Lynn Johnston’s comic strip pretty much sums it up for me. I am so grateful to live in a time when my children don’t really know what war is. At Remembrance Day, I think about the peaceful society that we live in here in Canada and I am thankful to the generations of Canadians who have served our country to make it that way.
It is difficult to talk to our kids about war and death, yet I feel I really want them to understand why we enjoy our peace and freedom. I want them to wear a poppy with pride and understand what it means.
Childrens’ books on Remembrance Day
There are a whole bunch of books on Remembrance Day. I like Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay or A Poppy Is to Remember by Heather Patterson. Books like these and the pictures and illustrations often get kids asking questions and starting conversations.
Make it Musical
Remembrance Day music or wartime music can get kids thinking about war and the soldiers who served. Play the “Last Post” bugle call or “Kiss me Goodnight, Sergeant Major” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B”. If you can find an accompanying video on Youtube even better. Kids will get a sense of the times and appreciate the visuals.
Relate to a Real Person
Think of someone you know who has serve in the armed forces or who is currently serving. Show your kids pictures of these people and explain the sacrifices they make for our country. Help them to understand that serving our country is a full time job and that sometimes these people need to be away from their families for long periods of time. Sharing these experiences with kids can help them relate to the true sacrifices others have made for our country.
Make a Craft
Make a craft and spend some time talking about what poppies and remembrance mean. I like this poppy made from a coffee filter and bingo dabber. A simple idea, but a lot of fun. Full instructions here.
Observe a Ceremony
One of the best ways to show children the importance of remembrance day is to take them to a ceremony. Have them dress up and put on a poppy. The image of the soldiers themselves, the somber music and the sense of occasion will make an impact. There are a few There are many ways to recognize Remembrance Day around the city. Ottawa Tourism has a complete list on their site at www.ottawatourism.ca
Whichever way your choose to observe Remembrance Day with your kids, I hope you make it meaningful for you and for them. Keep in mind that this is an annual observance and that you can start your own traditions as years go by