Remembrance Day is coming and there are bound to be quite a few young children wondering the real meaning behind Remembrance Day. They see us buying and wearing poppies but aren’t always sure why. It is important to teach kids about Remembrance Day, but it can be difficult to know how.
There are a few simple ways that you can give your children some insight into the reasons behind the moment of silence, the poppies and the emotions people experience on this day. This is not only a great lesson in history, but also one in respect and giving to others.
Ways to Teach Kids about Remembrance Day
Talk to A Veteran
Arrange for your family to meet with a person currently active in the military, a veteran or a family member related to one. Allow your little ones to ask questions and encourage them to listen to the stories being told.
Attend a Ceremony
Every city has their own official Remembrance Day ceremony and so do several different historical sites. If this is something your child is ready for, you could attend the ceremony together.
Or, you could sit down with your children and watch one on TV so that you can easily answer questions as they ask them. As they get older, if Remembrance Day is on a school day, their school will most likely have a ceremony.
Visit a Memorial
Take your children to a memorial in your city or surrounding area and walk through the exhibits. You can even visit a military cemetery if there is one near you and you feel your children can handle that.
There is a lot of information about Remembrance Day online. Spend time together browsing the different information and stories, explaining them in an age appropriate manner.
Sit down and get to work researching community members, people in your family and others who served their country in the military. Many communities have roads, parks, and memorials named after those people and this is often a great place to start.
You can look at the different roles that people played in war. Talk about what their purposes were and what could have happened if they didn’t serve. Discuss what you discover.
Attend a Public Speaking Engagement
Look for public speaking engagements with veterans or currently active Canadian armed forces members in your town or surrounding area. These offer a fantastic opportunity for your children to gain more knowledge and information.
Just be prepared for the questions they may have after, especially if there is no question period. Don’t worry – you don’t have to have all the answers! It’s great to role model the process of wondering about something and then looking for the answers.
Read a Poem
There are many poems you could choose from but of course, one poem in particular is extremely beneficial to read when it comes to teaching your children about Remembrance Day.
Look for “In Flander’s Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae and read it together. Learn more about his history and discuss the meaning of the poem.
Teaching your children about Remembrance day is extremely important. It can often be confusing to them and they may be wondering what it’s all about.
Make sure to take the time to answer any questions they may have, and if you don’t know the answers, find someone who does. Discussion is a vital part of children’s learning processes and can set the foundation for a love of lifelong learning.