I am beyond excited to announce that the Astrobrights Papers' Colorize Your Classroom contest is back for another great year! The wonderful team at Astrobrights loves educators (almost as much as they love color!) and they want to encourage teachers to use color in their classrooms for a chance to win a yearlong Astrobrights sponsorship worth $5,000. Studies show that color can increase memory by up to 50 percent and help students remain engaged. What better reason to Colorize than to help your students?
This is a sponsored post. I received payment, trade and/or products from Astrobrights in exchange for promoting. This post also contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links. However, all opinions stated are my own and I only promote products I love.
Using Color for Classroom Decor
By now, you know that I have a passion for classroom design and I love to incorporate color into my kindergarten classroom. Today's challenge is all about how you can give your own classroom a bold burst of color in a budget-friendly way. I'll show you how to use folded paper to put a fun twist on the traditional paper chain. You can hang this geometric garland anywhere in the classroom to create a fun and energized learning space.
You'll want to plan ahead and think carefully about what type of pattern you wish you create with the folded strips. You will use 2 strips of paper at a time so consider which 2 colors you want to go together. While it is perfectly ok to use 2 strips of paper in the same color (such as Lunar Blue), you may want to capitalize on the “peekaboo” effect that happens as the papers are folded. Perhaps mixing Celestial Blue with Lunar Blue would be better because the contrast would create more drama within the folds. You can use as many colors as you wish throughout the chain, so consider if you wish to create a garland with a complete color spectrum (the way I did) or perhaps have fun experimenting with an ombre effect. The possibilities are endless!
For my paper chain, I decided to consistently use a strip of Eclipse Black paper folded among the bright colors. Using one color on the entire chain created consistency and the black added an extra punch of contrast.
How to Make a Folded Paper Chain
Once your color scheme is selected, you are ready to get started. Begin with two paper strips. Place the strips perpendicular to each other, making sure to align them at their shared corner. Use a glue stick to glue the 2 strips of paper together in this position.
Start folding with the bottom strip of paper – fold it up across the top strip.
Next, fold the other strip of paper up and across the previously folded section.
Repeat the process, alternating which paper strip you fold each time as you gradually make a paper chain.
After a few folds of each color, you will need to extend your paper strips to continue the garland. To do so, place a fresh strip of paper across the top of the folded square.
Apply a generous amount of glue onto the bottom edge of the new strip and fold the previous strip up onto the glue to create an extension.
Repeat the process for the remaining strip that has run out of paper and use the extensions to keep folding. Each time you run out of paper, use glue to extend the paper strips again. You can choose to change colors when you add a new strip or continue the entire paper garland in the existing 2-tone color scheme.
Here's a look at how the spectrum changed as I added successive colors to my own paper chain.
When you have reached the desired length of your garland, glue the final fold of each color down to prevent the paper chain from “unravelling”. Allow the glue to dry and then hang your creation!
Get Creative with Folded Paper Chains
Make this project your own and experiment with different sizes of papers. Skinnier strips are more difficult to work with, but they are equally beautiful and interesting! Try using 1” strips. This photo shows a garland made with 1/2”strips of Astrobrights paper next to a 2″ strip that used two similar colors throughout the chain, rather than black.
Use a Folded Paper Chain as Classroom Decor
This DIY paper garland is the perfect way to add color and excitement to your classroom. Use it to create a focal point in the room to draw in the eyes of visitors when they first walk in. Perhaps the focal point of your classroom is a bank of windows. If so, hang the garland as bunting along your windows. You can also transform your classroom library into a special space for students by hanging a few long strands of this paper chain. Watch your children ooh and ahh each time they visit the area.
Involve Students in the Process
Depending on the age of your students, it’s also a fabulous project for children to get involved in creating. Let the class take ownership of their learning environment by teaching them to make the paper garland. Each student can create a section of the chain, which you can glue or staple together to create extended versions to hang in the classroom.
Colorize Your Classroom Decor
Now is your turn to add a spark of color to your own classroom to ignite student learning. I've shared a little inspiration for an easy way to incorporate color into your classroom decor, but the the sky is the limit for your creativity. Think you have a bright idea? Grab your favorite colors of paper or cardstock and start decorating! You could add a paper chain to your classroom or decorate in a completely unique and creative way. Your classroom is a blank canvas and the sky is the limit!
You may recall some of fun I had last month during the Bright Minds Summit. We spent a lot of time on that trip preparing to make this year's Colorize Your Classroom Contest even better than the year before and I can't wait for you to see what we were up to.