Decorating the house for the holidays is a cozy way to spend time with the family. When decorating, our personalities really come out. My dad plays with patterns and geometry. My mom gets to clean deep into the corners and ensures each favorite decoration finds a home where it can be displayed for the season. Every ornament and object in our Christmas box brings back memories: the angel I made for the top of our tree in second grade, the glass globe ornaments from my great grandparent’s house in Brooklyn, and the paper chains from Sweden. In fact, though my family roots are from a mish-mash of European countries, we have Swedish paper chains from both my mom’s and dad’s families.
This year, it occurred to me that making simple paper chains would be a great December project for my after-school group. They can be very simple to make – even for young children. Older students, however, could work on a creation closer to the complicated and beautiful chains passed down in my family. Winter shapes, such as gingerbread people, evergreen trees, and snow men are all great shapes to use when making paper chains. Here’s how we did it:
Students young and old were quite engaged with their paper chain creations for the entire afternoon. Now they’ll have a contribution to their family’s holiday decorations at home. Who knows, these chains might last, bringing back memories of elementary school years when pulled from the Christmas box twenty years from now.