Are your kids excited for Memorial Day? If past years are any indication, the answer is yes. In 2019, Americans geared up to barbecue (60 percent of Americans, in fact), watch the televised National Memorial Day parade (1.5 million), run in races (more than 120 are normally held), and travel (42.8 million) to celebrate the weekend. This year, due to social distancing and other restrictions brought on by COVID-19, Memorial Day will look quite different for your family. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be less memorable.
This year, you can take time to teach your kids about what the holiday is truly about—the people who gave their lives so we can be free here in the US. Here are some activities you can do, even during this pandemic, that will help both you and your kids have an enjoyable time getting into the spirit of the holiday.
Reading together is a powerful way to build bonds with your children, whatever the occasion. Select a Memorial-Day-themed children’s book and read it together. Also, consider learning about those on your family tree who fought for our freedoms. If you don’t know of anyone related to you who served in the military, consider studying up on great American heroes. These activities may spark some great conversation about the sacrifices made that ultimately lead to the personal freedoms your children enjoy today. Help them make this connection.
Write a letter.
Do you know a soldier who is currently serving in the military? If so, help your kids draw a picture or write a thank-you letter to them. Talk to your kids about how soldiers work hard to protect our freedoms and are often away from their families, sometimes even overseas.
If you don’t know anyone who is currently serving, there are plenty of nonprofit organizations that have dedicated their time to this effort, such as Any Soldier, A Million Thanks, and the USO Care Package program. Take part in these causes to help the men and women of our military feel appreciated and loved.
Enjoy this land.
Get outside and enjoy this beautiful land that we have because of those who fought for our freedoms. While many outdoor spaces are closed due to the pandemic, some are still open, though you will need to practice proper social distancing. Get some time in the sun, even if it’s just a walk through the neighborhood or enjoying the beautiful sunset. Talk with your children about how their lives have been positively impacted because of the freedoms we enjoy.
This Memorial Day may not be exactly what we have all come to expect, but it can still be worth remembering. Take these suggestions, or apply a little imagination of your own, to help your family make memories and increase in gratitude for the many freedoms we enjoy each day.