At 11am on 11th November every single year, we celebrate Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day. It is held on the 11th day of November to mark the end of the First World War in 1918.
Most people observe a two-minute silence at 11am and wear a poppy to remember people who have died in wars.
Why do we do this? We do this to commemorate the sacrifice of Armed Forces communities who served to defend our freedoms and way of life.
Why is this important to children?
For most children nowadays, relatives who had first-hand experience of the wars will sadly have passed away. They will therefore never hear the stories that our grandparents used to tell us. They might never meet a war veteran. Almost certainly, they won’t appreciate how different our lives could have been without the courage of these people .
As a result, it’s even more important for us to teach our children about this important celebration.
Schools are doing a great job at educating children about the history of remembrance celebrations. As with anything however, there are lots of things that we can do at home to support this further.
Ideas to celebrate Remembrance Day
Watch the parade on the TV
You don’t need to brave the cold to watch a Remembrance parade. The BBC One broadcasts live coverage of the Remembrance Sunday commemorations from the Cenotaph in Whitehall. This programme is amazing at educating children about the courage and sacrifice of those who fought in the wars. They will also see royal family, politicians and representatives of religions together too.
Find your nearest parade
If you’d prefer to get up close and personal, have a look in your local area for remembrance events near you. Similarly, keep an eye on Facebook local to find other events nearby.
Visit your local church
Lots of churches will hold a special remembrance services that are open to everyone. Pop into your local church to see what they are running.
Get creative and crafty
Poppies are the symbol of remembrance. Most schools and playgroups will be making poppy crafts, but why not make some at home too?
Take a look at these crafty ideas to get the kids interested in Armistice Day:
- Red memorial poppy craft using a cupcake liner
- Poppy sun catchers for preschoolers
- Bottle top poppy art
- Poppy paper plates
Hold your own silence
It might seem like a complete possibility for your children, but why not introduce the idea of holding your own two-minute silence? It could be a gentle way of introducing younger children to the concept. Try to explain the significance of why we do this and how it helps us to remember.
Visit a war memorial or museum
Older children may have more appetite to learn more about why we celebrate Remembrance Day. Take them to a memorial and encourage them to ask questions about inscriptions and dates, or the stories behind them.
The RAF Museum in Cosford has free entry and holds a Service of Remembrance to participate in. Also look for war graves and exhibitions that may be running in your area.
Watch educational programmes together
Thanks to the internet, we have access to so many resources that will hopefully spark interest in children. Watch videos such as the WW1 A-Z or Poppies with your children.
Above all, try to help your children to understand why Remembrance Day is so significant to our lives.