From Activities to Crafts, 35+ Patriotic Activities To Celebrate Memorial Day With Kids

Memorial Day is a time to celebrate because, in addition to being the unofficial kickoff of summer, it's also a time to embrace the liberties and freedoms that we have and remember what it takes to achieve and maintain them. So if you're looking for patriotic ways and activities to celebrate Memorial Day 2024, here are 35+ ideas to celebrate Memorial Day. 

35+ Memorial Day Activities

1. Honor the true meaning of the holiday.

Many people don't realize the difference between Memorial Day, which honors troops who've made the ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty, and Veterans Day, which honors all those who have served. Note the difference and explain it to your little ones.



2. Write letters to troops.

Though Memorial Day is a day to honor fallen troops, we can recognize the heroes who are still fighting for us every day. Support Our TroopsOperation We Are Here and Any Soldier are great resources to send thanks to the men and women who keep us safe.

Related: American Flag Etiquette



3. Write letters to families of fallen troops.

If you know a family or spouse of a fallen military member, write them a thank you letter also to let them know that you're thinking of them during what may be a difficult time.

4. Call a spouse or loved one of a military member in your community.

If you have a military family in your community, call them! This is especially kind if the military member is deployed.

Related: Discounts, Deals and Free Meals for Veterans on Memorial Day 

5. Make care packages for troops.

Organizations like Operation We Are Here, Operation Shoebox, Operation Gratitude, Hero Box and Any Soldier are great resources to send what troops really need and want overseas to show you care. Rather donate cash to help military families? The Gary Sinise Foundation is an amazing resource.

6. Honor veterans—and work towards a scholarship—with the Veterans Heritage Project.

The Veterans Heritage Project connects students with veterans and gives them each a sense of purpose and pride, while preserving veterans' stories. The Veterans Heritage Project also has scholarship opportunities available to student members.

7. Donate to provide homes for heroes.

Many troops and veterans live in poverty or cannot afford housing that suits their needs, especially if they have disabilities. Organizations like Building Homes for Heroes and Homes for Our Troops help provide homes for military families and veterans.

8. Volunteer virtually for Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude welcomes to raise awareness and give thanks to troops.

9. Listen to the Hamilton soundtrack.

The edited version is a great history lesson for all ages.

Related: The Best Memorial Day Instagram Captions

10. Watch Civil War films.

Lincoln is a great Civil War film for older kids and teens (determine if you think it's appropriate for your children; rated PG-13); and The Red Badge of Courage is appropriate for elementary school kids and up.

Related: 45 Discounts, Deals and Free Meals for Veterans on Memorial Day

11. Watch Megan Leavey and Max.

These films focus on canine heroes, with Megan Leavey rated PG-13 and Max rated PG.

12. Watch Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.

Have young kids? Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is an adorable animated feature for little ones that's based on a true story of a very good boy.

Related: Easy Memorial Day Recipes

13. Volunteer to leave flags on military members' graves at a local cemetery.

Always check with cemetery directors before proceeding, and be mindful of the proper placement of flags.



14. Make DIY red, white and blue decor.

Wreaths are a fun, simple craft, and these DIY confetti launchers are a lot of fun for kids (and for you, if you're not the one who's cleaning up the confetti!). See more fun ideas here.


15. Make patriotic art.

Celebrate with sidewalk chalk murals.

16. Make your own Memorial Day poppies.

These pretty poppies hold a significant meaning.

17. Rock DIY patriotic tie-dye.

Get festive, crafty and stylish all at once.

18. Make a festive, refreshing dessert.

Get the recipe here.

<strong>Get the recipe: <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Red White and Blueberry White Chocolate Cream Dessert;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Red White and Blueberry White Chocolate Cream Dessert</a></strong><p>The Midnight Baker</p>

19. Make delicious, patriotic ice.

Put strawberries and blueberries (or just blue and red sports drinks or juices!) into your ice cube tray and freeze. Toss them in punch or sparkling water!

20. Hang a flag—and learn the proper care and keeping of one too.

Know how and where to hang your flag, as well as how to maintain it.



21. Support local businesses.

Get takeout or a gift card for a military family from a local eatery.

22. Donate to the USO.

Whether you donate cash directly or get items for their wishbook, supporting the USO is a great way to send love to the troops.

23. Adopt a soldier.

Adopt a soldier! Ladies of Liberty, a sub-division of Soldiers Angels, supports female troops overseas with care packages designed specifically for their unique needs, or you can adopt any soldier through the main program.

24. Make double your usual Memorial Day goodies and deliver them to a military family in your community.

Whether it's from the griddle for brunch, from the grill for dinner or a delectable dessert, save some for a family who will appreciate it.

Related: 50 Must-See War Films for Your Memorial Day Movie Marathon

25. Attend a Memorial Day parade.

Find a local Memorial Day parade in your area to attend.

26. Tune in to the annual Memorial Day concert on PBS.

Every year, PBS puts on a star-studded televised concert to honor men and women in uniform.

27. Clip coupons for troops.

The Overseas Coupon Program will take your expired coupons and send them to troops, who can use them at commissaries up to six months past their expiration dates.



28. Listen to veterans' stories.

The Veterans History Project helps preserve veterans' histories for the Library of Congress.

Related: Memorial Day Quotes

29. Visit a national park.

Plan a trip to a national park.

30. Read patriotic books.

Band of BrothersThe Things They Cannot SayThe Things They CarriedThe Wall and Memorial Day Surprise are good options depending on your children's ages.

31. Make s'mores with a festive twist.

Hershey's had red, white and blue Cookies 'n' Creme bars a couple of years ago, which will make s'mores look as delicious as they taste. So keep a look out to see if they have them again this year.

32. Tune in to historical programming.

The History Channel and The Military Channel will be great for this socially distanced Memorial Day weekend.

33. Listen to patriotic songs.

The Library of Congress compiled a list of songs about American wars. Browse streaming services for more modern choices as well.

34. Take a veteran to school.

The Take a Veteran to School Day program is a great one for both students and veterans alike. Talk to your child's school to see if you can establish a program for the upcoming academic year.

35. Go on a scavenger hunt.

Plan an in-person scavenger hunt or try a virtual one. This is a great online scavenger hunt designed specifically for Memorial Day.

Related: Memorial Day History

36. Color uniforms accurately.

Download these patriotic coloring pages and teach your kids which branches wear which colors.

37. Color a medal of honor.

Kids can color and dedicate their own special Medal of Honor from Crayola.

38. Have a moment of silence.

Memorial Day, for all of its celebrations, is, at its core, one of the country's most somber occasions. Mark it as such with a moment of silence to remember those who've lost their lives defending America.

39. Watch the Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony.

On Memorial Day, May 27, you can tune in with children here.

Next up: Military Gifts