As Veteran’s Day approaches, it is important to explain to kids why we spend a day recognizing our Veteran’s and honoring them for their service to our country. There are lots of great books about honoring the brave soldiers who have sacrificed for our freedom. To recognize the holiday as a family, I’ve compiled a list of books to share, as well as fun activities to bring them to life.
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Writing Thank you Notes to Veterans. – It’s important to teach our kids to be appreciative of the brave men and women who protect us and fight for us. Remind them of the sacrifices that military personnel make when they serve their country. For older kids, this is a great opportunity to practice letter writing skills. Have them write letters or thank you notes to veterans and active duty military.
Talk to kids about why they are grateful for the service these Veteran’s provided and how it inspires them. You could also have younger kids help to decorate cards and write a message from them on the inside. There are lots of great organizations which coordinate sending cards and letters to active military personnel and veterans. Check out the American Red Cross, Operation Gratitude and A Million Thanks for more information on these programs.
Collecting for Veterans – Talk to your kids about ways that they can help show their support and thanks for the military veterans in your own community. Look into local Veterans organizations and find ways to help out. Help kids brainstorm ideas and put them in to action. Maybe you want to donate items from your home, or collect items from your neighborhood to donate. There are so many ways that kids can help in their own community, and maybe meet some local veterans!
Veteran’s Day Learning
Camouflage Sensory Bin – This was a really easy sensory bin to put together. We started with plain white rice, food coloring and vinegar. I poured about a cup of rice into a clean plastic container (with a lid) and had my daughter help me squeeze a few drops of food coloring into it. Exact amounts of coloring don’t matter since you will want lots of different shades of green.
I added a teaspoon of vinegar and then closed the lid tight. She had a lot of fun shaking the container all around making sure that each grain was colored. I was super grateful to have our Learning Tower from Little Partners to help with this. It allowed me to have her at the counter with me and she was protected from falling while she shook all around.
When all of the rice was colored, I poured it onto parchment paper and smoothed it out so it wasn’t in one big pile. I let it dry while we started another batch. I used different amounts of green food coloring in several of the batches, and also added red and blue to a few to give the green a brownish tint.
Once all of the rice had dried (after about an hour), I mixed some plain white rice into the mix and added it to our sensory bin. I then added funnels, cups and little green Army men to it as well. We had a lot of fun playing in the camouflage rice while trying to find the little Army men.
Books to Recognize Veterans
Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood was written by Valerie Pfundstein and illustrated by Aaron Anderson. The child in the story learns that there are people all around his neighborhood that have served in the military. This book is a great way to introduce kids to the importance of recognizing our military veterans and appreciating the service that they have provided.
Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops was written by Jill Biden and illustrated by
The Wall was written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler. In this story, a young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and search for his grandfather’s name. The beautifully illustrated book reminds readers of the sacrifices that many soldiers have made, as well as the effect of those sacrifices on military families.
Learn about the history behind the Poppy!
The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans was written by Barbara Walsh and illustrated by Layne Johnson. This brightly illustrated book tells the story of Moina Belle Michael. She was a school teacher from Georgia who wanted to help the soldiers fighting in World War I.
Inspired by a poem she read, she decided to distribute poppy flowers as a symbol of remembrance. This book explains how the tradition of the poppy flower came to be and all the good it has done for veterans.
H is For Honor: A Military Family Alphabet was written by Devin Scillian and illustrated Victor Juhasz. This alphabet book introduces the reader to the various military branches, as well as parts of military life through rhyming text and detailed sidebar information. The bright illustrations and rhyming text will engage young kids, while the detailed explanations in the sidebars will help older kids to get a better understanding of the military.
How does your family recognize Veteran’s Day? Do you have any favorite books to share on the day? Share in the comments!