For some, Memorial Day means the beginning of summer, a long weekend or a day off from work and school. But for many, Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives while serving in the United States military, protecting the freedom that all Americans enjoy. While spending time with your family, there are some very simple and meaningful activities you can do with your kids that will help them understand what Memorial Day is all about.
1. Make an American-themed dessert. Headed to a Memorial Day BBQ? Have the kids roll up their sleeves and join you in the kitchen to make a Red, White and Blue dessert. They can put fruit on skewers alternating strawberries, bananas and blueberries or make strawberry, blueberry and yogurt parfaits.
2. Make American flags out of construction paper. While you and your kids are assembling Old Glory, you can talk to them about how the stars represent the 50 states and the stripes represent the original 13 colonies. Show the kids that on Memorial Day the flag is to be placed at half-staff, in remembrance of those who passed.
3. Send a care package to someone in the US Armed Services. Talk to your child about the basic things someone in the military might miss when he or she is so far from home. If you don’t personally know someone in the military, you can choose someone who doesn’t normally get much mail here. Create a shopping list and take your little one shopping with you. Don’t forget to have your child include a handwritten note or picture expressing his or her appreciation. For a list of things a solder, marine, airman or sailor might want to receive check out this great list!
4. Do a military-style workout. Run the kids through a vigorous obstacle course including push-ups, sit-ups and squats. Not only will they be learning about what it takes to be in the military, it’s great exercise!
6. Go for a hike. If the military-style workout doesn’t wear them out, take your kids for a nature hike in one of the National Parks to enjoy all the natural beauty out country has to offer.
7. Pause at 3pm. The National Moment of Remembrance was established in December of 2000. Americans are asked to pause at 3pm (local time) to remember the fallen who died in service of our country. At this time all major league baseball games halt, all Amtrak trains blow their whistles and several other organizations take a moment to honor those who gave all.
How do you teach your children about Memorial Day? Let us know in the comments!