Veterans are people who have served the country by being part of the military. Every year, the United States celebrates Veteran's Day on the 11th of November. Unfortunately, since it falls in between two other major holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving) it often gets overlooked as compared to other patriotic holidays. This holiday is a great opportunity to teach children about the sacrifices made by military veterans for our safety. This can be done by inculcating patriotic activities in their everyday routine. Here is a list of veteran day craft ideas to try with your preschoolers.
1. Talk To A Veteran
Ask students if they belong to a veteran family. Chances are, you'll find quite a few students belonging to military families. Try convincing some of those real veterans to come into class (bonus points if they can come in uniform!) and talk about their experiences.
Learn more: Florida Times-Union
2. Cookie Decoration Activity
This is a simple and fun craft for kids and one that has them super excited because it involves a sugary snack. Get a ready-made cookie decoration kit or get plain rectangular-shaped cookies and red, white, and blue icing. Make cookie flags and enjoy devouring them after you're done!
Learn more: Gramma's Cutters
3. Veteran Themed Bookmark
Another way to show appreciation to veterans would be to make veteran-themed bookmarks. These could contain elements like flags, soldiers, weaponry, etc. See if you can donate the bookmarks to an institute that services veterans, like the VA hospital. The best part is that these bookmarks can easily be made with basic craft supplies.
Learn more: The Pate Place (TPT)
4. Make an American Flag
Download a template of the American flag and print it out. Get students to paint it. Glue a straw at the back of the flag along the edge. Your students now have their very own personal flags which they can wave around proudly! This is a great activity for Flag day.
Learn more: Designery Signs
5. Dress up!
Tell the students to dress up either as a soldier or in flag colors. They'll either arrive looking like mini veterans or they'll look like a gorgeous sea of red, white, and blue. Make sure to take a class picture to commemorate the occasion!
Learn more: Kindermusik
6. Veteran Themed Board
Dedicate one of the boards in your classroom for Veteran's Day as it approaches. It is easy to use brown paper bags to make soldiers. These soldiers can represent famous veterans, female veterans, disabled veterans, and so on. Alternatively, you can also use this board to showcase all the relevant art & craft projects that you've been working so hard on!
Learn more: Teacher Created Resources
7. Veteran Themed Reading
Pick an age-appropriate book to introduce your preschoolers to the concept of veterans and why we must respect them. For reference, the book "Daddy's Boots" is a good place to start.
8. Veteran Videos
Have a mini-movie day in class. Bust out the popcorn and put on a few carefully curated videos from YouTube. There are plenty of videos that explain the importance of celebrating Veteran's Day in a simple and child-friendly manner.
Learn more: Homeschool Pop
9. Read/Write A Poem
Ask for volunteers to come up with a short rhyming poem about veterans on the spot. This does not have to be anything elaborate or eloquent - the idea is to get children to understand the spirit behind the activity and simultaneously get them to practice their rhyming skills! Alternatively, choose an age-appropriate poem and do a read-aloud during circle time.
Learn more: It's About Time Teachers
10. Veteran's Day Printables
This is a super simple remembrance day craft. Download this printable veteran-based writing activity. Teach them how to write "Veterans Day" with the help of traceable letters.
Learn more: Twisty Needle
11. Thank You Cards
Get students to make a simple card to show their appreciation for the sacrifices of the armed forces. There is something about this simple craft that hits differently because of how sweet and thoughtful it is. Using a template is not necessary - even a template-less, homemade card will do! Alternatively, students can also write a letter to veterans expressing their admiration for them.
Learn more: ABCs of Literacy
12. Crepe Paper Poppy Craft Pin
This next quick, last-minute poppy craft looks more time-consuming than it is! Start by explaining to the kids that poppy flowers are the flowers of choice for this hands-on craft because symbolize consolation, remembrance, and death. For this poppy flower craft, get some ready-made pins that can be clipped onto clothes. Then, get your preschoolers to make poppy flowers by folding red-colored crepe paper. Glue these flowers onto the pins and get the whole class to wear the pins as a sign of solidarity.
13. Coloring Activity
Get your students to color a veteran-themed page like this one. Tell them to try finding a very special veteran within their family or friends to give the artwork to.
Learn more: Lovin' Little Learners (TPT)
14. Veteran's Day Puzzles
Make your preschoolers bend their brains by making them try word search puzzles that are connected to Veteran's Day.
Learn more: Team Building
15. Donation Drives
Locate local centers that help veterans in need. Appeal to the students' charitable spirit and try to raise money for veterans and their families. Ways to raise money can include going door-to-door asking for donations, setting up a lemonade stand, or having a bake sale.
Learn more: United Way of Southeast Mississippi
16. Veterans Day Soldier Craft
Using a craft template, get your students to paint a soldier. You can up this craft activity a notch by making it a collage using crepe paper/construction paper in a variety of different colors.
Learn more: The Clever Feather
17. Military Teaching Vocabulary Cards
Like regular flashcards, but military-themed. Choose a set of words that are military-themed. Write them out on flashcards, with a picture at the back. You can cut out each of these cards to make a foldable card - just fold between the picture and the text!
Learn more: Teach at Daycare (TPT)
18. Veteran Themed Door Art
This impressive craft activity is a fun way to get the whole class involved in a decoration project. This interesting picture craft involves printing out a flag-themed hat template, having the students decorate it, and displaying it on the classroom door with the following slogan " Hats off to our Veterans".
Learn more: Michele Giroux
19. Handmade Headbands
Of the different kinds of crafts that can be tried out, this one remains a hot favorite because of its wearability. Download and print this template and ask your preschoolers to color it to their heart's content. Then cut and staple the template to make a circle that would fit your preschoolers' heads like a crown.
Learn more: Elementary Lesson Plan (TPT)
20. Veteran's Day Quilt
This all-day project involves the whole class. Get a white quilt cover and divide it into equal rectangles, budgeting one rectangle per student. This will be their canvas. Bring out some flag-colored fabric paints and let each child decorate their personal section of the quilt.
Learn more: Supply Me