Memorial Day commemorates men and women who have died in military service for the United States. People often visit cemeteries to remember those who fought for the country and lost their lives. Families fly the American flag and people volunteer to place flags on graves in national cemeteries. It was declared a national holiday in 1971 and in a lighter vein, Memorial Day also marks the start of summer. Today, I am happy to have Catherine Ross from Learning Is Fun share 5 fun Memorial Day activities for kids.
Share The Significance Of Memorial Day With Kids
Many families have war veterans and people they have lost in the wars. Kids in such families might be more aware of the sacrifices made by individuals and families for the country. For others this is a good time to introduce some talk of how the country came to be. Here’s a Memorial Day video from the History Channel which may help and be good for some shared watching. You could stop whenever there’s a need to discuss something.
Fun And Educational Memorial Day Activities For Kids
Once kids understand the significance of Memorial Day, here are five fun activities for Memorial Day that parents and kids to enjoy together.
1.Explore Memorial Day books and comics
Although online buying is the norm, a browse through book shelves is always a good activity with a child. It’s fun to explore actual books on the shelves of libraries and book stores. Kids can flip through the pages and look at the images. Holding an actual book in their hand will help them decide on one which interests them. Once they are drawn into the story or comic book, they might actually express an interest in reading other books.
2. Talking about War
When kids are exposed to stories about wars and they understand the sacrifices soldiers have made for the country, it helps them appreciate the freedom people of our country have. It also helps them talk about war, its losses, the logistics of moving people, and many other facets of war. These discussions might get hot and difficult, but this is a great way to get kids involved. After all they are the inheritors of the world and it makes sense for them to know more about it.
3. Listening to a war veteran
If families have war veterans as relatives, personal narratives about the war can be exciting. Kids grow up listening to stories of war – the excitement, the fear, the cruelty, the harshness and a whole bunch of other emotions. In some families where mothers go to war, grandmothers have stepped in to head families. Listening to war vets helps kids build a perspective on war and helps them understand the sacrifices involved in fighting for one’s country. Over time such interactions help kids build informed opinions.
Little kids just love this – food carrying the US colors. Younger kids could assemble fruits in red, blue and white on a toothpick or a skewer. It can look great and get the really young ones involved. Older kids could help bake something with strawberries and blueberries, like these American Flag Cheesecake Squares. It’s a great way to get the family together and it gives parents an opportunity to talk of Memorial Day.
5. Watching a War Movie
There are a whole bunch of war movies. Parents need to make sure they pick one suitable for the age group watching it. Pick a good movie with minimal violence and sadness for younger kids. Occasionally, if you feel the kids are mature enough, they can even watch a movie like Life is Beautiful. The story revolves around a father, protecting his son inside a WWII prison.
Family bonding over stories, food, movies and entertainment are wonderful activities for Memorial Day. Arrange an age appropriate activity from the list provided and get your kids to have a memorable day. You may even consider attending a Memorial Day parade, throwing a small Memorial Day party with a few friends or trying some Memorial Days crafts. Which of these activities for Memorial Day appeals to you the most?