Fine Motor

Christmas Count-Down Chain – FREEBIE

December 7, 2012 |

This Christmas Count-Down Chain is an excellent excuse to get your preschool and kindergarten students to practice counting to 20 over and over again!  First they count up to twenty or twenty five strips of paper that they need to make the chain (one link for every day until Christmas).  Then, as they are making the chain, they put glue on one end of each strip, curve it into a link, connect it to the chain and count to 10 as they hold it in place (this ensures that the links hold together AND gives them more counting practice).  As they construct the chain, they count and recount to see if they have enough links on their chain.  As you can see, they get lots of practical counting experience with this activity (the counting is not forced, just encouraged in a fun way).  Once a student has the right number of links, we tape a real candy cane over the picture of the candy cane.

I also use this activity to teach my students about patterns and I encourage them to make a pattern with their red and green links.

When the chains are completed, students take them home to share with their families.  This gives mom and dad a chance to be involved in the “count down to Christmas.”  Everyday students remove a link of the chain (and everyday they get more counting practice).  On Christmas day they will remove the last link and that means they get to eat the candy cane!  It’s fun to see how excited my kids get about their Count-Down to Christmas Chains (and candy canes)!

Preparation:  Copy one “Count-Down to Christmas Candy Cane Page” for each student (there are two to a page).  This page can be printed in color on white card stock or you can print it on red card stock (with black ink).  Cut 1 inch x 8.5 inch strips of red and green paper.  Students will use these to make their “count-down chains.”  Each student needs one strip of paper for every remaining day until Christmas.  We usually do ours on December 5th so that students can practice counting to 20.  The first link of the chain is glued directly to the candy cane page (centered at the bottom) so that students can build the chain from there.

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