my life homemade: 22 Veterans Day Craft and Activity Ideas for Kids


11/6/17

22 Veterans Day Craft and Activity Ideas for Kids

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR ~ JORDAN
Veteran’s Day isn’t often associated with activities or playful projects, but today I am here to tell you there is simply no reason why we can’t make this a fun day for everyone. Teaching children to honor our country’s veterans and appreciate what they do for us doesn’t have to be somber or depressing. Rather, it can be as exciting and engaging as any other holiday.
Of course, this is a great time to order a new American flag to display in your yard, as part of your centerpiece or even to fly from your car, but why stop there? Get the kids together for a few of these great crafts normally reserved for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day and make them a part of your Veteran’s Day traditions.

1. Sidewalk Chalk Stars
These fun stars will encourage the kids to draw all over the driveway in red, white,\ and blue and offer a different tactile experience than standard chalk sticks. The kids will be especially invested after they help make the chalk itself. Find the tutorial here.
2. Firecracker Popcorn
This delicious popcorn comes together fast and is a perfect snack to munch on while watching a movie that celebrates American history like Miracle, or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. A combination of microwave popcorn, white chocolate, strawberry pop rocks and blue sprinkles will have any kid running to the next family night.
3. Star Spangled Windsock
Originally earmarked for the Fourth, this fun windsock is a great play on the traditional banner flag and makes for a fun afternoon with the kids, some spray paint and tin cans. You’ll want to do this one with older kids who can handle lots of different materials. These are great for gifts to fellow patriots and a lot of fun to hang outdoors.
4. Dessert Flag
It’s snack time for tiny patriots! Not a craft exactly, this is more of a fun way to get young kids excited about their fruits at snack time. Put out a picture of a completed American flag and see if your kiddos can make their snack tray match, or just serve it and talk about what the stars and stripes represent. Be ready for this one to disappear fast!
5. Uncle Sam Mask
Are you ready for some of the cutest photos you’ve ever taken? Get everyone together to make a few of these amazing Uncle Sam masks, complete with a cotton ball beard. I like this one because it’s explained clearly enough for kids of around seven or eight to try on their own.
Once you have a set of masks ready to go, get your camera. They make talking about patriotism very fun and extra silly.
6. Patriotic Painted Rocks
Painted rocks are a great project for any young, budding artists. The texture of the rocks and fun shapes encourage kids to loosen up a little as they paint and enjoy the process a little more. They also give parents a quick and easy outdoor decoration that can be a border around the garden or colorful touches in a stone walkway. Put a final sealant on the finished rocks so they can survive a rainstorm and hot, sunny weather.
7. DIY Eraser-Stamped Shirt
Did you know that an unused pencil’s eraser can double as a fun stamp? It’s true! You can make a great design with a simple stencil and some dots made from a little eraser all around. I especially love this craft because it’s adaptable to any special day, and the kids can help paint in a light, approachable way. The finished product is gorgeous.
8. Star-Spangled Sugar Cookies
This easy and quick recipe makes use of ready-made sugar cookie dough and then adds blue and red Jolly Rancher candies to give them a bright, shiny center. Take these to your local veteran’s center and invite some friendly vets to have cookies and milk with your little patriots. It’s a great excuse to eat some cookies and hear about the lives of those who’ve come before them.
9. Shaving Cream Fireworks
This is another super fun project for little artists. They get to play with shaving cream, dots of paint and make a fun print when the whole process is done. Best of all, this project makes for pictures that are worthy of a frame or made into a Veteran’s Day card. I like this one because it’s gender neutral and very interactive, so even parents can get in on the excitement.
10. Read a Patriotic Story Together
Young children always respond well to a beautifully illustrated, emotional story about people from all walks of life. This is a list of 12 different books to read together to help your children understand the concept of Veterans Day a little better or even why their own parents serve in the military. There’s a good balance of all different perspectives including one about the use of poppies in Britain for Remembrance Day.
11. Make a Paper Soldier
If your family has a member currently serving or if your children are just intrigued by the idea of soldiers and their uniforms, take advantage of the situation and try out this fun paper craft. You can use this time to talk to them about why a person might choose to serve and ask what they think a soldier does while they’re away. In the end, they’ll walk away with this fun character and a better understanding of America’s armed forces.
12. Give a Thank You Card
This link doesn’t lead to a tutorial but a picture of the finished product. If you want the download for the printable template, you’ll have to go to TeachersPayTeachers.com and search for The Creative Classroom. However, it’s a basic border and text, so most people can draw on their computer at home. The kids can help if they’re computer savvy and decorate the card with fun tissue paper. String them together for a banner or keep them separate as cards to be brought to veterans.
13. A Family Painted Pallet
You’ve probably seen packing pallets repainted in many different ways, but I like this one a lot because it gives the kids a chance to add their hand prints to the design. All you need is a little paint and a couple of hours to kill. Display it on your front porch or in your backyard all summer long.
14. A Bench for Patriots to Sit Together
In that same vein, here’s a painted bench that could also be a family project. This version goes back to traditional stars, as that the planks of wood don’t offer the same amount of space, but the kids can still help if they have a good stencil for guidance.
15. Stars and Ribbons
Popsicle stick crafts are always popular because the sticks make projects come together quickly, and they’re cheap and easy to get a hold of. This one is meant for the Fourth, but it works for any time of year. Make stars out of your sticks and then drape ribbons from the points to add drama and fun to the look. They’re perfect to use as decoration on any wall inside or out.
16. Send Some Love
If you and your family have someone serving, or if you just want to show your appreciation, there are some great ways to do so through the mail. Military.comhas a list of what soldiers need and want and how to help your soldier feel less homesick, like recordings of the kids singing. They also have some great tips on what you should not pack to send overseas.
17. Send a Themed Box
There are some great ideas for care packages, but if you want to send sentiment, try this Open When… box. The package is filled with additional, smaller packages all wrapped in plain paper and labeled with things like Open when you’re sick or Open when you’re mad at me. I love this one because instead of being a big box of candy or video games, it’s a reminder of the love between family members and something the recipient can open little by little and help them get through the tough days.
18. Turn Cards into a Book
I absolutely love this as an addition for the kids to throw into a little care package. All you need is a pack of cards, some scraps of paper and a marker. Then, ask your kids to think of everything they love about the family member currently deployed and write a reason on each card. This version has them combined with some metal rings, which helps keep them in order and makes them look nice. This is a fast, inexpensive and fun project that any soldier or veteran will love.
19. Turn a Handprint into a Battalion
If you have a preschooler who wants to get in on the veteran’s day fun, have him or her make a green handprint and then top each finger with a cute little soldier face. Top it off with a print out of a tank and boom you have your own mini army. Adorable.
20. Guide Them Home with These Lights
If you have some mason jars taking up space on the shelves, order some small flags and add some tea lights (or electric tea lights), to place inside and light up the flag. I love this version of mason jar lights because they make a quick and easy mini moment of thanks to those who have served. And they look great.
21. Welcome a Soldier Home with a Gift Basket
Not every returning soldier wants a big party in their honor (always ask before any grand gestures), but a soft spoken, thoughtful gift is definitely in order. This toolbox of appreciation is great for any person who lives for their tools, and the kids can help pick out different things to include. The tutorial includes free, printable labels.
22. Make a Beauty Moment

If your returning fighter is more excited by the idea of self-care than a toolbox, this is just a fun thing to have waiting for them in the bathroom. This homemade lemon scrub is a sweet way to say “thank you” anytime they want to scrub the grime off their hands or just exfoliate in general. It’s these luxuries that make coming home more special. 

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