Before I had kids, I spent my days as a kindergarten teacher. And one of my favorite activities to do with my class during any holiday was to make these classic decorations!
We would cut hundreds, if not thousands, of 1 inch strips in appropriate holiday colors, then spend the afternoon listening to seasonal music and gluing circles together in chains!
Once they were all chained, we would drape them from every window top, door ledge, and ceiling that we could reach!
But those aren’t the skills a toddler needs to be working on just yet, so I needed to find a new approach to this generations old craft!
How to Make Paper Chains with a Toddler
Realizing that my toddler wouldn’t be cutting or gluing meant that I would be doing most of the work… but it turned out to be way faster with him than it was with the kindergartners doing their own work!
Step One: Start with 2 sheets each of red and green construction paper, cut along the 11.5 inch side in approximately 1 inch strips.
Step Two: Separate the two colors into piles.
Step Three: Using a stapler, join the two end of a green strip of construction paper into a circle.
Step Four: This is where your toddler comes in! Ask them to hand you a red strip of paper! Thread it through the green circle and staple it closed.
Step Five: Continue doing this, alternating the colors, until all the strips are gone.
Step Six: Repeat steps one through five if you need more chains!
Note: After they’ve seen you thread a few strips through the previous chain, ask them to do it once they pick up the right color! Plus, their faces light up when they are successful!
Thanks to my dad for holding this sweet boy (hard work, right. Ha!) so I could get pictures!
This method of making paper chains with toddlers helps them work on color recognition and the fine motor skills of threading the strip through the chains!
Hanging Up Finished Paper Chains
Once you’re out of paper hang the paper chains using clear thumb tacks where ever you would like!
If it’s Christmas time, you can even wrap them around the tree for a vintage Christmas feel!