Then came the idea to make banana leaf place mats. I went to the dollar store and picked up some green poster board and some darker green yarn. I made a template from a piece of cardboard and each of us traced the shape of the leaf, then cut the leaf out.
Next we used a hole punch and put holes all the way around the edge, and two rows down the center of the leaf. Then, just as my littles used to work on their fine motor skills doing the lacing cards, we each laced our "veins" of the banana leaf.
As we worked I wasn't quite sure how they were going to look. We had to double up a few of the laces to keep the angle of the "veins" looking like a real leaf. Now that they are done, I think that they look very nice and even though they don't look quite like a real banana leaf, they will look quite lovely on our dinner table in a couple of weeks as we conclude our tour of Cuba.