Cutting, using a glue stick, learning new words, counting and imagining a lasso! These are just some of the things I found come from making a chain-link countdown to Halloween craft with my 3 year old girl. First we cut out eleven strips (as there were eleven days left until Halloween), which she helped with. Of course, it is important to use training scissors or toddler-safe scissors with a dull and rounded tip whenever letting a young child cut. She needed help with cutting so I guided her hands and she was glad to feel that she was doing as much on her own as possible. I have found with this activity, as with others, that if she does as much of the work as she can independently, it feels like it is her own accomplishment and she is much more engaged. We then connected the chain to a slit in the bottom of our jack-o-lantern. As we attached each new link using a glue stick, we would count the number of links. When we did this we continually repeated the words “connect” and “link”, as they are new words for her to feel comfortable using. When we were finished she wanted to play with the chain and she pretended it was a lasso saying, “I’m gonna catch a horse!”
We continued cutting and gluing to make little jack-o-lanterns and ghosts. I realized she was struggling to get the placement of the eyes, nose and mouth right on the pumpkins and ghosts. After a little practice with this she was improving. As we were wrapping up, she wanted to make more things out of paper. “A shopping bag! A bracelet!” This is a simple activity, but there is much to be gained in doing it. Happy Halloween Countdown!