HYC hosts virtual holiday crafts

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Child and Youth Program Assistant Brenda Taxeras shows holiday craft activity participants how to cut shapes into a stack of glued bags to create a snowflake Dec. 15 at Harrold Youth Center. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the class was conducted via Zoom instead of in person. Taxeras led two other holiday-themed activity sessions, making hot cocoa Dec. 17 and baking gingerbread cookies while listening to the ukulele students play seasonal music Dec. 22. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Voila! In just a few steps, five Harrold Youth Center students had snowflakes made out of paper bags lit up with mini-LED lights to decorate their home.

Brenda Taxeras, Child and Youth Program Assistant, led the children in the first of three holiday-themed craft activities Dec. 15 via video teleconference from HYC.

“Since we can’t have an in-person holiday party or all the things for holidays like we would normally do…we tried to think of things that we could have them do at home,” Taxeras said.

Child and Youth Program Assistant Brenda Taxeras returns a thumbs up to holiday craft activity participants as they begin gluing bags together, the first step in making a lit paper snowflake, Dec. 15 at Harrold Youth Center. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the class was conducted via Zoom instead of in person. Taxeras led two other holiday-themed activity sessions, making hot cocoa Dec. 17 and baking gingerbread cookies while listening to the ukulele students play seasonal music Dec. 22. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Before the live video session, children picked up kits at HYC that contained the craft supplies needed.

To create the snowflakes, first the children glued eight white paper bags together on top of each other gluing along the bottom flap and the middle line.

Second, they used a pencil to design a pattern along the sides and then cut it out.

“It doesn’t have to be perfectly symmetrical,” Taxeras explained.

Third, they slowly opened up the snowflake, making adjustments cutting and gluing as they went before gluing both ends together.

“You guys are better cutters than me,” Taxeras said as some of the children showed her their snowflake design.

Fourth, they strung the lights through the holes of the snowflake and glued the battery pack along one of the back flaps.

“That’s beautiful guys,” Taxeras said.

Finally, they punched a hole in one of the points of the snowflake to run the ribbon through for hanging.

Child and Youth Program Assistant Brenda Taxeras fans out a stack of glued bags after cutting shapes to create a snowflake to show holiday craft activity participants what it should look like Dec. 15 at Harrold Youth Center. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the class was conducted via Zoom instead of in person. Taxeras led two other holiday-themed activity sessions, making hot cocoa Dec. 17 and baking gingerbread cookies while listening to the ukulele students play seasonal music Dec. 22. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Taxeras said she found various crafts like these on a do-it-yourself art site that she’s been working with since the pandemic first hit to replace the normal 4-5 p.m. activity time they would have with the children in-person during the week.

“With all the stuff that’s going on right now and everything that they hear on the news, and a lot of it is so negative, doing the stuff ‘from here’ at least hopefully can give them the sense of we’re still here and we’re still moving forward,” Taxeras said. “You’re not forgotten. We’re still waiting hopefully for them to come back.

“It’s important that they stick with it and that we give them things that they can still have a fun way to experience a specific skill or bit of knowledge,” she said.

HYC hosted other holiday activities including homemade cocoa mix in holiday-themed wrapping Dec. 17 and gingerbread cookie baking Dec. 22.

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