A paper chain delivers big excitement with minimal supplies. Create this birthday countdown with strips of paper in the birthday girl’s favorite colors. Cut as many strips as there are days until the big day. Before linking the strips together, allow the birthday child to decorate them with craft supplies such as paint, glitter, beads and ribbon. Assistance from parents and siblings turns the birthday paper chain into a family art project. Once the paper strips are decorated and any paint or glue has dried, roll the first one into a circle and staple, glue or tape the ends together. Feed the next strip of paper through the completed circle, and roll and secure it to form two links. Continue this process until you have an entire chain made out of paper. Hang it in a place where it will be prominently displayed, such as on the refrigerator. Each day, the expectant birthday girl removes one link from the chain, counting down until only one link remains on the big day.
With the anticipation of birthday parties, cake and gifts, it’s little wonder that kids look forward to this special day well in advance of the actual calendar date. For some kids, the wait for a birthday can seem unbearable, and the excitement increases as the day draws near. Corral some of that energy and engage him in a project that tells him exactly how many days remain before the birthday arrives.
Birthday Paper Chain
Party Hat Countdown
Double the excitement when you include surprise treats in each day’s countdown. Purchase or make cone-shaped party hats from paper and tape. Number the hats with a magic marker, or use a glitter pen to add some sparkle. Arrange the hats on a table where they may remain for the duration of the countdown. You may also arrange them on a large serving tray for easy relocation when needed. Wrap trinket items, such as candy treats, whistles and stickers, in tissue paper. Place one trinket gift beneath each party hat. On each day of the countdown, the birthday boy removes the hat with the corresponding number, revealing the treat that he gets to keep.
Birthday Countdown Frame
Personalize the birthday countdown with a homemade frame. Choose an unfinished wood frame and paint it her favorite color. Use rubber stamps to decorate the border with an image that reflects her personality. For instance, choose musical note stamps for the budding musician or sports-themed stamps for the sports fan. Remove the glass front from the picture frame, and use it to measure and cut a piece of decorative paper that will serve as the background. Glue the paper to the face of the frame’s backing, and secure it into the frame. Glue a clothespin onto the top half of the decorative background. On photo paper, print pictures of the birthday girl, along with a number for each day in the countdown. Place the stack of photos, in countdown order, behind the frame. Have the birthday girl hang each day’s countdown photo from the clothespin.
Birthday Cake Countdown
Count down to the sweetest part of the birthday — the cake — with this craft idea. Cut the shape of a cake out of colored card stock. Hang it on a wall, corkboard or the refrigerator. Gather as many embellishments for the cake as there are days until the birthday celebration. Suggestions include candles, wrapped candy pieces and strips of curling ribbon for the “frosting.” On each day that leads to the birthday, have the birthday boy attach one decoration to the cake. When the cake decorating is complete, the birthday has arrived.
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