Memorial Day can be a difficult time for those who have lost their fathers to military action, while remembering and honoring fathers on Memorial Day can be especially hard for younger children who only know their father is never returning home. A wreath conveys a remembrance of the departed loved one, but the memorial is made special when children create the wreath themselves either for the door or the gravesite.
Allow younger children from elementary-school age on down to talk about what kind of wreath they'd like to place on their father's grave. (For very young children, you'll need to explain what a wreath is.) Have them draw a picture of what they wish to do. For younger children, purchase a basic wreath and assist the children in decorating it especially for their father. This may include laminating pictures of the children to tie onto the wreath. Punch a hole at the top to insert a tie so they can affix their picture to the wreath. Add ribbon in their father's favorite colors. If you have a picture of the children with their father, copy and laminate it and allow the children to tie this onto the wreath. Allow them to add small tokens or pictures that remind them of their father such as a heart, a military ribbon or badge, or a special toy vehicle, etc.
Older children or adult children can make a list of special memories of their father. Copy the list, because you'll want to keep a copy for your family. Cut apart the list. Roll it into miniature scrolls. Tie them with ribbon in a favorite color of the dad. Attach the scrolls to the wreath. Create a banner to fit across the wreath with the words "We'll never forget you Dad" or something in keeping with the memory theme.
Make it Patriotic
Glue three large white paper plates together. Cut out the center portion of the plate. This leaves you with a small wreath shape. Download or copy patriotic symbols sized for the paper-plate Memorial Wreath. Use black, red and blue crayons, markers or paint. Decorate the wreath in patriotic colors. Glue on patriotic symbols. Use both sides and leave a space at the top of the plate for a message such as "We love you," "We miss you," "We're proud of you," or just add Dad's name to the top. For a longer-lasting wreath, especially if you plan to place it on an outside door or the gravesite for Memorial Day, laminate both sides of the patriotic paper-plate Memorial Day wreath.
Flower & Ribbon
Around a basic Styrofoam wreath-shaped base, wrap two ribbon colors. Use your father's favorite colors for the ribbon. Make sure the ribbon is wide enough to completely cover the Styrofoam base and is sturdy enough not to disintegrate after a day outside. Tuck artificial flowers around the wreath under the ribbon. A glue gun would ensure the flowers and ribbon do not come loose. Add a large bow with a flower center toward the top of the wreath. Attach a banner to one side with the short message you wish to convey.
- Photo Credit American Memorial image by E.REVELES from Fotolia.com
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