Red, White & Blue
Posted May 30, 2011on:
Celebrating Memorial Day with young children requires some thoughtful reflection on the part of adults. It is important to help children learn the meaning of national holidays and times of poignant remembrances. It’s important for children to learn about America.
Memorial Day stands alone as a holiday that arose out of appreciation for and remembrance of every person who gave their lives defending our nation. This holiday was officially proclaimed in 1868 by General John Logan. Throughout America, Memorial Day has become a day where communities come together to decorate graves of American soldiers and arrange gatherings in remembrance of our nation’s heroes.
Memorial Day will be personal if you or a family member or friend is serving in the military or has been part of national service. We can support all children’s acknowledgement of Americans serving America through ways that are engaging, fun and full of learning:
-Fly an American flag.
-Attend Memorial Day Services in your neighborhood.
-Investigate and participate in community parades and parties honoring all branches of service.
-Talk to your children about servicemen and women.
-Talk to your children about America.
-Play patriotic music and sing patriotic songs – if your children don’t know any, teach them.
Memorial Day is also considered the “unofficial” beginning of picnic and barbeque season!
Get children involved: Depending on the age or your children, these little ideas can be simple or extensive – go with your child’s interest and excitement.
Create red, white & blue invitations and placemats: Little ones can color, older children can cut strips of red and white paper to weave. Create star stamps: cut a potato in half and dig out a star shape (or dig around a star shape). Children can paint or stamp potato into blue paint. Use the potato star as a stamp on invitations and placemats.
Wear red, white & blue clothes: Tie-dye tee shirts for guests at your picnic. Here is a basic tie-dye project used in preschools: you will need – 100% white cotton tee shirts, liquid blue and red Rit dye, cold water, salt, laundry detergent and rubber bands. The Rit dye box has all of the instructions.
Create table centerpieces: Cut squares of tissue paper, pinch the center and tie off with pipe cleaner to make flowers. Connect a green pipe cleaner for a stem. Make bouquets of flowers and tie with ribbons or “plant” in decorated bowls (put play dough in bottom of bowl and bend pip cleaner to stabilize-cover with green leaves). Use streamers, balloons and ribbons for table decorations.
Eat red, white & blue: Make a cake with whipped cream frosting, strawberry stripes and blueberry stars, parfaits made of layers of raspberry and cheery jello topped with whipped cream and a fruit bowl of strawberries and blueberries with a sprinkle of coconut are perfect for a patriotic picnic!
“America is a tune. It must be sung together.” ~Gerald Stanley Lee