With 19 days to go until Christmas the countdown is officially on in the Fields house. I was really planning on making a really cute handmade advent calendar using ideas from Pinterest, but I could never quite fit it in and before I knew it, the tree was up and every night my four-year-old was saying, "tomorrow is Christmas!" Maybe I should start a fancier calendar now for next year? But for this year it's paper chains and a sticker tree, both really cute, easy to make, and purpose serving for a busy Momma.
First we started with the chain. I pre-cut 20 1 inch by 6 inch red and green strips of tagboard. You can use construction paper, but after all of my Thanksgiving projects, I'm a little low on construction paper and tag is a little sturdier.
Next, I told my son we were going to make a paper chain to countdown to Christmas. I helped him use a glue stick to put glue on the end of one strip and roll it over to attach it to the other end of the strip. I showed him how to connect the next strip to the first and he took off. Completing this project by himself.
I had every intention of practicing patterning with this activity and he started with an AB pattern, but after the fourth chain he started doing his own thing and I just let him be creative. He was content and excited and not everything has to be academic right? Plus there is some number concept practice that goes along with counting down to Christmas. Every couple of links he would want to stop and count how many he had until he had them all glued together. (I had to help with the counting).
After he finished, he insisted on hanging the chain on the tree for decoration. Every night we will take one chain off and count the remaining chains to see how many days until Christmas.
In addition to the chain, I also made a Christmas tree out of green paper and numbers. Each day, my son will put a sticker over a number to countdown the days until Christmas. I pre-made this activity, but older kids could make their own and it would be great number writing practice. You could even write the numbers lightly with a pencil and have your child trace them. This is a great visual so that your child can see the numbers while counting down.
Have fun and enjoy the countdown!