We are ridiculously excited over here! We leave for Disneyland in 10 days!! The kids are over the moon excited! We will be going to the “happiest place on earth” with my in-laws and my sister-in-law for 4 jam packed days filled with fun, churros, and maybe a turkey leg or two. This will be Lyla’s 4th time and Brady’s 3rd time.
We haven’t been in about 18 months, so I think we are really looking forward to seeing how Brady is going to react when he sees and experiences Disneyland for basically the “first” time because the last time we were there he was just 18 months. Lyla is tall enough now to go on almost any ride, so that’s going to be super fun for her. She loves roller coasters. I will never forget how shocked I was when she went on the Materhorn with my hubby when she was just 2.
In an effort to get everyone
to stop asking me about excited about how many days until we go to Disneyland, I made this adorable “Disneyland Countdown Chain”. Lyla was pretty sick about three weeks ago and was home from school for 4 days in a row. She was so tired of laying around watching movies, but not well enough to re-enter the land of living. So I thought my craft-loving girl would really enjoy this fun activity and I was right. I found it on Pinterest. (You can follow my Disneyland board here. The original pin can be found here.) I used their free-printables and some of their daily activities printables to make the chain, but I didn’t follow their directions completely and didn’t use their pattern. I kinda free-styled a bit. Here’s what I did.
Using construction paper I had on-hand, I gathered up black, yellow, white, red, light blue, and pink and separated them into piles. I used the thickness of my ruler and drew lines using the width of the paper so Lou could cut them into strips. We did this five weeks out, and I did one for each kid. So there was a lot of cutting and a lot of math to figure out how many of each color was needed. The pattern has four different rings. After I knew how many of each color was needed it was smooth sailing.
I used my paper cutter to help out Lou and to make the ones she did a little neater.
Their pattern had a cute, but different shape, for each different strip of paper including the ears. This wasn’t going to work for me for many reasons, so I used the same technique with my ruler, this time with a white crayon, but added the ears using a roll of tape. Sometimes you just have to use what’s on-hand. They ended up being the right size! So instead of getting seven strips out of each sheet I got only four because I skipped every other one so the ears had enough space.
I sorted through their daily activities and used the ones I liked and the ones I knew I could actually do. Lyla really loves when she get’s a white one. Some of the activities are “hop around like Tigger”, “practice your Disneyland smile in the mirror”, and “check out the map of Disneyland to decide where to go first”. See, super doable but they totally get the kids pumped up!!
Here are my finished pieces ready for assembly. The free printables they had to offer were really cute! However, use some heavy card stock to make the top piece. It’s what holds the long chain on the wall so it needs to be strong. I glued the activities onto the white strips.
These bows took me forever to cut, but they are sooooo cute.
To assemble the Mickey chain, start with a white strip (the arms), make it a circle, and staple it together. Do the same with the black ears strip except you bend the ears out so they can be seen. Remember I used white crayon to make my template, so to hide the crayon I had the ears at the back instead of in the front (like they had on their tutorial). Then move onto the red strip (for the body) and, lastly, the yellow strip (for the shoes). Then repeat all the steps until you have enough weeks for your countdown. Mickey’s buttons are completed in the last step.
To assemble the Minnie chain, start with a white strip (the arms), make it a circle, and staple it together. Do the same with the black ears strip except you bend the ears out so they can be seen. Remember I used white crayon to make my template, so to hide the crayon I had the ears at the back instead of in the front. Then move onto the blue strip (for the body) and, lastly, the pink strip (for the shoes). Then repeat all the steps until you have enough weeks for your countdown. The bows are attached in the last step.
When the chains are both completed, hang them on the wall. I used Command hooks because I didn’t want to make any holes in my wall. I used a red fabric ribbon for Mickey and a pink gingham one for Minnie. (Again, this was a sick day and I couldn’t really leave the house, so I was using ribbon scraps I had here.) I measured them against each other to make sure the wear the same size since they hang next to each other, about 12 inches. I looped the ribbon through the top white ring of the chain and tied the ends of the ribbon together with a knot. I hung them on their hooks. Then, using double sided tape, popped those adorable top buttons onto the ribbons. They say, “Grab your ears, it’s time for cheers. Countdown to Disneyland”. Super cute! Once it was complete and hung, I glued on Minnie’s bows and Mickey’s buttons. I used a regular hole punch and card stock to make Mickey’s buttons. I used regular old Elmers to attach Minnie’s bows and Mickey’s buttons to the rings.
Pretty cute right? The kids have had a really fun time removing a piece of the chain each day. Plus, it’s a daily reminder for me to remember all the things I have to do to get ready for the big trip.
Bonus: Lyla decided (all on her own) that she wanted to cut up each individual chain into little pieces once they are removed. She has been collecting them in a ziplock bag. She said she is going to use all those little pieces to create a mosaic when we get back from Dland. OK, she didn’t say the word “mosaic”, but that’s exactly what she’s described. Go girl! Recyling, creativity, and art – sooooooo awesome! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!
Have a great day!