Memorial Day weekend is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, where a lot of us have a day off to relax and unwind, but it is important to keep the reason WHY we have a "day off" as part of our celebrations. Teaching kids about the meaning of Memorial Day should be part of the day, and even young kids can get a grasp of why the holiday was created. I like to use crafts as a way to sneak in a little learning for the kids, they are a little more focused and open to listening when they are working on a craft, and they have something tangible they can relate to what we are talking about. This poppy craft is so super easy, takes very little prep work, but can also lay a little groundwork for explaining Memorial Day. I can remember being a little kid and wanting my mom to donate a dollar so I could get one of the flower poppies given out by the VFW, I just loved them, even though I wasn't aware of their meaning. The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution, and the poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
For this craft, all you have to do is take white paper baking cups, flatten them out, cut the edges of the petals out (or trace them and let your child cut the edges out depending on how easily they can use scissors) and have them paint them a beautiful red. Before the paint dries assemble the tiny squares of black construction paper in the center of the poppy, or wait for them to dry and add in the black center with a marker. Easy, right? (tip: you can also use paper plates).
Take it one step further this holiday and take the kids to a Memorial Day parade, or visit a war monument or memorial. We have some right here in our own area (find out more here). Need to brush up on the origins of Memorial Day? Click here for some info to teach the kids. I hope your Memorial Day weekend was fun and relaxing for the whole family... xoxo
*levy's red white & blue hair bow is by Saratoga Bow Co., find out more about them here