Celebrate Memorial Day at home this year, and make lasting memories with friends and family. We’ve put together some ideas for commemorating this special day, along with some outfit inspiration to keep you looking and feeling cool and comfortable from morning until night.
Memorial Day is a good time to dust off the old photo albums and show the kids pictures of their relatives. If you have family members who served in the military, tell the kids about them. Exploring family ancestry is a bonding experience you can do anytime, but it’s especially poignant on Memorial Day. You might even want to reorganize all the photos and put them into new albums, or frame some of your favorites and display them around the house. And remember to take some new family photos for the albums. You don’t need to dress formally, either. Capri pants and a knit top or a cotton dress is a casual yet photo-worthy outfit.
Creating a collage is a fun activity the kids can do. Provide them with poster board or cardstock, which they can use as a base for their collage. You’ll also want to give them safety scissors and nontoxic school glue. Construction paper, markers, glitter, and other adornments can also inspire kids’ creativity and make the collage colorful. When it comes to photos, don’t use originals. You can print copies on your home printer or take them to a store that offers photo printing. Many office supply stores, retail superstores, and drugstores have photo kiosks that let you print pictures of any size from your smartphone or memory card. Dress the kids in girls' and boys' sweatpants and tees for collage-making. These apparel items are comfortable, easy to move around in, and machine-washable for easy cleaning.
Another way to celebrate Memorial Day is with a history lesson. You don’t have to spend all day teaching the kids about history, but you can devote a portion of the day to stories celebrating our great country. Make it fun by giving a history lesson with a quiz afterward, and hand out small prizes. Or you could choose a historical film that’s age-appropriate to teach the kids history in an entertaining way. Provide them with cozy throw blankets and popcorn for a movie-watching session, then head outside for some fun in the sun. Some people enjoy cookouts and water fun on Memorial Day. If this sounds like a plan, gear up in chlorine-resistant swimsuits and provide kids with beach towels and rash guard cover-ups for after they’re done in the water.
Gardening is a fun spring and summer activity that the whole family can enjoy, and you can even tailor it to Memorial Day. If you are celebrating the lives of loved ones who served, plant their favorite tree or flowers in the yard. You could also create a garden that features red, white, and blue flowers for a patriotic look. Kids love digging in the dirt—keep them comfortable in elastic-waist jeans with reinforced knees. Leggings for girls are another apparel idea for working in the garden; girls can wear leggings with their favorite tee or tunic for comfort and style. Kids who love wearing shorts can move freely in basketball shorts or boys' cargo shorts.
Something simple yet special that you can do on Memorial Day is to give a pre-dinner speech that honors your military family member or members. You could even serve your loved one's favorite meal. No matter what you choose to have, taking a moment before dinner to express your gratitude is an easy and memorable way to mark the occasion.
If there’s a Memorial Day fundraiser in your community, get involved. The whole family can work together on making items for a charity bake sale or participate in a sponsored walk. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to find out if any Memorial Day events are planned; if not, consider coming up with your own. You might also want to look into pen-pal programs with service people stationed away from home or find out how you can send care packages to them. The kids can have fun making thank-you cards from construction paper, markers, paint, and other crafting supplies.
These are just some of the ways you can make memories with your loved ones this Memorial Day while honoring those who served our country. There aren’t any specific rules for celebrating this holiday, so create your own traditions that feel right for you and your family.