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When we think of March, we envision spring flowers, rainbows, St. Patrick's Day, and Mardi Gras. Yet, there are other days that may not be official holidays, but which are worthy of celebrating in the classroom and making preschool crafts. March has unofficial holidays to incorporate in your lesson plans, some of which you'll read about below--so here are directions for a few to try.
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National Anthem Day - March 3rd
From the time children begin school, we teach them about our country's flag and the national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner." Francis Scott Key wrote the song in 1814; however Congress adopted this song as our national anthem on March 3, 1931. The song may be a little difficult for preschoolers now, but the concept of the flag still standing can be conveyed. Bring out some craft sticks and make a flag craft that the children can take home and display proudly with their family.
- 11 craft sticks per child
- Red, white, and blue tempera paints
- Sticker stars
- Hole punch
- Yarn or ribbon
- Help the children to paint six craft sticks red and five sticks while. Leave these to dry.
- Provide each child with a square of cardboard just a bit larger than the craft sticks. Glue the sticks in place, alternating colors, leaving a small border of cardboard at the top.
- Brush a square block in the left, right corner with blue paint (about five sticks in length and around 2-inches wide).
- When dry, invite the children to place sticker stars in this square. At this age the accuracy of the flag is not important, just the concept of our nation's colors and the general formation of a flag.
- To make a hanger, punch two holes into the cardboard at the top of the flag. Thread a piece of yarn or ribbon through the holes and tie securely.
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National Quilting Day - Third Saturday in March
Quilts (known as covers or blankets) are comforting and homey. Explain to your class that in the past, quilts were made from scraps of fabrics and even materials from old clothing. Recycling went way back! Quilting usually was a group activity with friends and family. If possible, bring in a quilt for the children to see. Your students can make a simple quilt in the classroom to experience this art form.
- Construction paper - 1 sheet per child
- Black marker
- Assorted fabrics cut into squares
- With the teacher's help, divide the sheet of construction paper into squared sections by marking the paper with a black marker.
- Invite the children to make a quilt replica by gluing fabric squares into each section on the paper.
- Try to incorporate a pattern using colors or prints.
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National Doctor's Day - March 30th
National Doctor's Day was designated as a time to honor and appreciate doctors in our lives. Children should learn that doctors have a mission to keep us well and help us when we get sick. An observance honoring doctors dates back to 1933, but the resolution of having National Doctor's Day on March 30th was signed and approved by past President George Bush in 1990. Collect simple things that children associate with doctors and wellness to make a medical collage. This is a fun craft to make in the classroom.
- Medical supplies - colorful and printed Band-aids, gauze pads, cotton balls, cotton swabs, etc.
- Health pictures cut from old magazines
- Poster board or cardboard
- First, look through magazines and invite the children to cut out pictures of medical professionals, doctor tools, pill bottles, and anything that relates to health and wellness.
- Provide each child with a small sheet of poster board or cardboard.
- Place the medical materials on the table.
- Encourage the children to glue the materials on their board. It can be a random design; no two will be exactly alike.
These are just a few projects to make, but look to other special days such as national pig day, noodle month, doll festival in Japan, Pancake Day, nutrition month, and more to create preschool crafts. March can be a really fun month with a little imagination!
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- Special Day Celebrations by Elizabeth McKinnon [Warren Publishing House, 1989]
- National Quilting Association - http://nqaquilts.org/
- National Doctor's Day - http://www.doctorsday.org/History.html
- National Anthem Day - http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/March/nationalanthemday.htm
- Photo Credits - Tania Cowling, all rights reserved