We don't watch a lot of TV in our house instead I try and fill it with lots of crafts and other fun activities to keep us busy and active. Over the weekend Jake was sick and I needed a fun activity to keep us busy since we couldn't leave the house. With St. Patrick's Day coming up I came up with this great craft that is perfect for the upcoming holiday. Paper chains are always fun to make and D, J, and E are at the perfect age (4 years old) to start learning how to do these! To add the extra element of fun we attached a pot of gold to the end of our rainbow.
These are now beautifully hanging in our kitchen windows. They took about an hour to complete from start to finish. You could easily break this up into a 2 day project as well. I hope you read below and try it out with your kiddies too!
· Scissors for kids
· Black crayon
· Print out of a coloring template of a pot of gold coins (print this one here)
· Glue stick
· Gold paper (Cut these into small circles to form gold coins. I found the most beautiful gold glitter paper at Michaels, but any gold or even yellow paper will work!)
· String (I used gold, but any color is fine)
I always start our activities by talking about what we are going to be doing. We talked about the colors in a rainbow, we looked at the other rainbow project we already have hanging up in the kitchen from our rainbow fruit loop craft and then I told them the story about how sometimes people believe there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They were so excited to get started.
I began by demonstrating exactly how to make the paper chain by doing my own in front of them. You form circles with paper strips and make it into a chain by connecting the next paper through the previous one. We used tape to seal our strips together, but glue would also work or you can staple them for your child.
I had them each precut 6 pieces of tape so that it was ready for them. Then they rolled their first paper and sealed it with the tape. Success! They needed a little reminding to put the next color through the previous color to form the chain, but they picked up on it pretty quickly. They only asked for a few extra pieces of tape along the way. They were amazed when they completed their paper chains! So neat! You could even make your paper chains longer by doing 2 or more strips of each color to extend your rainbow. Totally up to you. Since this was our first time doing paper chains we kept it simple :)
Once our chains were complete they began coloring their pots black. We have been working on coloring in the lines and they were trying very hard on this day. Once the coloring was complete, they cut out their pots all by themselves. I love seeing how well they are using scissors and cutting along the lines independently! For younger kids, you can cut these out for them or assist them. You can even just use a black piece of construction paper cut into the shape of a pot, but I loved the skills this part of the activity worked on.
The last part the kids completed, they were so excited for. I found the most beautiful gold shimmer paper at Michael's and I cut it into small circles to resemble gold coins. I gave them each a bunch and they glued them to the top of their pots. I love the way the gold coins shimmer in the light in our kitchen at night.
Once they finished the gold coins I cut strands of gold ribbon I had lying around the house and threaded it through the bottom of the paper chain. I then taped both ends to the back of the pot of gold. We then proudly looked at our creations and decided to hang them from the tops of our kitchen windows.
|Our rainbow window|
This activity was so much fun and worked on so many wonderful skills. We loved making the paper chains and we can't wait to make more of them. We are thinking of doing a rainbow paper chain garland to decorate the fireplace mantles before St. Patrick's Day!