Planning a patriotic cookout takes time and coordination, but, while you’re celebrating with your family, remember to recognize and thank those who have given their lives for our country.
Here are some different ideas, ranging from extra fun and crafty to informative and solemn. Hopefully, by choosing what best suits your family, these suggestions can inspire and help your family's youngest members to understand the meaning of the holiday as you celebrate.
Bracelets can function as excellent reminders. Making Memorial Day bracelets that have messages on them like "thank you" and "remember" can be a great hands-on way to celebrate while helping kids understand the meaning of Memorial Day.
Source: No Time For Flashcards
This activity is ideal for parents with a deep interest in history who can help explain what happened in different battles that our soldiers have fought in. It would also be suitable for toddlers looking to play with playdough while older siblings are learning in a very hands-on capacity.
This blogger had the idea to make paper poppies, the flower of remembrance, with her children. They were able to make enough flowers to take and pass out at a local Senior Center. What a great way to encourage children to express their gratitude to our veterans directly! This might be ideal for you if you have no former servicemen in the family, or are too far away to visit.
Source: OC Family
These Patriotic Spirit Wands are the perfect pre-parade craft. Remember, it is still important to have spirit even on days of remembrance.
Source: Buggy and Buddy
If your community is putting on a parade, go! This is an awesome visual for your children to think about the meaning of the day, and you can bring your spirit wands! If there won’t be any parades near you, your family can visit a nearby war memorial site.
Among some other ideas, this list provides a link to a scavenger hunt all ready to download and complete.
Making the food for an event can take up all of your time. To free up some of your time during the party and allow for more recognition of our troops, follow these instructions for an adorable and edible addition to your Memorial Day spread.
This book, written by Karen Latchana Kenney, is one example of a Memorial Day story for children. Reading a history geared towards children is likely to be informative as well as memorable, thanks to the pictures!
In case you are feeling a little bit unprepared to help your kids understand and appreciate Memorial Day, quiz yourself! This quick refresher is full of some fun facts and only takes five minutes.
If you are looking for more of a holistic approach, with quotes and reflections on the holiday as well as how-tos for recognizing the meaning of the day and navigating its many festivities, check out this resource.