It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The Old Red and White

Tomorrow is Canada Day, the 138th anniversary of Confederation, and (praise be!) a national day off. Today we are making flags in honour of the event.

For those of you who haven’t seen this daycare-nursery school-and kindergarten staple craft, it’s blessedly simple:

Take a rectangular sheet of white paper and paint a strip of red along the short ends. Then cover the child’s hand in red paint, either by using a paint-saturated sponge made of a few layers of paper towels, or, my preferred method, simply painting the little palm.

The hand is pressed onto the white space between the two red stripes, and, Voilà! You have a pretty decent impersonation of the Canadian flag, with your child’s handprint as the maple leaf. Cute, no?

Anyway, we produced quite a few of these today, one for each of the six children here, and a few extra to decorate my front porch.

Zach was particularly enthusiastic about this craft, and gleefully made half dozen on his own. I assisted in the stripes on either side, and then he would slam his hand with great emphasis onto the middle of the flag. Such fun!

After we were done, I took the flags out to pin them to my porch until the parents come. Foolish me, I left the paint on the table while I did this. In my own defense, there were several older children in the house, three of whom are teens. I should know better. Teens, when involved in their own activities, are every bit as oblivious to their surroundings as toddlers.

Thus, when I return, a laughing Zach greets me at the door, his dancing green eyes nicely set off by the daubs of red paint decorating his cheeks, chin, nose, and upper lip. “Mahwee! I paintin’!” He holds his hands up to me, intending to show me the paint brush he’s waving, but also calling my attention to the great ruby swathes sweeping down both arms.

He’s a festival of red and white. Oh, well. At least he’s patriotic.

June 30, 2005 - Posted by | commemoration, crafts, holidays, Mischief, Zach


  1. At least it was only on HIM and not your furniture, walls, carpet, etc. Happy Canada Day!

    Comment by Sharkey | June 30, 2005 | Reply

  2. Thank you!

    It could have been much, much worse, for sure. Red does not wash out well. Thank goodness, too, that he was wearing a red shirt!

    Comment by Mary P | June 30, 2005 | Reply

  3. Yeah, I was looking for a much more horrific ending…painted walls, furniture, teens.

    Comment by misfit | June 30, 2005 | Reply

  4. I thought the story would end with:
    “I walked in, they tied me up and painted me red.”


    Comment by Misfit Hausfrau | June 30, 2005 | Reply

  5. It’s a miracle! A two-year-old on the loose with a fully loaded paintbrush, and nothing was irrepairably besmirched. Except the kid, and they wash. Truly Amazing.

    (Though as far as I’m concerned, painted teens would have been justice.)

    Comment by Mary P. | June 30, 2005 | Reply

  6. OOI do the parents of these kids read your blog? I would love to hear about the things mine get upto when they are at the child minders.

    Comment by Si | July 1, 2005 | Reply

  7. Actually, Si, I have TWO blogs. There’s one for the parents, and this one. The only real difference is that in this one I allow myself to be occasionally waspish about the parents… And sometimes a bit more objective about the children than the parents might be comfortable with.

    And do you know what I’ve discovered? That of the seven sets of parents, three don’t read their blog. Is that bizarre, or what?

    Comment by Mary P. | July 1, 2005 | Reply

  8. Oh now I want to make a canada day flag with my hands. I;m going to try that today. Now I just need to find some kids so people don’t think I am too strange. Have a wonderful Canada Day Mary.

    Comment by August95 | July 1, 2005 | Reply

  9. Ooohhhh an edited blog, sounds interesting :-), do you have a url?

    Comment by Keldar | July 4, 2005 | Reply

  10. Ummmm, no.

    Comment by Mary P | July 4, 2005 | Reply

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