Making Chains

 There's something satisfying about making paper chains for Christmas.  Each year, we make an Advent chain - 24 red and green chains in a pattern with a star on top.  Every night you are to take off one chain, when you get to the star, it's Christmas Eve.  But paper chains aren't just for Advent, you can decorate your tree or house with them too!

This year, as I set out the needed materials, I decided to give very loose directions and offer a lot of options for joining the strips.  Mary and I watched the kids as they experimented with different ways of cutting the paper.  Is it better to cut all the strips at once or should you cut as you go?  Are my strips too thick?  Oh, no - I cut on the short side of the paper!  Look, Lilli is cutting out red and green paper together!
Deciding on a pattern is next.  Just red, green, red, green?  How about red, red, green, red, red, green?

Then, how to join the chains.  Linking them together was easy, but how do they stay connected?  The kids could choose between staples, glue stick, and tape.  While staples seemed to be the most popular, we noticed most kids were frustrated by stapling.  Why did they choose it then?  Do they just like to staple?  Should we incorporate more stapling into our activities?  I noticed that most kids tried all 3 methods.
 Now it's time to count.  Am I almost there?  How many more until 24?  When is Christmas again?

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