Help your children honor those who've died fighting for their country by making crafts on Memorial Day. Memorial Day crafts for kids range from American flags made out of paper, fabric or beads to decorations for a Memorial Day picnic. Many of these craft ideas are simple enough for even very young children to attempt. Just keep an eye on young children when they use glue. If you have to cut anything, assign that task to an older child or do it yourself.
The simplest way to make an American flag for Memorial Day is to cut strips of construction paper or poster board and glue them to a white piece of poster board. The modern American flag has 13 stripes, seven of which are red and six of which are white. There are 50 stars, arranged in nine horizontal rows that alternate between five and six stars each.
Make a 13 inch tall by 16 inch wide flag by cutting three 16 inch long by 1 inch wide strips of red paper and four 8 inch long by 1 inch wide strips of paper. Also cut an 8 inch wide by 7 inch tall rectangle of blue paper. Glue the strips to a piece of white paper or poster board that measures 13 inches by 16 inches.
Space the red strips one inch apart. The four 8-inch strips should go on the top right side of the paper. Glue the blue piece of paper to the top left side of the paper. You can draw the stars on the blue part with a white paint pen or cut out 50 small stars from a piece of white paper and glue to the blue.
For a more challenging craft project, make a flag out of fabric. Cut strips of red and white nylon and sew them together. Also cut a blue rectangle and attach that to the top side of the red and white stripes. Draw the stars on with white fabric paint or try stitching the stars into the blue fabric with white embroidery floss. Hang the flag from a pole or on the wall.
You can also make American flags using plastic lace, or gimp, and pony beads. Use beads that are slightly transparent so that the sun shines through them. Cut 12 pieces of plastic lace into 10 inch or 12 inch long strips. Fold the pieces of gimp in half and thread a drinking straw through the folded gimp. Push the straw against the fold of the gimp. Thread six blue beads onto the first piece of gimp. Push both folded pieces of the gimp through the center of the beads. Follow the blue beads with four red and four white beads. Alternate the red and white beads.
Thread five more strands of gimp with the blue beads and alternating red and white beads. Alternate eight red and eight white beads on the remaining seven pieces of plastic lace. Tie the ends of the gimp together to keep the beads in place. Push a longer piece of gimp through the straw and tie the ends together so that you can hang the flag in a window or on the wall.
You'll most likely spend part or all of Memorial Day outside, so make a few crafts that are suitable for using outdoors. Patriotic pinwheels fit the bill and are easy for children to make. You'll need two square pieces of paper for each pinwheel. Have the child decorate one side of each piece of paper with patriotic decorations, such as stars, eagles, stripes or fireworks.
Fold one piece of paper in half to make a triangle. Unfold, and then fold in half the other way to make another triangle. Unfold again. Place the sheets of paper against each other, wrong sides together. Cut along each crease from the corners, halfway to the middle of the paper.
Punch a hole in each of the four corners, and then gently fold those corners into the center of the square. Don't fold the paper flat, you want there to be a curve in the fold. Place a pencil on the center back of the pinwheel. Secure the corners to the pinwheel by pushing a thumbtack through the corners and into the eraser on the pencil.
Make several pinwheels and stick them into the ground leading up a walkway or push the ends of the pencils into a piece of floral foam and set on table as a centerpiece. Vary the appearance of the pinwheels by using different designs on each. Try using metallic paper for a shiny pinwheel.