Last year, Maddie was enthralled with the movie version of Room on the Broom. I can’t remember how we found it, but it was on repeat on our Amazon Prime account for quite a number of months. She loved the witch and all of her furry, feathered, and slimy companions. I suspected she enjoyed the wonderful narration, or at least that was my favorite part. Now that she’s older and I have learned more about her personality, I am sure that it was its magical aspects and the inclusion of a dragon that kept her interest.
Unfortunately, we didn’t discover it until after Halloween. It did, though, start giving her context for Halloween early, and to my delight, she still enjoys the story this Halloween season. In honor of the book and in the spirit of Halloween, we decided to make witches brooms for our Halloween craft. The girls and I enjoyed several night walks over the summer, and they became quite fond of the walking sticks that they would collect along the way. More correctly stated, they enjoyed the walking stick that the other had collected along the way. Much moderation was needed over the possession of walking sticks.
At the end of the season, one lone walking stick survived in our garage. If we were going to make two brooms, which of course we had to, we would need another. The girls and I headed out behind the house to a lovely and very small woodsy area to collect a stick. This short task turned into an all-night adventure as the girls took out all the suitable sticks they could find and tossed them for our dog, Savannah. Due to the distraction, we postponed the finishing of the brooms to the next night. They enjoyed the brooms but, I fear, much more enjoyed the stick-finding adventure in the backyard.
What You’ll Need
1. Find your suitably sized stick! This, of course, is the most fun part. Remember to have long talks about keeping the stick on the ground and off the walls, and that they are not fighting instruments.
2. Cut yarn strips to desired length. You will need a lot of them so remember to leave yourself enough time to prep them.
3. Cut felt into a small, rectangular strip.
4. Lay the felt flat on the table and put a strip of Elmer’s glue down the middle. Have the kids line up the yarn, making sure that there is none sticking out of the top of the felt.
5. Once they have the yarn all the way to the end of the felt, reinforce the Elmer’s glue with a line or two of hot glue. Allow to dry.
6. Fold felt with yarn strips around the bottom end of the stick so that the yarn falls downward. Use the hot glue to seal the ends together.
Nurture the Experience
What are witches? For kids, witches are a symbol of Halloween. They have a classic form with a hat, crooked noise, and a broom, but how did it come to be that way? In reality, witches were those who practiced the traditions of Witchcraft. Witchcraft includes, but is not limited to, the belief in magic, power of prayer, and knowledge of natural substances that can be made into “potions.” Historically, witches were sought for these potions, which were used for many things including curing headaches and other bodily ailments. The word ‘witch’ comes from the words ‘wicca’ (female) and ‘wicche’ (male). Over time, the male form of the word started being referred to as warlock or soceror. The female version became commonly referred to as witch. The mention of witches dates as far back as the Bible. The depiction of the modern witch is said to come from the German artist Albrecht Durer in his two engravings, The Four Witches and Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat.
The recommended reading for this activity is, of course, Room on the Broom. This is a story of a witch, her cat, and her broom. The witch is kind and generous. The cat is loyal and wary of change. On their flights, the witch loses several items, including her hair bow. Each time they find a new friend. The cat is not at all interested in the new friends, but they do come in handy when the witch needs them the most.
It is a wonderfully told tale that is sure to be a Halloween classic in your household.