On Memorial Day, families often spend time together grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, visiting with relatives or partaking in a community parade and activities. During a weekend devoted to honoring U.S. military members, consider bonding with your children by making crafts that teach the true meaning of the holiday. From hand-painted gifts for servicemen and women to flags that show their support of the troops, children can have fun doing hands-on activities with a special Memorial Day meaning.
This Memorial Day, ask your kids what it means to live in America by doing a craft to serve as a reminder of the privileges that surround them. Clip photographs of soldiers from magazines, help your kids take photographs of historic or patriotic monuments in your city, and/or prompt them to draw pictures that represent the true meaning of Memorial Day. Create one large collage or several smaller ones by gluing the images on a poster board that your kids can hang proudly at home or school.
Teach your children to give back to the community by honoring fallen servicemen and women with a craft that exudes patriotic pride. Begin by having your kids paint the rims of flowerpots white and the bases blue. Once the paint dries, have them draw or stencil white stars over the blue base and red stripes on the white rim to capture the spirit of the American flag. Fill the pot with soil and plant a small tree to display on your front porch during the holiday weekend. Take the weekend of honor to another level by making extra patriotic plants to give as gifts to local veterans marching in your area parade.
More Star-Spangled Decor
Get even craftier with your kids by creating handmade decorations, attire and miniature flags to put on display to show your support for the stars and stripes. Have the little ones spruce up their bikes by tying red, white and blue streamers on handlebars and seat. Tuck miniature flags in the bike handles and tape or glue red or blue stars made from cardstock in the tire spokes.
Decorate your home, too, with handmade Memorial Day crafts. Help your kids piece together a red, white and blue wreath by tying colored tulle around a wire wreath form. Display the festive wreath on your front door to show your support for veterans.
You can even spruce up your kids to reflect the spirit of the holiday. Encourage them to decorate T-shirts with glitter glue and make red, white and blue pom poms with ribbons tied to the bases to also add to their shirts.
Since Memorial Day celebrations often revolve around food, give your children tasty, edible crafts to complete. As a family, mix ingredients for a cake of their choice and have the kids apply white icing to completely cover the cake. Then, let the decorating really begin by adding blue icing stars and red stripes to represent an American flag.
Make sure you have plenty of festive containers to store snacks for the day. Purchase some small white cardboard food boxes — like the ones that hold Chinese takeout food — and ask your children to decorate them with star stickers or draw flags on the exterior portion of the containers. Fill them up with each child’s favorite snack, such as nuts, chocolates or chips to put on display at the family picnic this year.