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How To Explain Memorial Day To Your Kids

by Olivia Youngs

One of the most exciting (and nerve racking) parts about parenting is explaining the big things to your kids. It's an honor, of course, but not one to be taken lightly. With the holiday that kicks off summer right around the corner, you might be wondering how to explain Memorial Day to your kids without terrifying them or explaining too much at once.

To most kids, Memorial Day is exciting— its a long weekend in which their family and friends come together and cook delicious food, and it's the unofficial start of summertime. What they don't usually know is that Memorial Day is about much more than spending a fun day outside. Although it's temping to leave it at that (after all, you're probably running in a million different directions), if your kids are old enough to understand, now is the time to tell them the history behind Memorial Day.

The thought of death and war can be a hard thing for children to understand, but there are lots of ways to ease them into the conversation. Focusing on the fact that we celebrate those who have fought for our freedoms can make it a bit easier for them to understand.

More often than not, kids learn best through tangible experiences, so doing one, or a few of the following Memorial Day themed activities will drive home the point even more.


Take Them To A Local Memorial Day Parade

Most towns and cities have their own parade every year on Memorial Day. It's a great way to turn free candy into an awesome learning experience.


Bake A Patriotic Desert

Food is a great way to keep kids entertained long enough to explain the meaning behind Memorial Day to them. Make a delicious and patriotic dessert, like this lemon berry tart from Julie Blanner with your kids so they can learn while they snack.


Visit A National Cemetery

Using this list of national cemeteries, you can find out which ones hold services every Memorial Day. Attending one with your kids is a great way for them to learn from veterans first hand.


Make A Memorial Day Themed Craft

If your child is a hands-on learner, they'll love making a patriotic craft with you, like these firecracker candles from Mod Podge Rocks. Take advantage of their preoccupation to teach them a little history.


Read Them Books About Memorial Day

There are plenty of great books about Memorial Day that will take the hard part of explaining it from scratch out of the equation.