Families ‘Make a Turkey Out of a Potato’ at Tang Teaching Museum
"I like bringing the community together and connecting with kids and their families.”
— activity director Sunny Ra
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.
» Dozens of families came to the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College on Saturday for a fun, free, Thanksgiving themed take-home craft.
The 17th annual “Make a Turkey Out of a Potato” day had a very good turnout. Many people were “repeat customers,” who come each year as a tradition.
“I like bringing the community together and connecting with kids and their families,” said activity director Sunny Ra, who joined the Tang team this summer. Ra is the Museum’s educator for K-12 and community programs.
Though the festive take-home craft is a familiar routine for the Tang Teaching Museum at this point, it still takes quite a bit of preparation.
“The last couple of days, we went to BJ’s to get about 400 potatoes,” commented Ra. “Getting ready for this activity took a lot of teamwork and energy for working with all the kids.”
Ra’s capable and friendly team included four on-call educators and three Skidmore students, who spent their time moving from table to table and keeping an eye on everyone
(educators call this process “floating”). They refilled tables with supplies, greeted newcomers, and gave lots of compliments on the creative masterpieces being built.
The tables in the activity room were loaded with potatoes, feathers, pipe cleaners, wiggly eyes, craft sticks, beads, buttons, felt, scissors, tacky glue - and more. Crafters were free to build a turkey any way they chose. There was no formal instruction, no wrong way to do it. Parents and children alike, let their imaginations run as they designed their colorful creations.
“I like doing the feathers,” said Molly Jepson, 9, as she carefully worked on her potato.
“It’s great. It gets us out of the house to do something,” added DJ Jepson, Molly’s father. The Jepsons have been coming to Tang Teaching Museum to make potato turkeys for at least three years.
“It’s fun,” said Kendall Cicardi, 9, as she showed off her turkey.
“I like creating turkeys,” agreed Sienna Hall, 9.
Some children thought a little more outside the box for their work. Brothers Connor and Braden Moore, 12 and 6, respectively, not only put together turkeys but also made tiny “turkey babies” and built beds for them out of craft sticks.
“We are making stuff that is really awesome!” exclaimed Braden as he worked.
“I like this just as much as he does! I made this little guy, and now I’m making a bed,” said Connor as he proudly showed off his creations.
“It’s so much fun using all this stuff,” added their mother Christine. “They love arts and crafts.”
The Make a Turkey Out of a Potato family activity was the last one of the year for the Tang Museum. The museum will reopen in February for its spring semester of activities.
“We do eight or nine activities each semester, and over the summer,” explained Ra. “This year we also piloted two new programs, our Saturday Tween program and our Thursday Tang Teen Studio. We’re trying to diversify and accommodate the needs of all kids, not just the little ones.”
The Tang Teaching Museum already has a well-established reputation for accommodating needs. They are an all-abilities organization with an outreach program that helps children all over the capital region. Educators regularly travel up to an hour in any given direction from the Museum to bring programs to a variety of schools and educational organizations, from BOCES to community centers to Saratoga Bridges.
“We really want to increase our reach and make sure that everyone knows that all are welcome,” said Ra.
To learn more about events and exhibitions at the museum, visit https:// tang.skidmore.edu/.
From left to right: Connor Moore, 12, Christine Moore, and Braden Moore, 6, make turkeys and more at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College.
Families are busy at work making turkeys out of potatoes.
Molly Jepson, 9, shows off her work in progress.
Kendall Cicardi, left, and Sienna Hall, right, both 9, show off their turkey creations.
Hard at work creating a potato-turkey masterpiece.