MOST PEOPLE consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of summer. But it's much more than that.
This federal holiday, which we celebrate every year on the last Monday of May, is the day we Americans honor the brave men and women who were killed while serving our country in the armed forces.
To recognize the importance of Memorial Day, kids can make patriotic pins, like this smiley face with an Uncle Sam hat.
I wrote instructions for this craft using a photo and a list of supplies I found at ph.ly/Pins.
You can decorate it by covering a cardboard pattern with pieces of foam, or coloring it with crayons or markers. Also, you can draw your own hat or download a pattern for a patriotic hat online.
Supplies you will need:
* Craft foam in yellow, red, white and blue, or crayons or markers in those colors
* 2 wiggle eyes
* Fast-grab tacky glue
* Marking pen and pencil
* Small star stickers
* Pin back
How to make it:
Draw a circle about 3 inches in diameter on a piece of cardboard by tracing around the lid from a margarine tub.
Trace the circle onto a sheet of yellow foam and cut out, or color the circle yellow.
Draw a hat freehand, with a ruler or from a pattern downloaded from the Internet.
Cover the top of the hat with stripes of red and white foam, or color the hat using crayons or markers. Make a blue hat band to place below the stripes but above the hat brim. Place star stickers on it.
Glue a blue hat brim below the band. Glue the back of the hat to the top quarter-section of the circle.
Glue wiggle eyes to the circle, just below the brim.
Draw a smile on the circle with a black marker.
Glue a pin back to the back of the circle near the top and let dry.