Christmas countdown

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Help your youngsters to count down to the big day with this fun paper chain project.

Christmas is such an exciting time of year. The very young get particularly excited at the thought of Santa coming to visit, but they don’t always have a clear idea of how many more days/sleeps there are until he arrives. Here is a simple way to help them count down to Christmas – a fancy paper chain. Each loop of the chain represents the days left until Christmas Day. You can start this at any time within the month of December, remembering that the earlier you start, the longer the chain. We reckon two weeks is a nice lead-up time for young children.

Christmas Day countdown

You will need:

  • Coloured construction paper
  • Scissors (or straight cutter if you have one)
  • Hole punch
  • Small ribbon
  • Glue and/or stapler
  • Christmas countdown poem (see below)


To make:

1. Decide how many days before Christmas you want to start the countdown, for example 14 days. Cut 14 loops of construction paper. We use at least 3 different colours in strips measuring 4cm x 21cm (1.5 inch x 8.5 inch). You will find it’s both colourful and easier for your toddler to count. For this project we used green, red and blue. You can use your child’s favourite colours, or whatever suits your decor. Kids enjoy helping to make these as much as they do tearing each loop off at night.

2. Either glue or staple the loops together. Regular craft glue is safer for little ones if they have a tendency to put things in their mouth. Gluing takes a little longer as you will need to allow each loop to dry a little (count to 10 and then back to zero, which usually gives enough time for it to stick).

3. Cut a Christmas tree, star or any shape you like, to put the poem on. You can hand write the poem or print it out and glue it on. You can see we have cut out a Christmas tree shape and then glued this onto a piece of construction paper.

4. Use the hole punch to make holes at the top of your chosen shape.

5. Thread a small ribbon through the hole and tie in a knot or bow.


6. Staple the finished paper chain to the bottom of your paper that has the poem on it. Hang on the wall by your Christmas tree, in the kitchen or on your child’s wall and let the countdown begin!


Note: If you have more than one child who would like to count down to Christmas, you can either have them take turns at pulling off a loop, or make another paper chain to hang side by side.

Countdown poem:

How soon will Christmas day be here?

I know that it is very near

With this chain I can count each day

Each night I cut a loop away

until no loops are left, hooray!

It’s Christmas day

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