Fun Memorial Day Educational Activities!
There are many fun and educational activities that preschoolers can do in honor of Memorial Day.
Any time kids have a day off from school, it is important that they know a bit of why. Memorial Day is not just about a barbecue at the beach. This national holiday honors those who have died fighting for our country.
In early education, it may not be necessary or appropriate to delve into how and why our fallen heroes have fallen. However, we can certainly focus on patriotism, heroism, and gratitude for our country.
Three Montessori and Reggio Inspired Activities for Memorial Day
Sticker American Flags
This simple and engaging activity works on fine motor skills, color matching, and left to right orientation (a pre-reading and pre-writing skill)
Materials for each child:
- 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper
- Red and blue colored pencils
- Blue star stickers
- Red stickers of any kind
How To Do It
- Fold an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper into fourths and then unfold it
- Arrange the paper in landscape orientation
- Children dot the top left quadrant with a blue colored pencil
- Children draw lines from left to right in the top right quadrant and across the bottom half with a red colored pencil
- Children place blue star stickers on top of the blue dots
- Children place red stickers of any kind (dot stickers or a mix of different fun shapes both work) along the red lines. Encourage kids to work from left to right.
American Landmarks Memorial Day Educational Activity
This fun and educational activity builds vocabulary and geography skills.
Materials for each child:
- Mini models of American landmarks, like these ones
- Printed cards with images of each landmark
- A US map with state borders large enough to fit the cards
How To Do It:
- Lay out the cards on the map and let the child place the models directly on top of their corresponding cards.
- Using three cards at a time, introduce the landmarks’ names using the 3 Part Lesson. First, you’ll name each landmark. Then you’ll ask the child to point to the image when you give the name. Lastly, you’ll prompt the child to name the landmarks when you point to them
- Challenge your child to place the landmarks onto the map with some of the cards missing. Work towards the child being able to place all of the landmarks without the picture cards to guide. Continue to reinforce vocabulary, saying things like, “Can you show me where the Statue of Liberty goes?”
My Hero Art Project
This sweet and creative activity works on vocabulary and reflective thought. It also works on higher order thinking. It does not exactly address the patriotic aspect of Memorial Day. However, it helps students understand the deeper concepts of heroism and self-sacrifice.
This project requires adult assistance and may be done best individually or in very small groups. Alternatively, an adult might cycle through a group of children who busy themselves with illustrating as they wait for help.
- Paper split with writing lines on the bottom and a blank area up top
- Art supplies
How To Do It:
- Have children think about someone who is a hero in their life. Introduce the concept of putting others first, or self-sacrifice, and emphasize this quality in the heroes chosen.
- Children draw their heroes on the top section
- With whatever level of assistance necessary, children write a sentence on the lines below. The sentence should include the hero’s name and why they are a hero. The reason why should relate to some kind of self-sacrifice or putting others first. For example, “My brother puts me first when he helps me pick up my side of the bedroom after he finishes his own, instead of going out to play without me,” or, “My dad puts our family first when he goes to work even when he doesn’t think it’s very fun.”
Memorial Day is the perfect time for the littlest members of our country to begin learning about the United States. It’s also an excellent moment to start teaching them about the characteristics of a good person. And of course, it’s a great time to enjoy a barbecue at the beach! Try out these fun Memorial Day educational activities and let us know what you think!