Whether you teach an entire classroom full of little ones or you simply want to teach your own preschooler about the meaning of Memorial Day, one of the best ways to do so is by making a craft together. Children at such a young age might not understand or be prepared to learn about the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, but as you piece together your project, you can teach them that it is important to thank, respect and remember all those people who keep us safe and free.
The following four Memorial Day craft projects are ideal for the little hands and limited attention spans of preschool children. In addition, you can make most of them using items you are likely to have on hand.
Ask each child to bring in a plain white t-shirt. Use masking tape to create a large rectangle in the middle of the shirt. Tape the outline of a square in the upper-left corner of the rectangle and place multiple star-shaped stickers inside the square. Instruct the kids to paint the inside of this square blue with fabric paint.
Create horizontal stripes on the remaining area of the rectangle with the masking tape, leaving equal amounts of space between each strip of tape. Help the children paint the uncovered stripes with red fabric paint. When the paint dries, remove all of the tape and stickers.
Handprint Flag Group Project
To make this classroom project, you will need red and blue finger paint and a large white poster board. Help the children remove their shoes and socks and roll up their pant legs to avoid unnecessary messes.
One by one, cover each child’s right hand with blue finger paint and press onto the upper-left area of the poster board to make the “stars” section of an American flag.
Place the poster board onto the floor. Make the “stripes” section by painting each child’s right foot red and helping them press their feet onto the poster board to make several horizontal lines. Hang the completed project in your classroom.
Individual Handprint Flags
This Memorial Day craft is ideal to make in smaller classrooms or at home. For each child, you will need a 3″ by 5″ piece of white paper or cardstock, red finger paint, blue finger paint, star stickers, a Popsicle stick and some glue.
Coat the palm of each child’s hand with blue finger paint. Paint their four fingers red (you don’t need to paint their thumbs). Place the paper or cardstock vertically on a table or surface. Help the child press her hand onto the paper with fingers slightly spread apart.
When the paint is dry, turn the paper horizontal and ask the child to place his stickers onto the blue section. Glue the flag to a Popsicle stick.
Tissue Paper Stars
You can vary the level of difficulty for this project depending on each child’s skill level. Each child will need a single star cut out of cardboard (this is a great way to make use of empty cereal boxes and other recycled cardboard). The star should be about the size of the child’s hand.
Cut red, white and blue tissue paper into approximately one-inch squares and give each child a pile of mixed bits of paper.
Kids can coat their stars with glue and cover them with tissue, mosaic style. Alternatively, give children pencils and help them place the eraser side into a tissue paper square, fold up the sides of the paper around the eraser, dip it into glue and stick the tissue to the star to create a fluffier version.