Though Veterans Day is likely not the holiday your children look forward to each year, it is definitely one that should be celebrated. Because this national holiday is the one day a year we have set aside to celebrate and honor our country's veterans, it is important that we make it count.
One way to do this is by helping children understand the significance of the holiday and the people it celebrates, and to offer them fun and engaging activities that will help them remember the day and the reasons behind the celebration.
If you are unsure how to go about making this Veterans Day a memorable and educational one, try choosing one or two of the activities below and doing them with your children on your day off.
Host a Card Party
Veterans of all ages are sure to appreciate this act of kindness, but those who are elderly—and especially those who are lonely—will love it even more.
To begin, gather a collection of card-making supplies. Include items like construction paper, scissors, glue, stickers, and crayons. Assemble these things on a table before your party.
When the party guests arrive, spend an hour or two creating thank you cards as a group. Put on some patriotic music, and discuss the significance of Veterans Day as you work.
When you finish your cards, hand them out to veterans you know, pass them out at a VA hospital, or contact an organization such as the Wounded Warrior Project or A Million Thanks to find out how they can help you get your cards to those who most need a word of thanks.
Volunteer in Your Community
Your children may not be old enough to join the military, and they may not even quite grasp the number of sacrifices made by our service men and women each and every day. Nevertheless, they can still contribute to the country and make small sacrifices themselves by volunteering in their community.
Children volunteers are usually welcomed in soup kitchens, and anyone is welcome to pick up litter in the local park. To make the day more memorable, consider inviting a few of your children's friends along.
As reward for a job well done, host a cupcake decorating session at the end of the day. Make sure your decorating table is complete with red, white, and blue frosting and sprinkles, and use the time spent creating yummy treats to discuss the importance of making sacrifices for our community and our country and the enormous sacrifices military members make for the United States.
Meet a Veteran
Chances are, you know a veteran. If you don't, you almost certainly have a friend who does. To help your children understand the importance of Veterans Day and our reasons for celebrating such a holiday, schedule a time for your kids to meet with a veteran.
Before the meeting, encourage your young student to make a list of questions to ask the veteran. Help them make their list, but allow them the freedom to pick and choose what they would like to ask in order to give the child ownership of the project. Record the interview using a recording device or with a pencil and paper, and have your child write up a news story about their veteran friend. Be sure to snap a photo or two to include in the story!
Despite the fact that many Americans neglect to celebrate it, Veterans Day is an important holiday that all U.S. citizens should be happy to celebrate. Help ensure your children understand the meaning behind this holiday and the role veterans play in our country's history by engaging in one or two of the activities above.
Not only will they have a blast, you will also provide your child with amazing memories and important knowledge they will carry with them throughout their lives.