Thanksgiving Place Mats – Rewritable

Thanksgiving Placemats Title

Well I said there was a craft coming to correlate with my cornucopia history lesson and here it is! I thought it would be an excellent idea to make our own place mats to use on Thanksgiving Day and incorporating the cornucopia or “Horn of Plenty” was a cinch.

Thanksgiving Placemat Supplies

The supplies needed for this project were mostly basic for those who have scrap booking supplies handy. The only things I had to buy were contact paper and colored poster board.

To make the construction of this project more smooth and to save time, I precut all the rectangles, circles, and coloring pictures (including a large cornucopia) my girls would need to layer. They had their hands full enough with gluing and coloring to make for a creative experience. Besides, I doubt my five or two year old would have had the patience all that scissor handling would have required!

The goal was for the place mats to be constructed similarly to the above photo. I put my two year old’s together for her and just let her color away. This kept her involved while at the same time, gave my five and seven year old a visual guide.

Placemat Process

As a perfectionist I can tell you that it took ALL of my self control not to direct my older girl’s placements during gluing. The urge to take over and make sure everything was centered almost conquered the belief that my girls needed to be free to own the experience and practice those skills for themselves. But I kept my distance because I know the genuine work of my children’s hands are precious keepsakes and my involvement would have killed the innocence.

Once my girls were satisfied with their mats, I covered both the front and back with clear contact paper and trimmed it. I was forced to trim tightly to the edges because I had cut the poster board a little large. It’s ideal, however, to have a lip of contact paper all the way around so that liquid spills (which with my girls happens three times daily) do not seep through.

Thanksgiving Placemats Example

The last final touch, which I am so tickled to share, will explain why there are three blank rectangles to the right of the place mats. These are the spaces we created to write down things we are thankful for. Contact paper is compatible with dry erase markers which makes it possible for us to erase and rewrite a new set of “thanks” as often as we want! What child doesn’t like to write and erase? This feature far extended the life of and excitement for the project. Not only that, but many thanks were able to be encouraged and given to our Lord at the perfect time of year!

(See the category Kids Learn – Holiday – Cornucopia Haiku for a breif synopsis of the history of the cornucopia)



A Cornucopia Haiku


For Thanksgiving this year I will be teaching my girls about cornucopias. In my research I have learned a lot. I was expecting these to tie into the American Thanksgiving story, but their origin is much older than that. I discovered they are explained in a Greek mythology depicting baby Zeus accidentally breaking off his nursemaid’s (a goat goddess) horn, which in turn poured forth bounty eternally. I found that many historical paintings and statues depict Greek gods or powerful figures holding cornucopias as a sign of plenty. In fact the word cornucopia means “horn of plenty” in Latin.

Even though I intend to give my girls the full truth behind these horns, which have been Americanized into weaved wicker and false fruit decor. I wanted to highlight our faith in the Lord our King and Creator above all. So in a creative moment on this Saturday afternoon a haiku was born. I wrote the following to highlight where true bounty comes from. It’s simple, it’s fun, and I think just right for my second grader and kindergartener.

A Cornucopia Haiku

By: Christina K. Cappon  2013

  There is a large horn,

spilling great bounty for all

who have sincere need.

There are red apples,

quenching thirst with life giving

juice buried inside.

There are green pears,

sitting in misshapen squats,

with freckles abroad.

There are orange pumpkins,

who’s stems droop falling asleep,

dressed in lumps and bumps.

There are purple grapes,

small all huddled together

like sweet family.

There are yellow corn,

peeping out of hairy husks

ready to be seen.

There are brown walnuts,

with stubborn shells to be cracked

for reward inside.

There is a large horn,

spilling great bounty for all

who have sincere need

God holds this large horn,

as a ready offering

for all His children.

It is the Lord God

who holds all bounty in hand

as creator king.

His love pours freely

and His promised provision

for those who fear Him.

Reach forth to take hold

of God’s blessing and goodness

his bounty for all.

Receive your good choice,

apple, pumpkin, pear, or corn

grape and walnut too.

Give thanks to the Lord,

creator and provider

for your sincere need.

 I intend to tie this little lesson in with a Thanksgiving placemat craft. You will have to watch my blog to see how I tie that in and how they work out!