We all joke about family vacations, the ever lasting questions of “Are we there yet”?, the beach traffic that builds the anticipation, of the start of the long, lazy days of summer. There are so many plans to make including, the laundry, the packing, the decisions on which clothes to bring, do we need to bring along the babies pack and play, who’s side of the family to visit this year, are we staying at a hotel or brave enough to stay at his parent’s home, the car rental, date and times of departure/arrival, are we going to fly or drive, and so much more! No wonder so many parents are left feeling like they need a vacation after the vacation because there is so much work involved.
While putting it all together this week, remember that the most important reasons for family vacations and travel are to finally have a stretch of true quality time, build memories, allow the cousins to bond, great food on the grill, and hopefully a little R&R in between. While we are so grateful for those things, and the ability to have this time with our friends and families, we also need to be sure to keep the whole meaning of Memorial Day respected, taught to our children, and appreciated.
As young as two and three years old, children can begin to identify with our American Flag, and chances are that you have someone in your family, or a neighbor, or one of the children at your kids school has a parent in the military. Educating our children on the true meaning behind Memorial Day, which is the final Monday in May of every year designated to honor the men and women who have died serving our country in the military. This holiday was originated after the civil war, and was formerly known as Decoration Day. By the early 20th century, Decoration Day, now Memorial Day was being celebrated in a more expressive way by people gathering at national and church cemetaries honoring thier family members lost in the line of duty, marked by special family gatherings of meals, trips to the beach, fireworks, the long family weekend, and officially marking the start of summer!
You can make this lesson fun and enjoyable in many ways with your children. Many families choose to visit the Arlington National Cemetary, The Tomb of the Unknown, The Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Wasington Monument. DC area families have the ability to take advantage of so many sights here in the Arlington, and Washington DC areas. It literally is a hop, skip, and jump, away from us, so please consider making memories with an important trip downtown. There are also ways of learning about this holiday by reading books, perhaps attending a parade, or even taking a trip to The Arlington House, or otherwise known as the Robert E. Lee memorial, all of which can teach the appreciation and passion behind such an important holiday. You, the parent, can make this critical lesson better understood, and easy to grasp by keeping it light, fun, and interesting.
Below is a list of fun books to read with children of all ages, including activities, games, and fun recipes to help educated the youngest member of your family about Memorial Day. We, the staff, and nannies, child care specialist, and babysitters referred by Metro Parent Relief believe that keeping our children grounded, and teaching them to honor our countries military is a very important character building element.
The books that http://www.apples4theteacher.com recommends include:
Let’s Get Ready for Memorial Day – By Lloyd G. Douglas
Memorial Day Surprise- By Theresa Golding
The Wall- By Eve Bunting
http://www.apples4theteacher.com also has links to fun, educational, activities, crafts, coloring pages, teen book lists, and Memorial Day fact sheets and puzzles, so click below to check it out!
The day nannies, night nannies, sleep trainers, child care specialist/experts, babysitters, referred by our staff, and I wish you, and your family a very HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!