Countdown to Christmas

If you haven’t already started freaking out, it’s now time to.  Heh. Christmas is absolutely unavoidable, unless you change your beliefs/religion.

Lately the lil-monkees are jumping off the wall.  Last year we counted down to Christmas with a chocolate advent calendar and a calendar that you move the star as each day goes by.  Neither of these were very successful. The chocolate was not sufficient to satisfy the monkees and the star was fought over constantly.  Each little monkee needed to have a turn.  I had to get everyone up an extra 15 minutes in order to complete these morning rituals and get the kids to their morning destinations on time.  This year we tried something new.

A Christmas Paper Chain.

Each day Jackson and Easton both get to cut a link off of the chain.  Each day the chain gets smaller.  This is great for helping your children with their fine motor skills.  Fine motors skills are in involved in stacking objects, folding paper, stringing beads, closing zippers, cutting with scissors, holding a pencil, fastening buttons and snaps, picking up coins and dropping them into a slot.

I have to admit that I rarely let the kids use scissors, only under the watchful eye of me, Mom.  I am always scared that they may have to have an emergency visit to the hairdresser.  Although, cutting your own hair is something that seems to be a common rite-of-childhood, the lack of Easty locks and the mischievous looks of her big brother could be a bad combination.

This simple paper chain is made with colored paper or construction paper.  I let the kids cut long strips, with Jackson I drew straight lines for him to try to cut along, which also challenges him just a little bit more.  Then the kids put glue on one end and secure them to the other end, creating a ring.  Then we glue the next link by putting the paper through the ring and then securing both ends with glue again.  We make one for each day until the final link.  The final link is a special piece of fancy paper.  The final fancy paper represents Christmas.

Jackson and Easton both love to cut their paper chains.  They also love that it is getting smaller.  No wonder the excitement doesn’t seem to be settling down.

I attached the chain to a poem.  The poem goes:

Christmas day will soon be here,

And I can hardly wait.

I’ve made this little Christmas chain to help me celebrate.

Each day i’ll snip one loop from it,

To help me to remember,

That happy, happy Christmas day,

Is the 25th of December.

Please help me hang my chain up high,

I’ll cut one loop each day,

And when we reach the fancy loop,

It will be Christmas day!

We still do the chocolate advent calendars but they really enjoy cutting the chain more.  It has really helped them understand exactly how much time is left before Christmas.

What traditions do you have to help countdown Christmas with your children?

Comments

  1. This is a great idea Naomi! Thanks for sharing it. I am going to try it next year.

  2. We have the same chain going at our house, made and kindergarten. Oh and I can speak from recent experience, keep the scissors locked up! I left one small kindergartner working on his fine motor skills while I changed after work. When I returned his task was complete and so was his sister’s…

    We made the trip to the hairdresser and now my baby has bangs worse than Dora’s!

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