Looking for some quick and easy, possibly even last minute, Memorial Day activities to do with your preschooler? Well, you're in luck because here are a few simple ways to bring a little Memorial Day learning into your home or classroom.
Memorial Day is a big concept for most young children to “get”. I don't mean to cut children short because I know they do get many BIG concepts. In other words, to bring the idea of war and veterans into a child's mind, though, is a serious endeavor. So, the learning needs to happen gently and slowly over time. Hopefully, these ideas will help.
Memorial Day Preschool Activities
Learn about the Compass Rose (free printable here thanks to Montessori Print Shop) is a wonderful star symbol for children to learn more about the direction and the earth as well as the symbol of a star
Create a star from Metal Insets
Introduce the Sun as a Star with Parts of the Sun nomenclature cards and movement activity with each of us being the sun, the earth, and the moon.
Star Patterning – I bought stickers, placed them in patterns on a piece of card stock, laminated the card stock, and then cut the laminated sheet into rows. I left out a few stars in row pattern so that my son could identify which color star should be placed in that spot.
Patriotic Memory Game – I bought USA flag and star stickers. Then, I grabbed a piece of blue card stock, cut it in a business card sized pieces, created two identical cards with the stickers and laminated the card stock. We began this activity by investigating the cards and finding the matches.
Then we moved onto the memory game. I had ten matches to start.
Washington Monument – My son loves world monuments. We have these wonderful figurines and cards that he enjoys very much. I thought the Washington Monument was a good place to start tying in geography & the historical significance Memorial Day. We looked at a world map and our World Atlas iPad app. Lucky for me the Dollar Tree store had these great National Monument cards perfect for Memorial Day. I used these cards to more specifically talk about Lincoln, the Wall, and Washington D.C.
Patriotic Action Cards – We made our own “Patriotic Action Cards”! The actions included a flag waving, drum beating, bell ringing, stars twinkling, an eagle soaring, and legs marching. We affixed the action cards onto a jumbo die. We each took turns rolling the dice and performing a movement.
Flag – I wrote about the easy and fun American Flag we whipped up the other day. My son is really proud of it. He points to each flag we see and says, “we made one of those flags, mama.” Heart melting.
Books – I published a post on two of my favorite books to teach young children (age 4 and up) about this important holiday.
What I Want My Kids to Embrace about Memorial Day
I want my children to be patriotic, to be proud of their country and to be democratic in their living (i.e. stand up and speak up about their beliefs). Teaching them the symbols of our county is a great hook into eventually learning the history of the founding of our country in all its glory and bloodshed. I want my children to understand the realities and the facts, as far as we know them, that surround wars and, on a positive note, fighting for our freedom hundreds of years ago and still today.
Thank you for choosing to read this post today. I hope that we have inspired you.