Memorial Day Activities & Resources

Memorial Day is celebrated every year on the last Monday in May. It is a day to honor all those lost in war. There are many resources and activities to help your children learn about Memorial Day, and why we celebrate it.

Memorial Day Activities & Resources from Starts At Eight. Teach your children about Memorial Day and use these fun activities and resources to commemorate this federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May.

The History of Memorial Day

The tradition of decorating graves in remembrance of fallen soldiers began  after the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, called for a national day of remembrance for soldiers who died in the Civil War to be observed later in May. He called the day Decoration Day.

As the US fought more wars in the 1900′s, Decoration Day became a day to honor those who were lost in all wars. The name also changed over the years from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 until 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees.  The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Read The Story of the Red Poppy for Remembrance Day

In Flanders Fields – In May 2015, “In Flanders Fields,” one of the most popular poems ever written on the subject of war, marked 100 years since it was written. This special edition celebrates that emotional anniversary. John McCrae’s poem has been recited by many generations who have embraced and continue to cherish its underlying message of respect for the fallen, longing for peace and its call to action. In this award-winning book, the lines of the celebrated poem are interwoven with fascinating information about the First World War (1914-1918) and details of daily life in the trenches in Europe.

Also included are accounts of McCrae’s experience in his field hospital and the circumstances that led to the writing of “In Flanders Fields.” New introduction by noted historian Dr. Tim Cook of the Canadian War Museum. Vibrant new painting by Janet Wilson on the cover. Original text, maps, and evocative paintings of the acclaimed, now classic, 1995 edition.

Poppy Craft Ideas

Help your children discover why we celebrate Memorial Day. In this mini online unit study, they will explore the branches of America's Armed Forces, research America's conflicts and casualties, and create a digital image to honor our fallen soldiers.

Memorial Day Activities

Scratch Art Fireworks & The Science of Fireworks - A Mini Unit from Starts At Eight
Children's Books for Memorial Day from Starts At Eight