for Columbus Day Halloween Workshop
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Westport News)
Westport, CT – Fluttering ghosts, cobwebs, gravestones and skeletons. Not exactly the kinds of things you would associate with Columbus Day. But the workshop session held Monday at the Westport Historical Society was a fun way for coordinators to use a day off from Westport Public Schools to look ahead to and get kids excited about the popular holiday.
“This is the first year WHS has done a Halloween craft day,” said program leader Elizabeth DeVoll. “And it’s because I love Halloween. I had been doing this kind of thing out of my home for a long time. It’s a great alternative to the typical Halloween associations of store-bought costumes and candy.”
Held primarily in the finished basement area of the facility at 25 Avery Place, the day’s activities included cutting out and making hinged paper skeletons and owls, haunted house dioramas, interactive themed drama led by Jen Devine, ghosts made from Styrofoam peanuts and Q-tips, a spooky treasure hunt, trick-or-treat bag making, fun with a black cat piñata and pipecleaner spiders.
Setting the mood in the activity rooms – which also included the Sheffer Gallery – was themed décor that had been carefully placed all about: “Enter if you dare” caution tape, knitted pumpkin and black cat figures, strings of blinking eyes, chalk drawings of jack o’lanterns and even a white rubber mouse.
About two dozen children participated, taking turns standing around three long tables covered with yellow paper. Scraps of paper, pipecleaners, glue and cobweb materials flew everywhere as the kids busily worked at their crafts.
“I went to one of these workshops before, during Easter, and it was really fun,” said Olivia Valante, 8, of Westport, “so I knew I would have a good time today. I’m going to use what I make to decorate my house and given some other things to my family.”
You could say everyone had a spooktacular time, with more treats than tricks enjoyed by all.