Monday, May 18, 2009

Celebrating Memorial Day with your kids

Celebrating Memorial Day
Here is a photo of last year on Memorial Day of my two girls and my niece and nephew! I love red, white & blue on crisp!
Anyway, we will be celebrating it again next week and I'm just researching some ways to talk to Sophia about the day. So here’s how you may want to explain the day to your pre-schoolers:
Memorial Day began in the United States on May 30, 1868, after the Civil War had ended. Flowers were put on the graves of all the soldiers who were in the war, in order to help heal the nation. This holiday later included all men and women who had died in America's wars. It is now celebrated on the last Monday of May. We celebrate this holiday to honor all of our country’s heroes who were killed in wartime protecting our nation & home. Sometimes, parades, fireworks and picnics are part of the celebrations!

So if you are looking for ways to break up the monotony of each day, you can celebrate Memorial day with a few of these activities to do with your children:
*check with your city to see if your VFW is hosting a program or parade. Kids love parades!
1. Hang an American flag or stick flags in the ground down your driveway. Or teach your preschool about the colors of the American flag and color one on paper.
2. Help your kids make a card online to be sent overseas to our current soldiers.
3. Print off some song lyrics, such as "Star Spangled Banner" and "Proud to be an American" and sing these with your kids.
4. Visit a family member that is a veteran or if you don't know any personally, go to a local retirement or nursing home to visit a veteran. Check Bring a letter or colored picture to give to the veteran, to thank them for their duties to our country. If your kids are not shy, have them sing one of the songs you practiced.
5. National Moment of Remembrance: Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. This is a time when we can all reflect on Memorial Day and those who gave their time for the military. This is usually observed at 3:00 p.m.
6. War Heroes. Find some information about a famous war hero from each war and create a notebook about 'War Heroes'. Your students can then read personal stories about soldiers who died, which brings home the war on a more personal level.
7. Write To A Soldier in Iraq. Many soldiers would love to receive letters or parcels from people back home. There are several organizations you can contact who will assign you a soldier to write to. On Memorial Day, it would be nice to send a care package to a soldier overseas so ask each child to bring in something small to add to the package.
8. Family Members in the War. If some students have family members who are in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, have them talk about them. Tell the class who they are, what they like to do, how long they have been in Iraq or Afghanistan and what they do there.
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