Inside: Countdown to Winter Break and focus on kindness at the same time by using this Kindness Countdown to Winter Break Paper Chain.
The fall school months are so hectic.
It feels like we go from Back to School to Halloween and Thanksgiving feasts in a blink of an eye.
And then of course, we get into the stretch where we can countdown to the best part of December.
Yes of course, we all love the winter holidays, but honestly, it’s Winter Break that deserves to be celebrated.
And we spend the weeks after Thanksgiving decorating and prepping and shopping for holiday gifts and wrapping presents and focusing on family traditions like these.
But what most parents and educators especially love during December is the fact that we’re getting closer and closer to weeks off: Winter Break.
No alarm clocks. No school lunches packed. And cozy pj days.
To help countdown to our coveted Winter Break and spread acts of kindness at the same time, we use our Winter Break Kindness Paper Chain Countdown Calendar.
How to Focus on Kindness During December
December tends to bring out the most generous donations to food banks and toy drives. Maybe it’s the holiday spirit, maybe it’s the magic of all the lights and festive parties that puts people in the giving spirit.
Which is especially important to share with our kids.
Kids spend December usually focused on getting. They make their wish lists and they think about an impending Santa visit and they cross their fingers hoping they get the new bike or the new gaming system or, in my daughter’s case, a unicorn.
Every store my kids go into, every toy catalog that arrives in the mail, sends them into a state of the gimmes, and adds ten things to their wish lists of things they never knew they wanted.
So it’s essential to balance out the getting, we focus on the giving: giving to others in need, giving to friends and even giving to siblings.
But we can also spread kindness every day as we countdown to Winter Break.
Each day as we speak and act with kindness and freely giveaway our kindness to others, we’ll focus a little less on us and what we want and more on others and what they want.
Daily kindness reminders like this make kindness more of a habit and less of a one-time, big grand gesture.
And it sets them up to want to be kind more often, setting the new year off on the right foot…on a kinder foot.
Supplies Needed for the Countdown to Winter Break Paper Chain
- 1 ½-inch by 11-inch construction paper strips (the number of strips you need will be dependant on the number of days your kids have left until winter break) We used shades of blue for a non-religious winter theme.
- Glue stick
- Printable countdown activities (download it below).
How to Use the Kindness Paper Chain Countdown to Winter Break
1. Download and print the paper chain countdown printables (download it below).
2. Cut each of the activities. Choose the best ones for you and the number you need depending on when you start and how many days are left until Winter Break.
3. Glue each of the activities on one strip of the construction paper.
4. Loop the strip into a circle, with the activity facing in, and carefully staple the ends together.
5. Make another kindness activity strip. Put it through the first circle, loop it into its own circle, and then staple the ends together.
6. Continue with each construction paper strip, gluing the kindness activities down, and linking them all together.
The last strip in the link will be their last day before Winter Break!
7. Hang up the countdown to Winter Break calendar where it can be easily seen so it’s a visual representation of how many days left until break.
8. Each day, rip off the top loop, do the kindness activity and celebrate them for focusing on giving.
As the strip gets shorter and shorter, so will the days in school.
So when your kids ask, “How many days until Winter Break starts?” you can point to the paper chain and count the links left on your countdown chain.
And after focusing on giving, you’ll know you’re almost there to the days off, the cozy pj days, and the getting of presents.