November 11 is Remembrance Day. A day to honour and remember men and women who have fallen in service of Canada and to acknowledge those who continue to serve.
Talking to your kids about Remembrance Day can be a heavy discussion. With limited public events taking place, it can be hard to know how to get them involved with the day. From simple actions to considerate art activities, we’ve put together ways to teach young children about the importance of Remembrance Day.
Here’s how to honour Remembrance Day with your kids
Wear a Poppy
A well known tradition and a simple action that can launch you into a conversation about the history of the day. This is also an extra special year to wear a poppy and teach your child the significance of wearing one. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Remembrance Poppy in Canada.
Donate to the Poppy Fund
Donate and explain to your children why you are donating. You can explain how the money helps veterans. Poppy funds are used for providing financial assistance to Veterans (including Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP) and their families who are in need. They provide food, heating, clothing, medication, home repairs, emergency shelters and so much more.
Read more here
Attend a Ceremony
COVID is still a concern this year, which means that some ceremonies will be happening with reduced numbers or by invite only.
Here is one in-person service planned for Vancouver:
UBC’s Ceremony for Remembrance Day – 2021 will make seventy years since UBC has hosted a Remembrance Day ceremony. This will be a special ceremony to honour those who served. It will include short readings, remarks from special guest sand musical performances.
Address: War Memorial Gymnasium, 6081 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC.
Time: 10 am (doors open) 10:45 am (ceremony begins).
*More services may be announced, so check back.
Watch a Ceremony
In-person ceremony options are limited this year. However, another option is watching from home. Although the Fort Langley Remembrance Day Service will be taking place in person for Veterans, there will also be a live stream broadcast to the general public.
Watch here: www.FortLangleyRemembers.com at 10:15 am.
Also, most major news stations will have a ceremony broadcasted live for you to watch with your children.
Lay a wreath or a poppy
Although some events are invite only, there is still an opportunity to lay a wreath or a poppy instead of participating in a group gathering. For example, you can head to the City of Coquitlam Warm Memorial at City Hall and lay a wreath there.
Explaining to your children the significance of doing this type of activity can be a helpful part of your discussions. They will feel more involved in the act of honouring the day and history.
Draw or paint a poppy picture
The Royal Canadian Legion has a teaching guide on their website geared toward school aged children. For example, draw or paint a picture of a poppy and tape it in your window. This is something that can be done with even preschool aged children.
Books are always a great way to connect with your children and to share stories about events in an age appropriate way. There are many great options to consider, such as:
Join a virtual classroom
Joyful Learning Academy is offering a virtual classroom all about Remembrance Day. It will include links to online Remembrance Day services across Canada and printable activities.
This incredible resource is completely free.
Kera is a full-time mom with three kids. She lives in the suburbs of Vancouver and recently started Kids Cuddles Coffee, a ‘mommy-news’ blog. She loves going on adventures with her kids all over the Lower Mainland. She has a passion for writing and the news. Before becoming a mom she worked at CBC radio and at a local newspaper. Follow her on Instagram @kidscuddlescoffee