By Julia Jones, Correspondent
Bell County Museum’s education coordinator, Kayte Ricketts, loves New Year’s Eve, but she has a problem with how it’s celebrated.
“There’s not always a lot of things for kids to do at New Year’s Eve,” Ricketts said. “I wanted to offer something to the kids in the community to actually have fun even if they didn’t get to stay up until midnight tomorrow.”
To give local children something to do, she planned and executed Bell County Museum’s first New Year’s Eve craft day on Saturday, Dec. 30. Kids from the community crafted paper hats and sparkling fireworks in preparation for Dec. 31.
Gaby Bourgeois brought her kids to the craft day to give them something fun to do that would keep them out of the cold.
“It’s something they can be active on,” Bourgeois said. “It keeps them from being bored when there’s not a whole lot to do inside with the weather getting cold.”
Along with the hands-on crafts, Ricketts set up a Makey Makey, a device that conducts electricity from a computer into Play-Doh buttons that she shaped into the number 2018. By touching the Play-Doh, kids could fill the computer screen with different colored fireworks.
Kids colored hats and miniature banners with the year “2018” in the center, and made fireworks out of scouring pads, paint and lots of glitter.
The event was aided by a small group of high school and college volunteers like Jessica Dickson, who graduated from Belton New Tech last year and currently studies anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I’ve been volunteering here for like two and a half years,” Dickson said. “I really enjoy working with the museum and the kids.”
Rickets wants to keep this New Year’s Eve celebration going in future years to give children the opportunity to learn about the holiday while giving them a safe, warm place to go in the winter.
“It’s going to be an annual thing,” she said. “The activities might change here and there, but it’s going to be every year.”
The museum’s next event is in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 13. From 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., kids will be crafting a unity banner that will be displayed in the museum and learning about civil rights. Starting at 3:30, Texas State University professor Dr. Dwight Watson will give a lecture about Martin Luther King Jr.