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    A very easy Christmas craft to do with your residents is to make old-fashioned paper chains. This simple yet delightful activity is perfect for engaging seniors, including those with dementia. Every year before Christmas, we bring out the paper chain and add more links, making it longer each year. Hanging up our paper chains each Christmas brings back fond memories, as we see messages and names of past and present residents decorated on the paper chain links.

    Benefits of Making Christmas Paper Chains

    Making Christmas paper chains is a wonderful sensory activity, especially for seniors with dementia. It provides a tactile and visual experience that can stimulate memories and encourage creativity. The repetitive nature of linking the paper strips can be soothing, and the finished product offers a sense of accomplishment and communal contribution.

    Materials Needed for Christmas Paper Chains

    • Colored card stock
    • Scissors
    • Glue sticks
    • Christmas stickers
    • Glitter
    • Colored felt pens

    Step-by-Step Instructions

    Step 1: Preparing the Strips

    Cut the colored card into strips. Each strip will become a link in the paper chain. This is an excellent opportunity to involve the residents, allowing them to choose their favorite colors and patterns.

    Colored Papers
    Paper strips for Christmas paper chains

    Step 2: Decorating the Strips

    Let everyone decorate the strips with patterns, stickers, and glitter. Use little Christmas stickers for decoration; these can be easily purchased from a dollar store. Provide glitter and colored felt pens for everyone to use. Encourage the residents to write special messages along the cardboard strips, as well as their names. This personal touch makes the paper chain even more special and meaningful.

    Step 3: Creating the Links

    Once the strips are decorated, make a loop with one strip and glue the ends together. Then, take another decorated strip, loop it through the first link, and glue the ends together. Continue this process, linking each new loop to the previous one as you go.

    Step 4: Displaying the Paper Chains

    Hang the finished paper chains around your Christmas tree, pin them across the walls, or drape them over windows. The vibrant colors and personal messages will add a warm, festive touch to the room.

    Christmas Decorations
    Christmas paper chains

    Reflecting on the Experience

    Seeing the messages and names of past and present residents on the paper chain links brings back nice memories and creates a sense of continuity and community. Memory Lane Therapy believes that this annual tradition not only decorates the space but also honors the memories and contributions of all participants.

    Key Takeaway

    We hope you enjoy this Christmas activity as much as we do. Making paper chains is a simple yet meaningful way to bring joy and togetherness to the holiday season. Encourage creativity, share memories, and celebrate the festive spirit with this delightful craft.

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