Memorial Day is a day dedicated to honoring those in the military who have lost their lives fighting for their country. Explaining death to children is never easy and really up to each parent to decide when their child is ready to understand even the most basic parts of war and loss. For young children honoring the military doesn’t have to include that if they aren’t ready, they can honor those working to keep our country safe , and explain more as they are ready. This craft is easy but thoughtful, take time with your child to decide what words fit on your banner.
- Gather your materials. You will need some card stock ( or my favorite–business cards!), blue marker, red stars ( these were bought at Walmart in the party section, you could make your own with paint as well), blue and white streamers, and double stick tape.
- Start by sitting down and reflecting on the words that describe the military. Be open to what your child chooses but help if they aren’t coming up with anything.
- Write the words on the card stock. If your child is able to write the words have them, even if it’s messy. Perfection is not the point, pride in doing it themselves is!
- Tape the words into the middle of the stars.
- Lay the blue and white streamers out and tape the ends together.
- Tape the stars onto the streamers.
- Hang up.
Red, White and Blue Good-Bye by Sarah Wones Tomp made me cry reading it with my son. The story is about a little girl who’s dad is in the Navy and preparing to deploy for 6 months. It goes over the emotions that the children left at home go through when a parent is in the miliatry and they are separated. Anger, frustrations, attempts and stopping the parent from leaving. The dad tries to reassure her that they will be looking at the same sky, the same clouds and the same ocean, and she can send him letters every day. I like that it wasn’t all about just being proud of parents in the military, that it was about the loss that these families face , and the sacrifices they make.