Since we’re all stuck inside looking for ways to keep our children entertained, I thought this was a fun activity for the kids.
When I was a child, I remember making paper chains in school to lead up to the 100th day. Then we would also make paper chains and tear a link off every day to count down to the last day of school.
Although, this paper chain is different from the ones we made in school. You know why?
Because it’s counting all our days in quarantine.
We started making a paper chain around day 12 of our quarantine due to coronavirus and have been adding on a new link each day that we’re stuck here.
How long do you think the chain will be by the end of this? I really wish we knew!
Recycle your scrap paper
I have 2 young toddlers at home and one of our daily activities is coloring (or scribbling for my 1-year-old). We’ve already gone through soooo many sheets of paper!
I started throwing them out at first, but then I realized that we could recycle the construction paper and use it for another project.
Then I thought of making a paper chain.
What You’ll Need:
- Multi-Color Construction Paper
What To Do:
- Decide which colors you want to use for your chain.
- Cut the construction paper in strips about 1.5 inches wide. I cut the strips with the paper held horizontally (hamburger way) instead of vertically. This way you get more strips out of one piece and the length is perfect.
- Wrap two strips around one another and staple at the edges.
- Keep adding more strips for each day that we are in quarantine!
How Your Toddler Can Help
If your child is old enough to make it themselves, tell them what to do. If you have a younger child, there are ways for them to still participate.
- If they’re learning their colors, ask them to hand you the next color in the pattern or identify which color that you are using at the time.
- They can wrap the strips around and hold them as you staple.
- Have them count each link as the days go by to learn numbers. Tell them to use their finger to improve one-to-one correspondence in counting.
- They can learn patterns by alternating between the same 2 or 3 colors.
Making a Pattern
If you have a child 2 and above they should be able to start to understand patterns. This is a great way to teach it!
In my paper chain, I used 5 colors and made a pattern from them. However, that was definitely too many for my 2.5-year-old to understand the concept of patterns.
If you want to teach patterns to a young child, try using 2 or 3 colors so they can recognize a pattern more easily and figure out what comes next.
For example, using blue, yellow, blue, yellow, blue is easier for a child to understand as a pattern and what comes next, rather than picking pink, green, orange, yellow, red, and then repeating that sequence.
Enjoy this indoor toddler activity when you’re stuck inside and at home with your little one!