Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Paper Chains

The tree stood naked in the classroom. It had to thaw out and tempt us with it's glorious fresh cut fragrance. It waited, we waited.

Finally the day came when the teacher would bring out the strips of green and red paper and the paste. Helpers were assigned their jobs, some pushed desks together for a makeshift table, some passed out the strips of paper, some passed out Popsicle sticks, some moistened pieces of brown paper towel and folded them into squares and delivered them to waiting children. The paste was in a big jar, a big glob of it would be placed in the center of the make shift table usually on a metal plate. The Popsicle stick was to be used as a tool to snare some paste. You had to snare enough to properly glue the ends of your first link together. Too little paste and your link would not hold, too much and it took too long to dry. If you gave up on your Popsicle stick and used your fingers to apply the glue, your fingers would begin to take up the color of the strips and stick to everything you touched. The smell of paste and wet brown paper towels filled the air.

The paper chain was supposed to be red, green, red, green. Someone would mess up, and get two reds together, sometimes they would cry. With the paste we were using mistakes were easily corrected. Our goal was a chain as long as our classroom, when it was together it was laid on the floor to dry completely overnight. Everyone helped with clean up, the desk tops and our hands were washed.

The next afternoon just before school was out, everyone would take up part of that paper chain and hold it gently off of the floor. The tree was ready and waiting in the middle of the classroom. Our teacher stood at the tree and accepted each students part of the chain, weaving it in and around the branches. When all of our paper chain was on the tree, we would sing "Jingle Bells" stand around the tree and admire our handiwork.

A simple tree trimmed by students, who learned cooperation, patience and teamwork while creating simple paper chains for their classroom Christmas tree:)


  1. Oh that is so nostalgic and lovely. What a great way to learn co-operation and patience!

    I just loved this little story. Wonderful!

  2. I remember making those in school. Such fun memories. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Sweet memories. I can remember the smell of the glue & paper!

  4. Wonderful. I am brought back to the days of eating paste, and red and green fingers.......

    Thank goodness for glue sticks, and staplers.


  5. That was wonderful. I love to visit you....

  6. Oh my gosh. Memories come rushing back!

    Thanks for that! Annnnnnd....for stopping by my crazy blog!

    okay, I'm going to go read more of yours now.

  7. Oh My! Paper chains! They were the final touch to all our Christmas trees as a child! I loved making them!

  8. It took me until I 52 years old to know and understand that I have logical association disability.....I was the one who cried because I couldn’t seem to remember what to do, one red, then one green, then one red…
    How I found out about the disability….after YEARS of trying to make a quilt, crochet beyond simple chains, read patterns, I had myself tested. I have a learning disability…. (This is why I can NOT do math besides simple math), in today’s world I would have been taught tricks that help me over come the problem. NOW I understand!
    That is why I hate playing games!
    Crafting beyond simple crafts!
    Now I KNOW!
    So what I have done is begin teaching myself how to think differently…I can now play domino’s and WIN, I can sculpt little things in clay, and I have other skills that make others smile.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. I no longer accept anonymous comments. All comments will be approved before posting...due to spammers...may the fleas of a thousand camels infest every hair on his body. Connie