(This post is photo heavy . . . but I want my kids to enjoy the process. They (especially the youngest) love having their pictures on my blog.)

"Mom . . . ?" the call goes out.

"How many days until school?"

(Not that they want to GO to school . . . . By the way my kids do not start until after Labor Day, Sept 6. The Kindergartner, on Sept 8.)

I have heard about making a paper chain to count down to the first day of school. I decided that the kids and I would do this. You know I like when those kid-friendly crafts. As a crafter, I could not stop at any ordinary paper chain. I wanted the kids to enjoy the chain, give it a little meaning and make it "pretty." We added apples and a bell to our links.

In my Pazzles program I first drew a 10 by 1 inch rectangle. Then I drew an apple and separate leaf. I selected the apple and made an outline, or shadow of it. Centering the apple's shadow on the rectangle, I "joined selected items" (or welded the two together). Each apple link will represent how many days left until school day. I also created one link with a bell (using the same process). Explanation to follow . . .

Cut file pattern created in Pazzles


At bed time the kids will rip off the link for the day (counting backwards). The last link has the bell on it. School starts the day the bell rings! Clever, eh? I tried to make it so the little kids would "get it." Had to give them the history of the apple and bell as it pertains to school. I had my daughter include the leaf on her apples. But I skipped this step for the boys. They like to craft, but are not into detail.

The Pieces of the Links

Assembled

I think I will share the creative process via pictures . . .

Preparing to Craft


Numbering Apples for the Count Down


Apples Applied to Strips (Jacob)

The New Kid is Ready to Link

2nd Grader is Ready to Link

The Teen is Ready to Link

Working Hard

Working Hard

Working Hard . . . ?

Success


Thriller

I think the kiddos did a fab job! Way to go! We hanged the chains on the fridge.

The Count Down Begins