Memorial Day Arts & Crafts for Kids

If you are planning a day of remembrance of our fallen soldiers or a day celebrating the red, white and blue, it's easy to get the kids involved with patriotic crafts. Choices abound with the traditional pipe cleaner or tissue paper flowers and easy red, white and blue fans. Enjoy these traditional favorites or get a little creative.

Celebrate America Door Sign

This is a great craft to use items commonly found around the house with substitutions aplenty. For the base, use poster board, cardboard or painted wood. Write or paint your patriotic message, such as "Celebrate America." Cut stars out of any red, white and blue materials you may have. Glue stars on the border of the sign. Add items that inspire, such as pom-poms, ribbon or beads. After your sign dries, glue string or wire to the back. Wait a bit for the glue to dry and then hang the sign from a door handle.

Patriotic Pom-Poms

If a Memorial Day parade is on the agenda, the family needs patriotic pom-poms. Gather some red, white or blue plastic shopping bags. Target's red-and-white bags work well. Arrange five bags on top of each other. Staple together across the bottom, a tad higher than the bottom folds. To remove the bottom folds, cut slightly below the staples. Remove the handles so a rectangle remains. Make fringe by cutting inch-wide strips, stopping short of the stapled edge. Use a red, white or blue pencil or pen as the handle. Without a patriotic-colored stick? Use colored tape or paint to transform that yellow Number 2 pencil. Wrap the stapled edge of the bag around the end of the stick, securing it with tape or hot glue. Finally, wave that patriotic pom-pom.

Hand-Print Patriotic Eagle

All you need for the basic hand-print patriotic eagle is a writing utensil, craft foam and glue. This is much like making the traditional Thanksgiving hand turkey, except instead of using one hand to make a tail, your child will use both hands to form wings. After tracing each hand on brown foam, cut along these lines to form the wings. Cut a brown oval for the torso. Face the hand shapes fingers-side out and glue them so that you now have a torso with spread wings. Next, cut a head and neck from white foam. This is simply a circle for the head and a neck with some feathers cut at the bottom-- think of upside-down Bart Simpson hair for neck feathers. Draw or glue an eye on the right side of the head so that you have a profile view of the eagle's face. Cut and glue on a yellow foam beak. Add two yellow talons to the bottom of the torso. Add brown tail feathers (tucked behind the talons, of course) to complete the eagle. Embellish the tail with red, white or blue feathers or ribbon for added patriotic style.

Rocket Balloons

Funnel about a third of a cup of dried beans into a patriotic-colored balloon. Blow up the balloon to slightly less than full capacity and tie the end. Attach red, white and blue ribbons to the tie. Toss this rocket balloon to a friend, and it will travel quickly with streamers flowing. With a slight twist of the wrist, you can create some fun spiral action.

Patriotic Stilts

If your child needs a little height for the upcoming parade, have her make a pair of patriotic stilts. Gather a pair of coffee or large tomato-sauce cans. Use acrylic paint to create a white base. Cut two stars out of kitchen sponges. Use one to dip in red paint and the other for blue. After stamping stars on the cans with the sponges, let the cans dry. Puncture the top of the cans with a can opener. Run clothesline through the holes and tie at the top for handles.

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About this Author

Based in Eugene, Ore., Markovich authored the book "You Want Me to What?: Public Relations and Marketing for the Shy Person." She has managed businesses across the nation and taught business communications to at-risk students. She won the Mahan award in creative writing in 1994 and holds degrees in English and education with concentrations in journalism and psychology.

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