Veterans Day: The Busy Mom’s Guide with Anna Krafve Pierce

Art supplies for creating patriotic Veterans Day banners.Creating a teaching moment about sacrifice is as easy as turning kids lose with a few art supplies and some good ideas.

If you’re wondering what you’re going to do for Veterans Day, Anna says no need to panic. You can walk in the door and have your kids laughing and creating within minutes tonight! All the while, you can transfer your respect for sacrifice to them without missing a beat.

Recycle Old Magazines into Kid-friendly Veterans Day Art

“Who doesn’t have a pen and old magazine,” laughs Anna. “Junk mail was made for collaging,” laughs Anna. Collages are a simple two-step process and tons of fun!

1) First, have the kids go through the magazine and tear out all the pages that have blue in them. 

2) Next, tear up all the little blue pieces and glue them down in the shape of a star. 

Toddlers to teenagers love collages. Anna suggests printing out quotes from George Washington or family quotes from veterans. 

“The reason teenagers love collages is you can hide things in them,” Anna says, adding, “if you really are driving home tonight and need a patriotic activity, there you go!”

I included two of my favorite George Washington quotes below. Of course, if the first one seems too self-serving for a mom to suggest (wink) then there’s the next one.

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”― George Washington

“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”― George Washington  (For more  George Washington quotes, click here.)

Patriotic Banners

Set out paper, ribbon, scissors and glue to help your kids make patriotic banners, a historical  decoration tradition for our country. If you made star collages, you can string them together. We love banners!

Stars on banners represented the number of people serving in the military in your household, during WWII. Yellow ribbons say welcome home. Plus, yellow ribbons represent the longing we feel when our heroes are away. But, if anything seems overwhelming, keep it easy!

“Even red, white, and blue streamers over a table are so happy and festive,” Anna says. And simple for Mom!

Read About American Patriots

Since she loves books, Anna suggests collecting books on American heroes, like George Washington. No time to shop for a book? No worries! She suggests searching for kid friendly articles. (Searching for kid-friendly articles about George Washington, I found Facts for Kids, here.) You can even read to your kids out loud while they create banners.

Don’t forget, the Library of Congress offers videos of American patriots telling their true stories, here.)

Punch Bowl Patriotism

Giving a whole new meaning to filling the punchbowl, Anna suggests filling a large glass bowl with pictures of military pictures in past generations of your family. Or, collect pictures of veteran heroes in your neighborhood or of heroes currently serving. Kids love to pull snapshots out and look through them. Remember to pray for each one as you consider their sacrifice.

To hear our whole conversation about teaching kiddos to respect sacrifice, click above.

Real Sacrifice

Sometimes, we say we’re making sacrifices when we really mean we’re trying to get ahead in our career. Of course, there’s a time and place for work sacrifices. But Anna points out when we honor the real sacrifices our veterans made, we call attention to those who sacrifice for the purpose of serving others, even at the risk of their own life. (For a teacher’s toolkit about he Vietnam War, click here.)

If Veterans Day snuck up on you this year, no worries. Next week, I pulled together Anna’s terrific tips for how we all—especially grandparents—can help teach kids to respect sacrifice every day of the year. With the holidays, many families will love her easy ideas to fold teaching moments into your normal holiday traditions!

As we honor our veteran heroes, those who have already served, our family keeps in our hearts and prayers the men and women who serve presently. May God bless you and bring you home to your family safely. 

May we pray together?

Dear Father, all over this country are men and women who have followed your Son in acts of sacrifice. Like Jesus, they willingly offered their lives for the freedom and lives of others. Today, as we pray, there are those who continue this tradition of making sacrifices for others. Bless them now, O Lord. As Americans who enjoy more freedom than ever in history, may we cherish the sacrifices made by our heroes. May they and their families enjoy respect for their courage and sacrifices throughout this nation. Give us the courage we need to preserve freedom and pass it on to another generation. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

In what ways are you teaching the next generation to respect sacrifice? As a child, what memories do you have of honoring veterans? Which veterans’ stories have impacted your heart?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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