What Veterans Day activities for kids do you use, so they will better understand the significance of the holiday? Throughout the years, I revised and added to the activities I used to help children gain a better understanding of the meaning of Veterans Day.
Not only did I grow up near a military base, but I also taught elementary students who attended base schools. In addition, my father was in the Army during the early part of my life.
So, this holiday is near and dear to my heart. These are some of the ideas I used for easy and useful activities.
1. Veterans Day Web Anchor Chart
Start with a Veterans Day web. Create an anchor chart of information that students gather from what they learn about Veterans Day. Display the chart in the classroom for students to reference. Your students can also create a similar web graphic organizer for themselves that they can complete as they learn more about the holiday.
KWL (know, want to learn, learn) graphic organizers are also helpful for students as they learn about the holiday.
2. Veterans Day Activities: Read Aloud Books
You will want to read books about the holiday.
One of my favorites is The Poppy Lady by Barbara E. Walsh. It’s the story of Moina Belle Michael and how she founded the red poppy as a symbol to honor veterans.
Veterans Day Read Aloud Books for Kids
Here are some other popular book recommendations:
- Veterans Day by Jacqueline S. Cotton
- Veterans: Heroes in our Neighborhood by Valerie Pfundstein
- Veterans Day by Rebecca Pettiford
- Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin
- Hero Mom by Melinda Hardin
- Why Do We Celebrate Veterans Day? by Grace Houser
3. Veterans Day Thank You Letters
Your students can write thank you letters to veterans for their service in the United States Armed Forces. Ideas for sharing the letters:
- Display the letters in the school hallway bulletin board.
- Share the thank you letters with veterans who visit your school.
- If your school has a Veterans Day assembly, your students can volunteer to read their letters at the assembly.
- Send the thank you letters to veterans. Send the letters via A Million Thanks. The organization sends the letters to active, reserve, and veteran military. They even have sample letters on the site.
- Send the letters to a local veterans or veteran’s society in your area.
4. Branches of the United States Military
Display posters of the United States military branches for students to learn about the different branches of the military.
Invite veterans to the classroom to share about their military service. I would invite parents who were veterans to come to the classroom to speak to the children about the branches of the military. The students were fascinated to see their uniforms and learn about their military service. And, it’s a great way to make a positive home school connection!
5. Veterans Day Craft Activity
Pair a Veterans Day craft with a writing activity or thank you letter. Makes the perfect classroom Veterans Day bulletin board display!
6. Veterans Day Activities – Salute to Veterans Project
This Veterans Day Salute project was my favorite and most impactful of the Veterans Day activities.
Honoring veterans in a special way is important. I would send home a “Veterans Day Salute” poster for students to complete at home with the help of their parents. The students would choose a veteran (parent, relative, neighbor, family friend) who they could interview. They would include the veteran’s branch of the military, service dates, and a photograph or picture of the veteran.
After the children returned the posters to school, I set aside a time for them to share about the veterans with the class. Then, we displayed the posters on a “Veterans Day Salute” bulletin board to honor those veterans.
Some children were surprised to find out about relatives who were veterans. My students spoke with pride about loved ones who were veterans. It was heartwarming to see.
After displaying the projects, parents would purposely come into the classroom after school just to see the display.
Hopefully, these ideas are helpful to you as you plan activities to teach about Veterans Day for kids in the primary grades. I used these activities with first grade, but they can also be used for second grade.
You can apply and use these activities with this packet of Veterans Day Activities and Craft. It’s perfect for first grade, second grade, and primary homeschool students. Easy to use and engaging! Just click on the link for detailed information about the resource.