Finally, the Great War had ended. After years of muddy, horrible trench warfare and terrible deaths, the surviving soldiers could put down their weapons and go back to their loved ones. Countries could begin to rebuild and life could start getting back to normal. The armistice agreement for World War I started on the 11 hour of the 11 day of the 11 month in 1918. November 11, first called Armistice Day, later became Veterans day after a few more decades of war. Veterans Day is a day to time to celebrate those brave men and women who fought for their country. It’s a solemn day, one where the sacrifice of these brave people should be celebrated and honored. Here are a few simple ways to honor Veterans Day.
Activity One: Patriotic Painting
My children had a lot of fun playing with the different colors of the US flag. My preschooler made a replica of the US flag on her paper, and then painted a house next to the flag. Another of my preschoolers discovered how the colors red, white, and blue make a soft purple when mixed.
Craft paint in the colors of the flag.
Painting tray (we used a pie tin).
Paint brushes, smocks, and paper for each child.
Set up the activity with the colors of the flag. It also helps to have a small print out of the flag. Talk to the children about the flag – what it represents, what the colors mean, maybe the origin story of the flag. Then, let the children explore the colors of the flag using paint.
Activity Two: Veterans Day Preschool Wood Craft
This is a fun activity we did last year with some scrap wood we had lying about. We made fun wooden signs and painted them to represent the US flag. I’ve had them displayed on my table this year, and my children have talked about how much fun the craft was to do. Then, they usually launch into a patriotic song or two about the military.
Activity Three: Paper Poppies
Paper poppies can be a lot of fun for children to make. After they are made, it is always a moving experience to take the poppies to the local veteran’s memorial. While there, discuss what a veteran is, and how we can show them we support them and appreciate their sacrifices. We did this activity for Memorial Day as well with great success.
White or red tissue papers, cut in circles
Red crepe paper
Green pipe cleaners
There are two ways to make paper poppies.
For younger children, give each child four tissue paper circles and a pipe cleaner.
Have the children push the tissue papers onto the pipe cleaner. Once all four tissue papers are on the pipe cleaner, fold the top of the pipe cleaner down to make the center of the poppy.
For older children, give each child four or five inches of red crepe paper and a pipe cleaner.
Have the children fold a corner of the red crepe paper over, and start loosely rolling the crepe paper around the triangle. Continue rolling until the end of the paper is reached. Fold the end of the paper into a triangle and twist the pipe cleaner around the end of crepe paper to make a stem.
Here’s a video to show how to make the poppies.
These three activities are helpful when honoring and celebrating Veteran’s Day with preschoolers.