How do we teach our children how important Memorial Day is? It is not just a day of celebration; the beginning of summer; a chance to eat barbecue. It is a day we remember and honor those brave men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice; they gave their lives in service to our country. We must never forget.
Fun Fact: Did you know that veterans sell red poppies to raise money for the upkeep of their cemeteries and to help our disabled veterans?
You can do the same! Here's the perfect service-learning activity for young children.
Memorial Day Poppies
Found on Lesson Plans Page, designed by Betty Yerger
3-inch red construction paper circle with center dot
6-inch green pipe cleaner
1/2 X 6-inch strip light yellow paper
glue stick or white glue
Draw line from center dot to edge of red circle and cut a slit.
Overlap cut edges about an inch to create a shallow cone and glue; press for a silent count of 50 and set side to dry.
Fold yellow paper in half; write Memorial Day on one side and Monday, May 29 (or appropriate date) on the other; set aside.
Twist one end of green pipe cleaner around pencil point to create a small “knot”. Keep rest of pipe cleaner straight.
Poke small hole in center of poppy cone using pencil point and insert straight end of pipe cleaner, pull through until “knot” is in base of cone and forms green center.
Place glue on inside of yellow paper and overlap onto green “stem” right under the poppy; press together and make sure securely glued.
The poppy can be wrapped around pencil to form a pencil topper. You can also visit the cemetery and put poppies on the gravestones, or sell the paper poppies and donate the money to your local veterans association.
NOTE: This is a very popular project; many students wanted to make extras for family members, so have extra supplies available if possible.
Flowers for our Fallen
To Our Little Ones...
It is Memorial Day, the start of summer and a fun day for family barbecues and picnics. Let's take a small chunk of time to think about why we celebrate this very important holiday? It’s the day we honor those who have given their lives so we may live in one of the most free countries in the entire world! Imagine that!
Perhaps, ask your parents if they might take you to a veteran’s cemetery so you could leave a plant with an American flag next to one of the graves, or more if you wish.
You could visit a plant nursery and choose a favorite plant to decorate one or more of the graves. Then add an American flag. If you don’t have any small flags at home, you could make one with markers or crayons. Attach it to a small stick and place it in the soil.
This small gift will touch your heart and just maybe that yummy barbecue will taste even a little better!
The Wall by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler
The Wall is a respectful, reverent and nostalgic story of a father and son's visit to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The story is told from the child's innocent perspective. They have come to locate his grandfather's name as one of 58,000 killed and missing in action.
The dad makes a rubbing of the name and they meet several visitors, one of whom makes a lasting impression on his young son. It is a chance meeting the boy will never forget.
Books to Share
Memorial Day (Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme)
by Emma Carlson Berne, illustrated by Simone Kruger
Memorial Day honors soldiers who fought and died for the United States when communities gather to remember soldiers’ sacrifices and celebrate the beginning of summer. Sing along as you explore Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme! Includes online music access.
A Memorial Day Memory by Dee Smith
"A Memorial Day Memory" is a picture book that tells the story of a young girl who explains what memorial day means to her. She goes to see the local memorial day parade and discovers soldiers, a singer, baton twirlers, band members and more. This book celebrates Memorial Day in an appropriate way for children. It is a sweet version for very young children that mentions all the high points of this celebration. Perfect for beginning readers.
Cabbage Ramen Noodle Salad
Maria - This has become one of our potluck favorites; it travels well, most people like it, and it goes well with diets.
½ head cabbage, chopped
½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 pkg oriental flavor ramen noodles, crumbled
½ cup sliced almonds
4 green onions, chopped
1 can 8 oz mandarin orange slices in juice
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ cup salad oil
½ tsp pepper
1 flavor packet from noodles
Mix together cabbage, sesame seeds, almonds, mandarin orange slices, and onions. Refrigerate for a few hours.
Mix together sugar, vinegar, salad oil, pepper, and flavor packet. Let stand for a few hours.
Add noodles and dressing to cabbage mix just before serving.
Recipe for the Barbeque
Red, White and Blueberry Salad
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pint blueberries
½ cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Mix the strawberries and blueberries together in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice, and toss lightly. Refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes. About 30 minutes before serving, cut the bananas into 3/4 inch thick slices, and toss with the berries.