Memorial Day is often thought of as the unofficial start of summer. Kids are getting excited about the end of the school year and the grand opening of the neighborhood pool. However, it is important to remember that Memorial Day means more than barbeques, blockbuster movies and trips to the beach.
It can be difficult for young children to understand the sacrifices our veterans have made, but Memorial Day serves as a good opportunity to begin introducing them to the concept. Young children often already understand the idea of heroism through what they see on-screen from superheroes such as Batman and Spiderman. Memorial Day is an opportunity to expand the concept of heroism and teach them about real-life heroes by encouraging superhero play. NAEYC, The National Association for the Education of Young Children, introduces the idea of incorporating superhero play in our children’s activities to serve as a way for children to understand their experiences, whether it’s home life or on TV. Allowing children to practice imaginary play as a hero is a great way to teach them not only about non-fictional heroes but also what real-life heroism means for the world today.
Another great way to spend this Memorial Day is to have your children mail a real letter to the US troops overseas. It’s a great way to bring these heroes to life and remind them that some of America’s most courageous heroes were real people.
Do you have any other ideas for introducing children to Memorial Day? Leave them in the comments!