It was around five years ago that I first wowed my kids with this magical trick.
Back then it was rain that kept us inside and made us stir crazy, but today it was extreme heat.
Back then I only had three kids, but today I have four.
Back then the little hands struggled with the cutting out (I’ve shared some of the photos from the back in 2011 so you can see how little my kids were back then!), but today they found it easy.
Back then they were all driving me bonkers and I needed to do something to avert disaster, and today was no different.
So much changes over the years, and yet so much stays the same.
This is such a simple activity, one that the kids really love, one that we’ve done over and over again, that I thought it was time to update my original post from way back in 2011 and share it again.
I’m sure you remember how to make a chain of paper dolls, but let’s refresh our memories and show our kids the simple process involved.
To make paper cut out chains you’ll need:
- Long narrow strips of paper – we use our Ikea paper roll, or sheets of newspaper cut into strips.
- Markers or pencils to colour and add features
- A paper clip or binder clip is useful for holding the layers together while kids cut.
First you need to fold your paper concertina style, then clip the paper together to make it easier to keep together while drawing and cutting.
Now draw your design makings sure some part of it is touching each side of the paper.
I drew red marks on the paper at each side to show my kids where their drawings need to touch the edge so the chains would be connected.
Cut around your design carefully, make sure you don’t cut the edges that need to stay connected.
Then carefully unfold your chain to see how it worked.
You can start with a simple paper doll but there are so many other fun things you can make with this simple paper cutout chain activities.
Here are a few simple paper cutout chain ideas ideas we’ve tried over the years:
- people standing under an umbrella or a tree
- teddy bears
- bees, bugs, bats or birds with connected wings
- spiders or bugs with legs connected
You can connect almost any shape you can cut out by leaving a little tab connected at each side, or by leaving a strip across the bottom intact (so it looks like your design is standing on the ground). Let your imagination run wild and try out some ideas.
It might take the kids a few goes to work out how to make sure their designs are connected, and little ones will struggle with the concept, but you can easily convert their simple drawings and cut them out for them to decorate.
Here are some we made years ago back when my kids were still little and cute…
And here are some we made just yesterday…
Some days you need to pull out something magical, something that will wow your kids into submission and get them all doing something productive instead of running around the house fighting. The older my kids get, the fewer of these tricks I have left, but these simple paper cut out chains are always a winner!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Gosh I loved paper dolls as a kid, I could make them for hours!
Rosemary Grubb says
I loved making these when I was a kid and I made them with my kids, so simple and yet so much fun.
Isn’t it amazing how the easiest things go the extra mile in fun!!! These are such fun!!! We made them a while back and I tell you it kept my kids busy in silent wonder for an entire afternoon, http://www.se7en.org.za/2009/10/22/se7en-make-millions-of-paperchains
We’ve been playing boardgames a lot.
I think I played SNAP! at least 20 times yesterday.
Might give the paper dolls a go and see if the girls have any interest.
Playdoh. I have everything needed. And as the grandkids don’t get to do it at home, it’s my safety package for recharging .. I like rolling & making too. Kids love me being with them.
Lynn Reilly says
Brilliant!! Thanks for sharing!!
Lol you are making me laugh when you say world war three. Tbat is how i feel sometimes too. I have three boys all under 4 years of age. So it gets crazy here too.
Brilliant idea…I love paper cut out chains and yours are awesome