Preschool Project of the Week – Countdown to Christmas Chain
Preschool Skills: Fine motor, gluing, patterns, observing passage of time
I have to admit, I have more Christmas projects that I can honestly squeeze into one season. But this is one that we do every year. And it’s the first one that we do.
This project starts out with just a simple paper chain (you remember making those when you were a kid right?) You want one link in the chain for every night up until the night of December 24th. Ideally, you would make this on December 1st and need 24 links. But whatever day you choose to make it you just adjust the number of chains.
Cut approximately 1 inch wide strips of construction paper. Use the 8.5 inch side and they are the perfect length too. It’s Christmas so use red and green! We always make ours in a pattern because by this time in the school year we have been discussing patterns and trying to identify patterns when we see them. So making a “red-green-red-green” pattern reinforces this.
Try to encourage your preschooler to do as much of the chain as possible because this is GREAT for those fine motor skills. Use a glue stick for the gluing. I prefer glue sticks because they are easier for a preschooler to use and less messy. The key is to make it as easy as possible for them to do this on their own.
I will lay out the first strip and rub the glue stick on the tip of one end and show them how to fold it over into a circle laying the glue end on top of the other end. (Your preschooler is naturally going to fold the ends up to meet like hands clapping together – so the concept of end-over-end may take a time or two to get it right.)
Then I will show them how to “feed” the next strip through the circle (like Bug is doing in the picture above) and after that the steps are the same – apply glue, fold end over end into a circle, feed next strip.
Once your chain has the right number of links on it, the next step is to attach it to the “bell”. (You can freehand draw a bell, or you can find a couple patterns to use from these bell coloring sheets)
Just hole punch you a small hole in the bottom of the bell and use some yarn to attach the chain to the bell.
Our bell has the poem on it that tells the purpose of the chain and bell:
Each Night Before Christmas
After Prayers Have Been Said
Take Off One Loop
And Hop Into Bed
When Christmas Will Come
‘Tis Easy To Tell
For That Is The Night
You Come To The Bell
I punched another hole in the top for hanging. And there you have it! (Bug really does like his, I just forgot to take a picture when we were finished so he had just woken up from his nap when I handed him his bell to get a picture! haha!)