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An Easy Red Poppy Craft to Show Your Patriotism on Memorial Day


Even with young kids, taking a moment to stop and celebrate days such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Memorial Day is important. There are simple ways to celebrate these occurrences with kids.

For example, poppy crafts & activities are a perfect hands-on way to start a conversation with kids. This post shares a fun & easy Red Poppy Craft for Memorial Day.  With this floral craft, kids can learn about the symbolism of red poppies and why they are given out on Memorial Day.

This post also includes ideas for books, songs, activities, and more to fill the day with poppy fun. So, if you’re looking for some creative ways to talk about Memorial Day with your family, this post

Beautiful Red Poppy Craft for Kids

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Facts about Memorial Day

The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance Day. The poem above was written in 1918 by a woman, a historian & a professor, named Moina Michael.

She later became known as the “Poppy Lady” as this beautiful flower came to be known as a symbol of Memorial Day to honor those men and women who died serving the country.

Click here for the full poem “We Shall Keep the Faith“.

Other Memorial Day facts for children:

  • Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868.
  • The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.
  • The day is celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May.

Listening Exercise for Remembrance Day

Taps” is often heard at Memorial Day celebrations. It is a musical piece sounded at dusk, and at funerals, particularly by the U.S. military. It is sounded during flag ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpet, and often at Boy ScoutGirl Scout, and Girl Guide meetings and camps. (Source: Wikipedia)

  1. Play Taps
  2. Ask the children if they can name the instrument
  3. Ask the children how they felt listening to the tune
  4. Ask the children to close their eyes and play Taps again
  5. Give background on the connection between Taps and Memorial Day

 {Click on the image to hear the bugle playing Taps}

{Source: Wikipedia}

Memorial Day Language Activity

Holidays give the opportunity to introduce language to children. Below are a few key vocabulary words that may be of interest to you for your home and your classroom.  I also created Memorial Day language cards for your FREE use.

  • Freedom: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint
  • Courage: the ability to do something that frightens one
  • Honor: high respect; esteem
  • Remembrance: the action of remembering something
  • Flag: a piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a country or institution or as a decoration during public festivities.
  • Military: the armed forces of a country
  • Half-Staff Position: The position about halfway up a mast or pole at which a flag is flown as a symbol of mourning and remembrance
  • Salute: a gesture of respect, homage, or polite recognition or acknowledgment, especially one made to or by a person when arriving or departing.
  • Parade: a public procession, especially one celebrating a special day or event and including marching bands and floats.
  • Soldier: a person who serves in an army
  • Taps: a bugle call for lights to be put out in army quarters, a bugle call sounded at a military funeral
close up of a red poppy

What Does the Red Poppy Symbolize?

The poppy appeal came in the early 1900s. Commonly found on the Western Front (the main arena of war during the first world war), a doctor named John McCrae found inspiration in the flower that flourished even as the fighting tore up the landscape.

As a result, he wrote a poem titled “In Flanders’ Fields”, an area where he fought in the Battle of Ypres during the war. 

In response to this poem, American humanitarian, Moina Michael, in November of 1918 wrote We Shall Keep the Faith (referenced above).

Soon the poppy is the symbol of remembrance of the 1st World War after Moina Michael campaigned to make the poppy the symbol of those soldiers who died in the war. Today, many people in the United States and the United Kingdom wear a red poppy on Armistice Day and Remembrance Day.

Red Poppy Memorial Day Craft

This Memorial Day poppy activity is great for at home or in the classroom.

Red Poppy Craft for Kids

Red Poppy Craft Materials

  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Red & Black Construction Paper (Red for tearing for petals & small black square for center)
  • Card Stock or Construction Paper for Mounting (we used blue to represent the sky)
  • Marker for stem & other decorating
  • Outline of Poppy Flower
  • Tape
  • Pin Poke (optional)

Steps to Making the Red Poppy Craft

I invited the children to pin-poke the center (the pistol and the stamen) of the poppy flower outline. Pin poking is a great fine motor exercise.

Red Poppy Craft for Kids
  1. Carefully remove or push the center of the poppy out
  2. Flip the paper over and tape a small square of black construction paper over the hole for the center
  3. Flip over & point out the center to the children
  4. Invite the children to tear the red construction paper & place the red pieces onto the petals using a glue stick. Tearing is a great fine motor and auditory exercise.
Red Poppy Craft for Kids
  • Once the child has placed the red pieces for the petals, flip over and cut along the black outline
Red Poppy Craft for Kids
  • Glue onto card stock or other paper
  • Create a scene if the children desire by adding a stem, roots, etc.
Red Poppy Craft for Kids

Display proudly!

I hope we inspired you today!

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