HOW TO TEACH YOUNG CHILDREN ABOUT REMEMBRANCE DAY
Teaching young children about Remembrance Day is an important duty that can sometimes feel overwhelming, but one that can also remain fun and age-appropriate with crafts, stories, and even poems to help you along the journey.
Little Poppy, Little Poppy
Given to me, Given to me
I will wear you proudly, I will wear you proudly
For my country, For my country
(I’m not entirely sure where this poem originated; our daughter come home singing it years ago from preschool. It’s a lovely little rhyme!)
HOW TO MAKE A REMEMBRANCE DAY WREATH
This an easy craft to keep little hands busy while you talk about honouring those who choose to serve. (For more ideas on how to talk about this with children, or activities to consider, you can visit Veteran’s Affairs Canada’s website.)
- Egg carton
- Paper plate (or round cardboard)
- Paint (red, green or white, & black)
- Buttons (optional; can use black paint for poppy centres as well)
- Cut/tear apart the egg carton.
- Make four roughly equal slits on each egg piece; careful not to cut all the way through.
- Paint the egg carton pieces red. (It will look better if you can manage to paint both sides, but my little ones weren’t keen on waiting that long between steps, so one side worked just fine.)
- Make a slit and cut the inside of the paper plate out; tape the slit back together. (If you don’t have a paper plate handy, you can also use a round piece of cardboard – frozen pizza treats are great for perfectly-sized round pieces of cardboard!)
- Paint the paper plate rim; we chose green.
- Glue the red egg carton pieces to the paper plate.
- Add a dot of black paint or a black button to the centre of each poppy.
Thanks to No Time for Flash Cards for the original craft inspiration on this project.
We’ve also used red tissue paper to create a poppy wreath, and simply asked the kids to paint a picture to mark the occasion.
TALKING WITH YOUR KIDS ABOUT REMEMBRANCE DAY
While we worked on our wreath, the kids and I had a great conversation about why it’s important to show soldiers, current and retired, how thankful we are that they decided to help keep us safe. For thoughts on how to talk to toddlers about Remembrance Day, read Jen Pinarski’s beautiful post for Today’s Parent. Here’s part of what she had to share:
“At three and six I worry that standing at a cenotaph is an invitation for my kids to go squirrelly and be an insult to the veterans who are being recognized. Yet, explaining the history of the poppy and reading “In Flanders Fields” doesn’t seem like enough.”
Here’s another way to approach the discussion.