And it’s not that plain-jane, really–it’s got some color to it!
With summer here and the sunshine calling us outside nearly every free second, I noticed that we haven’t been reading as much as we have around here. I am all for outside playtime, especially for little ones, but I do have a rising Kindergartner under my roof, so I know that reading is especially important for us this summer.
I decided to have Maddy and Owen make super-simple paper chains today before rest time. Each link of the chain will be a book that we read together in the next few weeks.
Talk about an easy, fun, and worthwhile activity–great cutting practice, taping practice, counting practice, and my kiddos were so proud to stand back and admire their finished product!
- Plain Jane Paper Chain: I brought out some construction paper and said,
Anyone here know how to make a paper chain?
(I knew Maddy made them in preschool this year.)
Maddy yelled, I do! I do! You cut the paper into strips and tape them together–watch me, Owen!
She started cutting, which was awesome, but her strips became triangles by the third one. I showed them both how to fold their paper in half, then half again, then half again to make folds that they could easily follow and cut.
Then I showed them how to double their paper so they could cut more at a time. They looooved that and remembered back to when we made our Valentines and hearts that way.
Next, we counted our strips and put them in piles of tens. Owen said he wanted his chain to have twenty links, and Maddy wanted thirty. I thought it would be cool to see how many days it would take us to read that many books; we always read two or three books before bed each night, so I’m guessing it will only take a few days or weeks.
Finally, we taped the links together to make a chain. They each wanted one in their own rooms, so immediately upon completing their chains, they ran to their rooms to find a good spot to hang them.
Rather than throw the paper away when we rip off each link, I’m going to have Maddy and Owen put the link in a big envelope. After the chains are gone, meaning Owen read 20 books and Maddy read 30, we’re going to rebuild their chains with each book they read. How fun is that?!
I think that will be a pretty exciting way of keeping the book-reading momentum going through July. I’ll have to see what I can come up with for August!
And hopefully it will squeeze in a little bit of extra, summertime learning in the next few weeks!