Memorial Day represents a day off work and the first real get-together opportunity of the summer months for many, but the day means much more than that. Impressing that upon children can be fun and educational.
Memorial Day is also known as Decoration Day and honors those who lost their lives serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day is always celebrated on the last Monday in May, and the federal holiday always means a day off school and work, as well as an unofficial start to summer. Memorial Day is joined by Veterans Day, in November, which commemorates all veterans, and Armed Forces Day, earlier in May, which recognizes currently serving members.
Start the weekend, or day, with a trip to a parade. Many local municipalities have parades for Memorial Day, and these offer the perfect time to start introducing kids to the important concepts behind the holiday. These parades usually have many veterans and members of the armed forces, and if your family doesn’t have any military members, this can be an educational moment for kids.
If you have military members in the family, or have lost family members serving, Memorial Day is a great opportunity for children to have a conversation with them and about them. Driving home the importance of sacrifice for something bigger in this context might only work with older kids, but it is an important conversation for families.
After the parades and solemn services, it not a bad idea to break out some crafts and have some fun.
Get out the art and craft supplies and join the kids in making American flag decorations. Let kids get creative and use the craft session as an excuse to teach them about the flag and what it means to Americans. Going over the symbolism of what the stars and stripe mean can act as a refresher or give the kids a leg up when that lesson comes up in school.
Take the opportunity to bake a few Memorial Day-specific desserts. Use food coloring or icing to create red, white and blue cookies and cupcakes to spruce up celebrations.
Finally, Memorial Day is a great time to get together with other family members for some cookouts. If there are enough kids gathered together, they will have a great time running around and creating their own fun with other kids their age.
People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
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With everyone stuck at home, looking for entertainment and a way out, the best thing we can do right now is plan for future trips. One easy way to make that happen sooner rather than later is by spending some quality time in the great outdoors.
Lake Powell, a family-favorite vacation destination in the American Southwest, lies between Utah and Arizona — an ideal place to rent a houseboat and spend your time exploring the lake and its shores as a family, enjoying the sun, the water and plenty of adventure.