B and A top

Just a few more days and we can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

You know, deer, eel, mussels, maybe some lobster and clams. And by traditional, I obviously mean traditional — foods likely served at the first Thanksgiving get-together.

Of course, nowadays, it’s all turkey and potatoes and that can of cranberry sauce you just know someone is going to serve.

I like this fun, easy craft not just to give school-free kids something to do with their time, but to also explain the significance and difficulty of old-school food gathering.

Culinary historians say there may have been some wild turkeys at the first Thanksgiving, but it could also have been other wild fowl, such as pigeon or swans. They were very likely killed with bows and arrows or spears, the weapons of choice for Wampanoag hunters.

In about five minutes, you can make your very own miniature bow and arrow set using stuff you already have in an art bin and medicine cabinet. And who knows, you just might start a discussion about food gathering and gratefulness.

Here’s What You Need

  • Craft sticks
  • Dental floss
  • A knife or scissors
  • Q-tips

Here’s What You Do


For starters, cut notches in the ends of the craft sticks. These will be use to secure the string to the wood.

Once you have your notches, bend the sticks into bow shapes. Be careful, as they sometimes snap, but a few minutes of gentle bending should do the trick. (You can also soak sticks in water for about 10 minutes to make them easier to bend.)

Once you’re good with the shape, cut off a long string of floss and tie one end to the notches. Be generous with the floss. It’s easier to cut off excess than it is to tie tiny ends of floss …

Now, stretch the floss across the bow tightly and tie the other end. Pretty easy to do. Let’s move on to the arrows.


Simply cut one end off a Q-tip and voila, you have a soft arrow.

Best of luck, turkeys. Or swans. Or eels.

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About Mike Adamick

Mike Adamick

Mike Adamick is a stay-at-home dad, writer, inveterate tinkerer, and author of the best selling family craft book, "Dad's Book of Awesome Projects." He writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, NPR and many other outlets when he's not sewing his daughter's clothes, woodworking, or training for crazy mud runs. His science book, "The Family Lab," is due in early 2014 and will feature scores of kitchen sink science experiments for the whole family.

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