Memorial Day’s on Monday. Your kids (and maybe you, too) may see the day as a chance to relax and celebrate, but do you know what you’re celebrating? These two activities will help your kids learn the true meaning of the holiday and have a little fun along the way!

Memorial Day, which was originally called Decoration Day, was officially established as a national holiday in 1966. The holiday’s history, though, stretches back further. It originally started after the Civil War as a way to honor members of the military who died in war.

So, when we pause on the last Monday in May to celebrate Memorial Day, we’re saluting generations of soldiers who gave their lives for this country. Now how can you teach your kids about the importance of the day? We have two fun ideas!

Create a Flag

What better way to salute the day than to honor the flag that so many soldiers have given their lives for? And the possibilities for how to create the flag are almost endless.

Your kids can draw an American flag, or they can make one out of construction paper. If you’re looking for something a little more creative, how about a popsicle stick flag? Glue together seven popsicle sticks, then decorate them like the U.S. flag using paint or markers, star stickers, and other decorations.

Bake a Treat

Let’s take that flag theme a bit further. Make sugar cookies using your favorite recipe, then use a cookie cutter to create star shapes. Once the cookies are baked, decorate them with red- and blue-colored frosting and the sprinkles of your choice!

Or, for a dessert that requires a bit more preparation, make a cake flag. Bake your favorite flavor of cake, then cover with vanilla or cream cheese frosting. Once you’ve done that, create stripes on the “flag” using strawberries, then create stars in the upper left corner using blueberries.

And an even better way to teach your kids about Memorial Day? Take the yummy treat you’ve created to a local veteran’s hospital or VFW post. You’re sure to put a smile on the face of a veteran. After all, isn’t that what the holiday is all about?