For many Americans, Memorial Day often marks the beginning of summer and the start of barbeque and camping season, but the meaning of this holiday runs much deeper than a casual barbeque. In fact, the true meaning of this holiday is to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces.
Even as a military family, I find that it’s all too easy to get caught up in the picnics, barbeques and family picnics and forget the true meaning of the holiday. Teaching kids the true meaning of Memorial Day and what it means to our country’s history, our nation’s warriors, and their families is a really awesome learning opportunity not to be missed.
The best part? Teaching kids about memorial day can actually be really fun too! It often surprises me how excited kids get when it comes to learning about the flag, service members, and honoring our nation’s greatest heroes.
Here are five simple ways to incorporate teaching kids about Memorial day into your holiday weekend this year:
1. Create and fly the American flag.
Help the kids make an American flag craft using construction paper or simply have your kids each draw their best American flag on paper. Staple the completed flags onto straws for flying. If you own an American flag, you can teach older kids how to fly and fold the flag. This is a great way to teach your kids about the meaning behind the American flag. You may even learn something new too!
2. Visit and pay tribute.
Visit a local Veteran’s cemetery or war memorial. To show honor and respect, bring flowers to lie on a grave or at the memorial in remembrance of our nation’s fallen heroes. As a family, pray for the Veteran’s lost during service and sacrifice.
3. Make a Veteran’s day.
Have your kids create a card, picture or care package to be sent overseas to a Solider, Marine, Airman, Sailor or Coastguardsman actively serving. Visit the site www.anysoldier.com to discover how and where to send your special items. See these great military care package ideas to help you know what to put in a care package.
You can also support Veterans in your local area by taking cards, drawings or homemade treats to a nearby Veteran’s hospital or Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) post to show your appreciation for their service.
4. Celebrate with a parade.
Attend a Memorial Day parade in your local area. To find one near you visit vetfriends.com. If one isn’t available to you, watch the National Memorial Day Parade on television. Teach kids to stand and clap for Veterans marching past.
5. Sing a few patriotic songs.
Teach kids America the Beautiful, the National Anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance, and talk about the meaning behind each one. Teach your kids to stand and place their hands over their hearts during these songs. This is a perfect way to teach kids to honor the sacrifices made to protect our nation’s freedom.
Take a few moments this upcoming holiday weekend to teach kids about Memorial Day and take part in one of these kid-friendly activities! These simple ideas are perfect for teaching kids how to honor our nation’s lost heroes, while still leaving plenty of time for picnics, barbeques and other great family gatherings.
For more ideas on Memorial Day children’s crafts, printables, recipes, and decor, check out my Memorial Day Pinterest Board.
Want more on military life?
- 4th of July Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- 75 Awesome Military Care Package Ideas
- Best Toys and Resources for Military Kids During Deployment
- 7 Unique Care Package Ideas You Haven’t Tried Yet
What are some creative ways you plan to use for teaching kids about Memorial Day?