Why do it?

Why do it? — He aha e mahi ai?

Making paper chains means that tamariki can:

  • have an opportunity to create decorations the whānau can enjoy
  • make something that can contribute to whānau celebrations
  • use and strengthen the fine motor skills used in drawing, cutting and stapling
  • enjoy making something simple using everyday materials.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

  • You’ll need some paper. Wrapping paper works well, so remember to save any from birthday or Christmas presents.
  • You also need a ruler, pencils, a stapler or sticky tape and some child-safe scissors.
  • If you’re using wrapping paper, turn it over and help your tamaiti to rule lines, marking strips about 1–2 cm wide.
  • Help them to cut along the lines to make the strips.
  • Measure and cut the strips into lengths of about 20 cm.
  • Have a practise at using the stapler. Talk them through it by saying something like, ‘Press hard with two hands and listen for the “click”.’
  • Remind them about using the stapler safely. Stapled fingers aren’t much fun.
  • Now turn the strips into links by folding the strip into an overlapping loop. Put the stapler across the overlap and staple.
  • If stapling isn’t suitable, use sticky tape to secure the chain links.
  • Loop another strip of paper into the previous one and keep going like this to make a chain.
  • Make the chain for as long as your tamaiti is happy to keep going.

Using more reo Māori

Christmas paper

Pepa Kirihimete

Birthday paper

Pepa rā whānau

Strip of paper

Ngaku pepa


Rākau ine, rūri



A straight line

He rārangi hāngai



Cut the paper into strips

Tapahia te pepa hei ngaku

To staple together


Staple the ends together

Tēparatia tahi i ngā mutunga



To join