Do you have small children that you need to entertain while finishing up holiday meal preparations? Choose an adult who, despite their best intentions, is not as handy in the kitchen, and send them all out on a natural treasure hunt that will surely lead to a wonderful holiday memory.
The task: find some bits and pieces of nature that can be used to fashion place cards at the dinner table.
A little walk around The Beekman Farm gave me the idea for these miniature trees inspired equally by my childhood love of the landscapes surrounding model train sets and my adult love of bonsai.
Find branches of trees or shrubs that have a shape similar to a full-grown tree. (This is a great exercise for children in building observational skills). Just like bonsai, members of the conifer family work well.
Next find something that can be used as a base into which you can insert the end of the twig and that has a flat surface to sit on the table. I found beautiful acorn caps and used a low speed drill to create a hole.
If the branches are on the heavy side, you may need to add a little extra weight to the base. We used some Playdoh since it is non-toxic.
Either have kids write each family member’s name on a small white piece of cardstock or do as we did and print them up on the computer beforehand. Allow them to “place” the adults around the table. They’ll get a big kick out of that!
Share with us some of your ideas for keeping kids entertained with nature-inspired crafts.