I came across this great paper chain technique on World Preschool Mom's Blog. I had fun modifying the technique for Asian New Year and Valentines Day themed chains.
Tip: Sulfite Construction Paper rocks! The colors are brighter, the paper is smoother and most importantly the colors don't fade as quickly (which is key when your making something that will be hanging up for a bit.).
The technique takes a bit more work but I can see a crafty middle schooler having a blast with this.
The foundation of the chain is a series of handcuff or barbell (two circles held together by a thin rectangle) shape folded in half and then linked together. You can change the scale and design once you get the hang of it.
If you are varying from the basic shape I would create a template.
1. Cut a piece of construction paper in half (the short way.)
2. Take one piece and fold in half.
3. Trace your template shape. Make sure the folded edge is on the rectangle side not on the circle side.
4. Cut out.
5. Fold rabbit head in half (lining up the ears and circle) cut out center circle.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 until you have enough pieces to start stringing together.
7. Take one piece (the red one in picture) keep folded in half. Thread second piece (the white one) through circle of the first piece.
8. Fold in half like picture. Repeat until you have a chain.
I made a Valentine's Day Chain too.
I cut the paper the long way for the the hearts.
Traced my template and cut out.
Linked together. So much fun! Flowers would be cute too! Lots of possibilities...
Check out World Preschool Mom's Blog for more detailed instructions and other paper chain ideas.