What is VE Day and why do we celebrate it?
This upcoming Friday (8th May), is VE Day which is short for Victory in Europe Day.
The day marks the end of fighting in Europe during World War II, and is a celebration of the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allied Forces, made up of many countries like Great Britain and France. In Great Britain, Winston Churchill who was the Prime Minister at the time (just like we now have Boris Johnson), announced that the war had ended over the radio at exactly 3 pm on 8th May 1945. This made many people very happy and huge celebrations were held nationwide with lots of street parties, food and laughter.
This year is the 75th anniversary, which makes it even more important that we remember what happened: what our grandparents or older family members may have experienced in World War II and the many contributions people like the soldiers who fought to the nurses and factory workers who provided all the help on the home front made.
We need to remember events like this in history so that the people who lived at the time will never be forgotten which we can still do in our own homes during lockdown. So, how can you and your kids join in with the celebrations? By getting crafty of course!
Make your own bunting!
Get ready to celebrate this Friday by making your very own bunting. From the classic Union Jack Flag to World War II themed drawings, the kids will have a great time designing and crafting in this fun and easy activity.
Check out the video below to see how you and the little ones can get started- all you need is A4 paper with two holes and some string!
Bake and decorate your very own Victoria (in Europe) Sponge Cake
What better way to commemorate VE day than baking your very own celebratory Victoria (in Europe) Sponge Cake! With butter, sugar and flour hiding somewhere in the cupboard, get ready to celebrate the sweet way by baking this British classic. A delicious afternoon tea treat with the kids to enjoy on the day or even in the lead up to Friday- keep it traditional with classic buttercream and jam, or create a colourful Union Jack flag design? It's all up to you!
Not sure of what ingredients you need? Have a look at this great recipe from BBC Good Food for a yummy masterpiece in just 30 minutes!
Design amazing army badges
Running out of ideas? Why not take some inspiration from World War II soldiers and create your own military badges? Get your little ones to research about the amazing history of WW2 by taking a look at the amazing achievements and awards that were given to soldiers. From old photographs or even by talking to older family and friends to see if they have any examples, find your inspiration! Then, using any craft supplies in the house, recreate and make your very own badges from foil to different cardboard shaped cutouts.
Dress up like it's the 1940s to recreate a photo
Travel back in time with a dress-up photo challenge!
Take a look at some photos of people in WW2 or even on VE Day in 1945, and then find whatever you can around the house to recreate the scene in a photo. Get the whole family involved and have fun dressing up in this 'digital' craft- remember to take the photo in black and white to truly recreate the celebrations from 75 years ago.
Create your very own commemorative plate
Have a paper plate lying around from the last birthday party? Why not get the kids to design their very own World War II plate?
Getting a paper plate, you and your little designers can try your hand at creating your own WW2 memorabilia. Search for different images from World War II- it could be of VE day celebrations, different countries that were involved or even the people that fought. Next, choose a special message that you wish to write in the middle of the plate to celebrate VE Day and then decorate to your heart's content using the images as inspiration for your own ideas.
Get stuck in with a creative collage
Have some leftover magazines or newspapers? Why not get your mini artists to make a creative collage? Get your little ones to think about what VE Day means by cutting and glueing different pictures and words together on paper or card to create a unique collage you can then use to decorate the house.
A great way to reuse old leftovers to create new meaningful artwork.
Hold your very own paper plane flypast!
Why not make your very own paper plane flypast? A flypast is a celebratory flight done on important occasions like VE Day where new and old planes fly together in a show of support. Get your mini pilots to search for different types of planes from WW2, make paper planes and then design them. You can then have your very own flypast at home by throwing the planes!
Make your very own poetic plaques
Getting crafty doesn't just mean being arty! Have a go at writing your very own poetic plaque to celebrate VE day! Get a piece of A4 card and fold in half, letting your little ones decorate the card on the inside and outside, leave some space to write a short poem about VE day. You can then hang the plaques on a string just like bunting or put them around the house.
Not sure what to write? Check out my acrostic poem below:
Victory is ours
Everyone is celebrating
Dancing in the street
All the fighting is over
Years of war ended!
Paint an Allied Forces Flag pebble
Find a rock or pebble which is as smooth as can be in your garden or on a nature walk and choose a flag from one of the Allied Force countries such as the USA, paint and decorate. Choose a different flag for each pebble you find- you now have your very own VE day rock collection which you can use to decorate the house or even the garden.
Get artsy with handprint poppies
Have some paint lying around? A quick and easy arts and crafts idea using just your hands! Poppies are the flower of remembrance for both world wars. Using red paint (if you don't have any don't worry) and your full handprint, press down five times going clockwise in a circle. Leave some room in the middle for a dot of black. There you have it- your very own poppy!
Make your own VE Day sign!
With VE Day coming this Friday, what better way to mark the occasion than getting the kids to create their very own VE Day sign. Using all the crafts you have at home, make your own celebratory signs to put up around the house. You could even put some on the windows so people can see it when and if they go past your house. From big to small signs, design your way to making a memorable VE Day!
Get ready to celebrate!
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