How to make a paper chain octopus

Suitable for: 3 years +
Set up: 20 minutes


  • Balloon
  • Paper (or paper chain strips)
  • Tape
  • Glue stick
  • Pen
  • Wool and masking tape (optional)

The set up

Blow the balloon up and tie the bottom. Cut the paper into strips or you can buy strip of paper ready for paperchains! Take 8 strips of paper and glue each one into a loop (so you have 8 separate loops) Use the tape to stick each loop around the bottom of the balloon. 

If you want to hang the octopus from the ceiling tape some wool to the top of the balloon and cut the wool to length. Tape the other end of the wool to the ceiling using masking tape. 

Draw a face on your octopus and place the other strips of paper and glue close by ready to make your octopus’s tentacles. 

Playing With The Activity 

Ayla wasn’t massively interested in this one so I am going to leave it out for a little while to see if it sparks some more interest! While I did have her attention we counted the octopus’s tentacles and found out her had 8! Ayla threaded the paper through the chain before asking me to hold the paper so she could glue, she asked me to stick the paper which I did. We also looked at each tentacle to work out which ones were short and which ones were long so we knew where we needed to put out next paper chain.

Activities like this are great for…

  • Promoting fine motor development as they thread and stick the paper to make the chain longer.
  • Building an understanding of the world as you notice the features of the octopus.
  • Developing their knowledge of length and measurement as they make the tentacles longer.
  • Encouraging problem solving skills as they figure out the best way to glue and thread the paper.

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