The poppy, in any form or shape stands as a symbol for the soldiers and the wars they fought and are still fighting.
I grew up with the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian physician in the First World War. Each time I pull out a $10 bill I am reminded of those battles and the poppies.
With this simple art project, you and your child may reproduce a reminder of that faraway field of crosses and the poppies that grow there. I find that when one’s hands are busy it is easier to discuss sensitive subjects such as the histories of war and why we honour those men and women on Remembrance Day. They are the reason we live free.
So search out that not-so-perfect bell pepper, apple and potato to make the stamps for this picture. I find using the culls alleviates my guilt over using food for artwork.
Red, blue, yellow liquid tempera paint 3 small trays for paint Blue, green construction paper White printer paper
Sharp knife and cutting board Glue stick
Pencil and ruler Black felt pen
Cover your work area and protect your clothing. With a sharp knife cut the end off the bell pepper and shake out the seeds. Cut the sides of the apple away, leaving the core intact. Slice the potato lengthwise and carve grooves on the inside to look like grass. On one tray pour yellow paint, a mix of blue and yellow to get a dark green on the second tray, and red on the third tray.
Cut a sheet of green construction paper in half crosswise. Glue it to the bottom half of the blue paper. Make a template for the cross: fold the white paper in half lengthwise, fold at the 1/3 mark along the length. Open. Use the fold as a guide to make the upright bar 2 inches wide and the cross bar 2-1/2 inches wide. Cut out the cross, shortening the ends of each bar to fit on the background with space around the edges. To add dimension to the cross, start 3/8 inch away from the inner corners and draw a pencil line 1/4 inch from each side. In each inner corner draw a 3/8-inch line toward the centre. With a black felt pen print We Remember at the bottom of the cross, perhaps adding the name of one who is remembered. Glue the cross to the background.
Press the pepper into the red paint; dab off excess paint on scrap paper and then stamp pepper poppies around the centre of the cross. Cut the apple core crosswise to reveal a star. Press it into the yellow paint; dab and stamp around the edge of the picture. Press the potato into the green paint; dab and add grass to the bottom of the picture. Mark each petal close to its centre with three lines and some dots. Allow picture to dry before hanging it up.
Dana Ramstedt is a freelance writer and preschool teacher of 18 years