When I was a kid, I loved making Christmas countdown paperchains at school. So, when my kids were old enough, we started making them at home and they quickly became one of our family Christmas traditions. Since, we make the paperchain at home, we’ve jazzed it up a bit and have added fun activities and holiday events to the chain links, which the kids look forward to discovering each day.
To assemble the paperchain, the kids cut out the strips, make loops and staple them together. We then attach it to the wall and top the whole thing off with a cute Christmas Countdown sign. I am sharing our template, activity and event ideas, in case you want to make one too. Enjoy!
25 Days of Christmas Countdown Ideas for Kids in Des Moines
- December 1st – Write a Letter to Santa. A few area Parks and Recreation Departments, including Ankeny Parks and Recreation, are accepting letters and will send a reply to your child.
- December 2nd – Read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Enjoy many holiday story times at Libraries all over the metro.
- December 3rd – Sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. You can sing along with him at Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Musical at Stephens Auditorium in Ames.
- December 4th – Look at Holiday Lights. Drive through Jolly Holiday Lights or another light display in Des Moines.
- December 5th – Enjoy a Live Show. A couple of picks: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Des Moines Playhouse and A Christmas Carol at Terrace Hill.
- December 6th – Ride the Santa Express. Ride the rails with Santa on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad.
- December 7th – Build a Gingerbread House. You can make it look like a Des Moines landmark.
- December 8th – Sing Jingle Bells. Go caroling around your neighborhood.
- December 9th – Make an Ornament for Someone. Spread a little Christmas cheer to a neighbor, grandparent, friend, or teacher.
- December 10th – Attend Jingle in the Junction. Stroll through Historic Valley Junction, see Santa and his reindeer, listen to carolers and get some holiday shopping done.
- December 11th – Watch the Polar Express. See it for FREE courtesy of the Urbandale Community Action Network.
- December 12th – Enjoy Breakfast with Santa. Old St. Nick won’t waste away this year. He will be enjoying breakfast at many locations around Des Moines. You can find where he will be on our calendar.
- December 13th – Attend the Nutcracker Ballet. You don’t want to miss seeing Clara or The Mouse King on a Central Iowa stage this holiday season.
- December 14th – Watch a Holiday Movie Classic. You can find many to watch on TV this holiday season.
- December 15th – Visit Santa. Give him your list and have your photo taken at Bass Pro Shops, Jordan Creek Town Center, Merle Hay Mall or Valley West Mall.
- December 16th – Go on a Christmas in Des Moines Scavenger Hunt. Create a fun family adventure and find all kinds of Christmas fun in your own backyard.
- December 17th – Enjoy a Sweet Treat. Beaverdale Confections and Chocolate Storybook will both have a little something in store.
- December 18th – Go Ice Skating. Brenton Skating Plaza is open for the season.
- December 19th – Eat Out. Let the kids pick the place and treat the fam to a holiday meal at a fun Des Moines restaurant.
- December 20th – Go on a Sleigh Ride. Go dashing through the snow at Jester Park Equestrian Center.
- December 21st – Help Wrap Presents. Put your little elves to work and have them help you finish up your wrapping.
- December 22nd – Bake Cookies for Santa. Keep your eyes peeled for our favorite sugar cookie recipe! We’ll be sharing it in the near future.
- December 23rd – Go Sledding or Skiing. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow! Go skiing or sledding at Seven Oaks in Boone.
- December 24th – Don’t Forget Santa’s Cookies! And, lay out a carrot or two for the reindeer.
- December 25th – Merry Christmas!!!
FREE Paperchain Printable
Download the Christmas Paperchain: 11.26.15 Chritmas Countdown 4 Kids in Des Moines
How does your family countdown the days to Christmas? We want to hear!