In honor of Memorial Day, I put together an impromptu art activity for our son …so we could have some patriotic artwork to hang on the front door today!
While I love seeing elaborate crafts and projects others have done (via Pinterest), my style is a little more informal and aimed at culturing creativity. For us, replicating a craft or following steps to end up with the “correct” project just doesn’t always work out. Toddlers, when they have their mind set up on doing things their way…. are an immovable force to be reckoned with.
So, this free-form activity had no rules, aside from keeping ink and glue on the paper canvas (i.e. off the table).
I laid out a large white envelope as the paper canvas for this patriotic craft, pulled out some red, white/silver, and blue items that we had on hand (paper, sparkly pipe cleaners), etc. Of course, no patriotic artwork craft would be complete without stars, so I set out a star rubber stamp and ink pad. Supplementary supplies included scissors, a glue stick, tape, and a blue highlighter.
While Toby went after the scissors and started cutting paper enthusiastically, I showed him how he could tear up the paper into strips and even squares. He allowed me to help make some squares while he cut abstract shapes.
Then he discovered the stamp and ink pad. First his thumb went onto the ink pad, and since this was our first time using an ink pad, I told him about how he could make thumbprints — which he tried. But the stamp was more fun.
Toby immediately stamped his hand (just like at the library), then asked for permission to stamp his arms and face. I have to admit, I declined on the face, but did permit the arms do gain some stars.
Stars were stamped everywhere, on the paper, on the little torn squares, you name it. He then started spreading glue on the white canvas and sticking things to it.
It was great to watch the creative gears turning as Toby switched from one tool to another. The scissors were a frequently used tool, although the blue highlighter was briefly more popular.
Finally, he got to the tape. Long streams were pulled from the dispenser and stuck to the canvas, the table, everywhere. I helped Toby get the tape back onto his canvas, and once we decided to “save” the rest of the roll for Grandma, impromptu craft time was complete.
Toby was proud to show off his patriotic artwork craft to Grandma (whose house we were at), and to Daddy when he got home.
I love that this project came together so easily, that there were no rules or restrictions, and how our son really got his creative thought process going.[Click on any image in the gallery below to view full size]
Resources + Supplies
Here are supplies similar to what we used for this artwork craft project. I’m all for buying in bulk when it comes to kid craft supplies… it never hurts to have extras on hand.
- rainbow assorted construction paper (500 ct) #afflink
- assorted pipe cleaners (150 ct) #afflink
- child-safe scissors #afflink
- glue sticks (these are triangular-shaped and won’t roll!) #afflink
- rubber stamps (set of 18) #afflink
- transparent tape (12 pack) #afflink
You may also want to check out my Art for Kids Pinterest board, where I’ve been pinning lots of fun art projects for kids (not specific to any holiday in particular)
Do You Have Any Patriotic Artwork Craft Ideas?
Are you a fan of the pre-planned activities, or is free-form crafting more your style? What works best for your kids?
I’d love to hear about any craft or art activities you’ve tried, whether they’re patriotic in nature or not. It’s always fun to see what others are doing!