4 Patriotic Daycare Crafts by Shannon L. Buck

photograph by mistyferie on morguefile.com(Keeping children happy and entertained is good business. Stay frugal by using scraps from previous projects, allowing parents to donate things, and shopping yard sales and thrift stores. Previously published to Y! Contributor Network.)

4 Patriotic Daycare Crafts

Daycare centers and homes are often more busy during the summer months, catering to extra children. Providers are always looking for crafts to do with the children, to keep them busy with something productive.

Patriotic crafts are often chosen during the summer, particularly during the month of July. During the time when providers are showing children how to do these crafts, they also talk with them about Independence Day and other patriotic topics.

Painted Flags

These can be small for placing in a garden pot, or bigger for putting elsewhere in the yard. To prepare, cut dowels to size with a small hand saw, and cut white fabric to the size desired, being sure to have extra fabric for a hem up the left side. Sew the hem along the side of each flag-shaped piece of fabric, to allow a snug fit for a dowel. It will be easiest if you sew this hem with the dowel in place. Paint a sample flag to show the children.

Give each child a flag and 3 paint brushes, and provide each group with bowls of white, red and blue paints and a cup of water. Have the children paint a section in the upper, left-hand corner blue, and then paint red stripes going across the flag, leaving the white-striped areas untouched. When the blue area is mostly dry, they can paint white dots to represent stars. It is not necessary for them to make a star for each state, though you should mention how many there are on todays’ flags.

Patriotic Votive Holders

Have one holder already decorated for them to see before beginning. Provide each child with one or more clear or frosted votive holders. Give them star-shaped stickers as well, in the colors of red, white and blue. Gold and silver will also work. Have them decorate their votive holders with the stickers. When they are finished, ask them to come to you in turn and choose the candles for their holders. Have red, white and blue votive candles available for this. The children can present these to their parents for use during their 4th of July celebration.

Star Magnets

Provide foam or felt stars in three different sizes. Each size should have stars of red, white and blue. Place these at the center of the table, along with a bunch small, of adhesive-backed magnets. Give each child a small bowl of glue and a paintbrush, and instruct them on how to go about making the magnets. Show them one that you made as an example.

Ask each child to take a large star of a color of their choosing. Have them glue a star of the next size down onto the first star, choosing a color different from the last. Instruct the children to then take one of the small stars, in the last color, and glue that one to the center of the second star. When this is done, have them flip their stars over and add the magnet. Allow each child to create as many stars as they wish.

Decorated Gift Bags

The votive candles and holders, as well as the magnets, can be presented to parents in gift bags that the children have decorated themselves. Provide them each with a white bag and markers, stickers or paints and brushes, or a combination of all of these mediums. Allow them to decorate their bag with a patriotic theme, suggesting fireworks, flags and stars. Allow the bags time to dry, then have them place the gifts they made within their bags.

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