This Memorial Day, many families will be spending their day off with friends and relatives at a picnic, barbeque or parade. Regardless of what your plans are, it’s important that you set aside some time to teach your children about the meaning of Memorial Day and why it’s celebrated.
Memorial Day is day dedicated to honoring and remembering those who have lost their lives while protecting and serving our nation in the military. With the following activities, you can shine a light on the importance of Memorial Day and encourage patriotism, remembrance and gratitude toward our fallen soldiers, as well as veterans and current military personnel.
- Write thank you letters to soldiers stationed overseas – Writing thank you letters is a fun activity, as well as a great way to say thanks to our service men and women stationed overseas. You can talk about Memorial Day and the importance of expressing our gratitude to our soldiers, while helping your children decorate homemade cards with U.S. flags and red, white and blue stars. Kids can write why they are thankful for the military and what activities they will be doing for Memorial Day.
- Visit a military veteran –Reach out to an organization in your area that helps military veterans and ask what you can do to help out. Whether helping means visiting a wounded veteran in the hospital or helping a local veteran with yard work, it will provide a meaningful experience for your child.
- Give a veteran a challenge coin – Challenge coins are two sided coins bearing the insignia of the military. Have your child give a veteran or current service man or woman a challenge coin to show their gratitude for their hard work and sacrifice. To locate veterans and military personnel in your community, you can contact a local veteran or military association.
- Make red, white and blue clothing – Make homemade shirts with your child that features patriotic colors and designs. You can purchase a plain white T-shirt from a local craft store and tie-dye it using red and blue dye. You can also use stencils and fabric markers to draw a patriotic logo or design.
- Have patriotic-themed picnic – If you’re going to the park for a picnic or having your family and friends over for a Memorial Day barbeque, choose a patriotic theme. You and your children can make patriotic-themed food and drinks using red, white and blue ingredients. Be sure to wear your patriotic shirt and spend some time talking with your children about the significance of Memorial Day.
- Sing patriotic songs – Memorial Day is the perfect time to teach your children patriotic songs like The Star-Spangled Banner, God Bless America and I’m Proud to Be an American. They can sing them with the veterans they are visiting, or sing them with their relatives at the picnic.
What other fun activities can you do with your children on Memorial Day?