How will you celebrate Canada Day this year? With maple leaf-inspired instruments and decorations of course!
The year 2020 is a big one — not only is Canada celebrating the 153rd anniversary of Confederation, it is also marking the 55th anniversary of its flag!
That’s right; in 1965, Parliament chose the maple leaf as Canada’s flag. Until then, Canada had flown either the Union Jack or the the Red Ensign, which were strong symbols of its relationship to the United Kingdom. Look at this Red Ensign in our collection. This design served as Canada’s unofficial national flag from 1921 to 1957, when the green maple leaves on the Canadian shield changed to red. You can see the Union Jack in the top left corner.
In selecting the single maple leaf design from thousands of possibilities, Parliament chose a symbol long associated with Canadian identity. In fact, the maple leaf already appeared on such things as money and military badges.
This Canada Day, celebrate with maple leaf-themed crafts by following the activity instructions below.
Happy birthday, Canada!
Try making these Canada Day crafts with an adult and with materials you can find at home. Don’t limit yourself to our suggestions though, get creative and use what you have!
- Craft 1: Make a Canada Day garland
- Craft 2: Make a Canada Day wand
- Craft 3: Make a Canada Day shaker
Craft 1: Make a Canada Day garland
- 8–10 sheets of white paper
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 ruler or measuring tape
- Red markers, pencils or crayons
- A piece of string or yarn, at least 2 metres long
- Glue or tape
- On white paper, draw and then cut out 8 to 10 triangles with 20 cm long bases (you can measure the length of the base using a ruler or measuring tape).
- Draw a maple leaf on each triangle and colour it red. Remember that the triangle will point down on the garland — we don’t want your maple leaves hanging upside down!
- Curl the base of each triangle by rolling it around a pencil, then hang the triangles on a piece of string or yarn at least 2 metres long. You can secure the triangles with tape or glue.
- Done! Hang your Canada Day garland in your window or balcony and show your Canadian pride!
Craft 2: Make a Canada Day wand
- 1 red or white straw
- Curling ribbon (ideally red and white)
- Red or white paper
- Red markers, pencils or crayons
- Cut a long thin piece of red or white paper and tape it to one end of the straw (if you are using white paper, decorate it with little red maple leaves using a marker, pencil or crayon).
- Tape curling ribbon to the same end of the straw as the paper, then twist it around the straw all the way to the other end. Tape it down.
- Take the other pieces of curling ribbon (ideally red and white) and tie them to the top of the straw where you taped the long thin piece of paper – ask a parent to curl the ribbon with scissors.
- Done! Wave your Canada Day wand to show your Canadian pride!
Craft 3: Make a Canada Day shaker
- An empty plastic bottle with a screw-on lid
- Red and white beads, beans, rice or macaroni, or a mixture of all
- Remove the lid from the plastic bottle.
- Pour in a combination of red and white shaker materials (e.g., beads, beans, rice, macaroni) to about one-third full.
- Twist the lid back on.
- Decorate the bottle with something red and white (e.g., stickers, ribbon, paper, maple leaves, etc.).
- Done! Enjoy your Canada Day shakers and make some noise to show your Canadian pride!