Construction Paper Chain Link Calendar {Tutorial} | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

October 17, 2012

Construction Paper Chain Link Calendar {Tutorial}

Autumn brings the hopeful anticipation of many fun events and holidays. Every day when Chica wakes up, she bounds (LOUDLY) down the (2 SETS) of stairs and eagerly asks, 

"Is it Halloween today?"

"Is it Thanksgiving today?"

"Is Austin [Chica's cousin] coming today?"


It breaks my heart to have to tell her, day after day, no, today is not that day.  I've tried looking at a real calendar with her, but all those boxes and numbers seem to go over her head. After today's bombardment of calendar questions, I was struck with inspiration.

I remembered back to elementary school when we would cut strips of construction paper, form loops, and interlock them into chains. Often, we used this as a measurement of time to a certain event (ie: Halloween). Each day, one student got to rip the bottom link off, indicating it was one day closer to The Big Day.

I thought this project would be perfect for Chica. Seeing the chains would give her a visual of time, and cutting the bottom link each day would give her the comfort that time was passing. Over time, we can watch the chains shrink as certain events get closer.  The project needed minimal supplies and many of the steps were Preschooler Friendly.

With such an easy (and fun!) project on hand, I couldn't believe I had forgotten about "Chain Link Calendars."  Since some of you may have as well, I thought I'd post a quick tutorial on how to put one together. It's the perfect time of year to create them with your kids. Today, Chica and I made two: Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Since the Christmas one would be SO LONG, we'll wait until November to put that one together.

Here you go!


  • Several pieces of construction paper (colors of your choosing)
  • Scissors
  • Tape or Glue

Step 1:  

Figure out how many strips (ie: days) you need for your Chain Link Calendar. Cut 1-inch wide/6-8 inches long strips from your construction paper.

This was for our Thanksgiving Calendar 

Step 2: 

Glue one end of the paper strip.

Step 3: 

Bring the ends together to make a loop. Take the next strip and repeat Step 1. Weave the strips through the completed link and close to make a loop.

Getting my weave on

Make sure the links are roughly the same size.

Press tightly to seal the link

Step 4: 

Add more links until you have the right amount of "days" for your Calendar. Watch it grow!

Halfway done!

Chica was my strip hander-over.

(Optional) Step 5: 

Make special markers for the Events. We have special visitors coming in for Thanksgiving, so I made a special marker for when they arrive, and then for Thanksgiving, which is 2 days later.

Step 6:

Find a place to hang your Chain Link Calendar for display. We chose the dining room. The one on the right is for Thanksgiving, the one on the left for Halloween. 

Can you tell Chica is SO proud and excited? And all,
"Mom, stop taking pictures."

It kind of acts as a festive decoration as well, don't you think?

Step 7:

Each day, cut the bottom link off of your respective calendars. The Chains will grow shorter and you can get excited for the holidays and events to come!


This was a great project for Chica. I think it will help her understand time (days, weeks, months, etc) better, and while we put the links together, we worked on patterns. As you can see in the Thanksgiving Calendar, there were 4 colors, and I used the opportunity to quiz Chica on what color came next. She caught on quick, and corrected me when I was about to put the wrong color on next!  

Make sure adults do the cutting, unless you have child-safe scissors. If you aren't jazzed about using glue, I recommend tape. That was my original plan, but there was a bit of a meltdown at Walmart, and we needed to make a quick exit!

I'd love to see YOUR Chain Link Calendars! So let me know how this project works for you, and share your pictures on the Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom Facebook Page!

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