Understanding the Importance of Memorial Day
Don’t let Memorial Day pass by without helping your kids understand the importance of honoring others. Great ways to observe Memorial Day include:
• Visiting and tending the graves of loved ones.
• Visiting a museum or memorial dedicated to national heroes.
• Wearing a red poppy to honor those who died serving the country (for more information, go to www.usmemorialday.org.
• Sharing stories about loved ones.
• Observing the National Moment of Remembrance (a moment of silence observed at 3 p.m. to honor our fallen heroes), a resolution passed in December 2000.
• Discussing what it means to be a hero.
Tracing Your Family Tree
Over Memorial Day weekend, trace your family’s roots by creating a family tree keepsake with your children. This is a wonderful way to help kids understand about the Memorial Day holiday, learn about their roots, and remember loved ones who’ve passed away.
Cut out a brown construction paper tree trunk and three large green construction paper circles. Glue the trunk to a large sheet of paper. Then overlap the three large circles to make the leaves of the tree (see illustration). Cut out a red construction paper apple for each ancestor you add to the family tree.
Place an apple in the center of the tree with your first child’s name and birthday written on the apple. Directly below the first child’s apple, place any siblings’ apples with the same information. Branch out from the children with parents and grandparents. You can make the tree simple by adding only immediate relatives, such as parents and grandparents.
If you’d like to make the tree more detailed or continue the project, your family can research to find distant relatives, along with their country of origin or occupation. If you’d like more information on how to search your family’s ancestry, check out one of these Web sites: www.familytreemaker.com; www.ancestry.com; or www.genhomepage.com.