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Paper Chain Countdown

Recently, Josiah got wind of a plan for us to go back to the beach in September.  We went there for a quick 2 night trip in May and had planned on going back for another quick trip once Ken’s crazy summer schedule ended.  Another treat is that this time my parents are going to come too!

So, when he heard we were going to the beach he wanted to leave immediately.  He started packing that day even though the trip was weeks away and we didn’t even have a place to stay yet.  He continued to pack the whole rest of that day with us continuing to put things away.  He just didn’t seem to get that it wasn’t time to pack yet, no matter how many times we tried to explain that we would still need our toothbrushes and he’d still want his monkey to sleep with.

My first attempt to try and help him feel like he was getting ready without having everything packed was for him to make a list of all that would be needed.  That way he could feel he wouldn’t forget anything.  But this only had a limited amount of helping power.

So finally, after about 3 days of continuous talk of packing I finally got smart and told him we’d make a paper chain to mark the days left until we go.  We did this as a last minute advent calendar for Christmas this last year too.  This year I’d like to try and fit in the time to make a pretty advent calendar that can be reused.  This was a quick project, and we didn’t make it especially blog worthy but it has done the trick.

We made one chain for every day until the trip.  I chose two pieces of construction paper – one yellow and one orange since they are happy, summery colors.  For the day we leave I used red paper.  I let Josiah decorate the pieces of paper and then I cut them up into the number of rectangles that I needed. Next, I numbered each one alternating between colors.  On the link for the day before we leave I drew a couple suitcases on the rectangle to show Josiah when he is allowed to pack.  Finally, we stapled each piece of paper into a ring, linking them together as we went.

It is now hanging in his room and he gets to tear one off each morning.  So far it is working like a charm.  The construction paper and staples, however not fancy they are, work a lot easier than the one I made for December last year.  Last time, I used cardstock and we glued them and poor Josiah couldn’t pull those things apart to save his life.  I had to get one started for him each time.

So for a 10 minute project that was free I am very pleased! Now all our conversations about the trip revolve around all the fun we are going to have instead of anxiety over not being ready to go.

Do you have any events that you need to count down to?

2 comments

  1. Angie says:

    We used to do this for Abby when we lived in Mobile. We would make them when a trip to Texas was in need, or when family was coming to visit. We also did it for holiday’s! Abby was the one: how much longer? When?!!!! The chains helped a bunch.

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