I love Christmas. As soon as my youngest daughter’s birthday celebrations are over in early December, I’m straight in there! Tree up, stockings hung, too many cakes in the cupboard and general cosiness and sparkliness take over! I’m not great at getting around to writing Christmas cards, but making paper chains happen early in the proceedings. Here are this year’s efforts: (Must admit it was more my effort than the daughters!)
I also begin to use paperchains as an activity in my coaching work with children this month. By adding some writing to the back of each strip of paper before forming the links, the chain becomes a stream of thoughts or ideas that are meaningful to the child. It has just occured to me that this would be nice to do with my 6 year old. Who scribes in unimportant. She could write or I could ‘catch her words’ and record them for her. When I do this with my daughter, I’ll help her create a chain called ‘Some of My Favourite Bits of 2011.’
All you need to do this are:
If time allows and you choose to make the strips with the child, Model the fact that they can be of mismatched width and length. Keep the ugly spectre of perfectionism out of the session or it will eat at the time and space you’ve created.
I have used the paperchains to:
Some other ideas could be:
Any starters such as ’3 things that . . .’ or ‘My favourite . . . ‘ will work. In the conversation you may also talk about less positive experiences. These can be included in a starter such as ‘ When bad/ tricky/ sad things happened I learnt that . . . ‘ Alternatively these could be used as a way to begin thinking about their hopes and goals for the year ahead, or how they’ll use what they’ve learnt. On these links, children could start with ideas similar to the following:
Really, the ideas are as limitless as your imagination. The chain simply represents a recording mechanism for some aspect of life or your work. If something meaningful is created, it’s a lovely tangible way to hold onto it for awhile.
Some children have chosen to write on the inside of the link, allowing their ideas to remain hidden, whilst others have formed the links with the writing displayed on the outside surface.
There is no correct method! Do it your way, or be lead by the child’s way. It’s a papechain afterall- it aint that heavy!
Enjoy, be creative and really connect and talk with your children or the children that you work with.