Patriotic Crafts for Memorial Day
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Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May, and honors US service members who died in the line of duty. It’s a solemn holiday, but offers opportunity to teach older children about sacrifice and bravery. For younger kids, there are many patriotic crafts you can make to commemorate the occasion. We’ve collected three Memorial Day crafts for toddlers, one yummy recipe, and a way for children to support today’s troops.
Old Glory Place Mats
These mats not only make great patriotic crafts, they’re also surprisingly durable if you wipe them with a damp towel after use. If you’re careful, your flag mats might still be adorning the table for July 4th!
- a star paper punch
- contact paper
- paper towel
- red, white, and blue craft paper
Cut the blue paper to make a square that’s almost a quarter of the size of the paper towel. Using the hole puncher, make stars from the white paper. Cut the red paper into five long strips and three shorter strips.
Glue the stars to the blue paper (we’re making Memorial Day crafts for toddlers, so don’t worry if you wind up with fewer stars than are on the real flag). Once dry, glue the blue paper to the upper left corner of the paper towel.
Glue the red strips on the paper towel, using the shorter pieces for the top right corner of the flag. Let dry completely. This is important—if the glue is still wet, it will form glue puddles during the next step.
Place a piece of contact paper on the table or a firm, flat surface. Place the flag on the contact paper face down. Cover with a second piece of contact paper, press firmly, and you’ve got a patriotic table mat.
Red, White, and Blue Wreaths
This is one of the easiest patriotic crafts we know, but makes a lovely ornament. Kids get to practice tying knots and recognizing patterns while making it. You’ll need:
- Paper plates
- Three sheets of red, white, and blue felt.
Cut all the felt into strips about eight inches long, and cut out the center of the paper plate to make a base for the ring. As we’re talking about Memorial Day crafts for toddlers, you may want to do this in advance.
Tie the felt strips to the paper plate using simple double knots, alternating red, white, and blue felt until the wreath is full. Young children may get bored with the repetition, and that’s okay—just put the craft away for a day and come back to it later.
Kids love making handprints and footprints, and the result of this craft can only be described as adorable. You are dealing with a child with paint on his foot, so it’s a craft best done outside, if possible.
Paint most of the child’s food red, with a blue square in the corner where the big toe is. Have the child step onto a piece of paper to make the footprint.
Once the foot-flag is dry, paint a flagpole down the side and white strips across the red.
You’ve been making patriotic crafts all day, and it’s time for a treat. These pretty dipped strawberries are fun to make and offer chances to teach children basic kitchen skills. You’ll need:
- 1 bag of blueberry lollipops
- 1 bag of white chocolate chips
- 1 pint of strawberries
- Microwavable bowl
- Parchment paper
- Spoon and plate
- Zipper bag.
Rinse the strawberries and chill them in the refrigerator (chilling the fruit first helps the dip stick to the strawberries).
Unwrap the lollipops and place them in a folded piece of parchment paper. Put the parchment paper and lollipops in the zipper bag and use the mallet to reduce the candy to dust. Pour the dust onto a plate, remove the lollipop sticks, and set aside.
Pour the white chocolate chips into the bowl and microwave for one minute. Remove from the microwave and stir. Reheat this until the chips are fully melted.
Dip a strawberry into the dip, leaving the top quarter of the berry undipped. Let any extra dip drop off the strawberry. Holding the dipped strawberry over the lollipop dust plate, sprinkle pinches of the dust over the dip. Place on parchment paper and repeat with each strawberry.
Let the dipped strawberries sit for twenty minutes and then transfer to a plate. Refrigerate to let the dip completely harden, and enjoy your patriotic treat!
Gift Bags and Thank You Cards for Military Personnel
Memorial Day honors the fallen, but it’s also an opportunity to appreciate the brave men and women now serving in the armed forces. Non-profit groups such as Operation We Are Here offer guides on how to prepare and send care packages to personnel stationed overseas. Make up a care package and include a thank-you card drawn or painted by your child, and you’ll make overseas service just a little easier for a deserving service member.