Honoring Patriot Day on 9/11 With Toddlers

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In 2001, our Nation made an unbreakable promise never to forget the nearly 3,000 innocent Americans who were senselessly killed on September 11. On this sacred day — Patriot Day — we solemnly honor that commitment.

Now this is a heavy topic for children. So I help my girls honor this day by going over a few patriotic symbols. The American flag, the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty bell, and the White House. We go over what the symbols look like and why they are important in our country.

Since I am dealing with a 5 and 3-year-old, it always helps to involve a craft of some kind to hold their attention. With some craft paper already on hand, I decided we would make our own American flags and patriotic paper lanterns. This is a easy craft that also helps with developing fine motor skills by practicing those cutting skills.

Here is what you will need:

  • Card stock papers (white, red, blue, yellow)
  • Kid scissors
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 glue stick

Caution! Always supervise children when handling sharp objects like scissors.

Start with your red card stock paper. Place the paper down horizontally and make straight vertical lines using your ruler and pencil all the way across the paper like in the picture.

Then, have your child practice their scissor skills by cutting along the lines you traced on the red card stock paper.

Using your blue card stock, trace a rectangle for your child to cut out. Once finished cutting, glue the rectangle, horizontally, onto the top left corner of the white card stock. Make sure your white card stock is in the horizontal position like in the picture below.

Using the cut red strips of card stock, start glueing them onto the white card stock. Make sure to leave spacing between the red stripes to give the red and white strip effect.

Using your yellow card stock, trace stars for your child to cut and glue onto the blue rectangle. I had them arrange them in any order they wanted.

And that’s it! Super easy and super fun for the kids.

For the lanterns we used the same supplies as we did for our flags. Start with whatever color you want for your base and fold it “hotdog style”, longways, and make cutting line from the folded end to about 3/4 of the way up. Use your ruler and pencil again to make those lines.

Make sure to tell your child to stop where your tracing line stops. Do not cut all the way through.

Next, open the paper up and glue the shorter end paper on one side. Fold the opposite end in so you glue both sides together. This will make the lantern shape.

Now grab an extra red strip that you already cut, or cut a new strips that’s a different color than your lantern, and glue both smaller ends of the strips. Make sure to place glue on the same side only. Don’t glue front and back of paper.

Place strip on the inside of the top end of your lantern. This makes the handle.

Trace and cut out more stars on a different colored card stock and glue them all over your lantern. You can also use patriotic sticks for this part if you have any. Get creative here!

Here is Olivia’s finished lantern. Hope you enjoy these simple crafts to use with your children to help them honor 9/11 and Patriot Day.

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