material of your choice. His Kinder class used golden construction paper to highlight its special-ness. It is also stapled to the base for a more permanent fixture, which also helps to remind you to not cut this off on Christmas Day (or whichever holiday you are counting down to)!

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If your child wants to make a pattern, the best thing to do is set the strips of paper up by color and in the order they choose so they can easily grab the strips in order.

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Next, it’s time to make your paper links. T always likes to choose a bunch of different colors and create a pattern. This year for time, I cut the strips for him, and he linked them together in the pattern of his choice. Remember to only make as many links as you plan to cut for your countdown! We used Scotch Tape this year versus glue, and it worked just fine (and with much less mess!).

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Finally, hang your chain (or let your kid show it off excitedly) and get ready to cut and countdown to Christmas… or whichever holiday you want to use this for. Really, you can make these for any holiday, birthday, or any special event upcoming that your kid is super-excited about! Also don’t forget that you can pack the base away once your finished this year and bring it back out next year to re-make and reuse it again.

PS – If you are reading this right now with only a few days left until (fill in the blank with whatever date it is you are counting down toward) and wondering if it’s too late to make your own paper chain countdown calendar for this season? No, not really. Count 12 days or 25… whatever you want!

Enjoy your holidays!

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