For many families, Memorial Day means a getaway trip, barbeques, the unofficial start of summer. But Memorial Day means much more than that – it is an opportunity to honor those Americans that have laid down their lives in defense of the freedoms we enjoy every day. That can be a hard subject to explain to kids.

Throughout the world, the poppy flower has come to symbolize those sacrifices. This weekend, more than 645,000 poppies filling a clear wall stretching 133 feet long and over 8 feet tall will be on display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. – one  for each of the 645,000+ American service men and women who have given their lives for our freedom since World War I.

This Poppy Craft, by the creator of the Poppy Wall of Honor, the USAA, can help kids interact and experience the poppy flower and open a discussion on the true meaning of Memorial Day.

You will need: 

-2 coffee filters

-red cupcake liner

-large black button 

-green pipe cleaner

-red marker 

Scroll the photos above for step-by-step directions.