Veterans Day is a perfect way to teach kids about gratitude and history at the same time. On the day we honor individuals who served in war, why not show veterans your appreciation by doing a small act of service at home or in the community. Here are five simple things you can do with your kiddos to thank a veteran this national holiday.

sophie-flag3photo: Leah Singer

1. Write a “thank you” card. Encourage your kiddos to express some words of gratitude and hand-make a few simple cards. A Million Thanks is an online services that will tell you exactly where to mail your letter (and some drop off location) to make sure they get right into the hands of a grateful vet. Not sure what to write? A Million Thanks also has writing suggestions.

2. Thank a veteran in person at a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) location. Get outside the house and thank a veteran, and at the same time, hand out drawings or treats. Have your kiddos draw pictures or bake a snack. Then find a VFW location close to you and drop by for a visit on Veteran’s Day. This is a great way for even the youngest kiddos to put a face to the word “veteran” and to say thank you.

3. Fly a flag. Have your kiddos participate in hanging an American flag outside your home. Don’t have a flag? Don’t let that stop you! Encourage your little artists to make their own flag by downloading a drawing template or create a patriotic craft. Once they’re done with the project, give them some tape and have them display their patriotic drawings on your window or door.

4. Attend a local Veterans Day parade. Lots of cities host Veteran’s Day parades in November. Check your community events calendar and pick a parade to attend. No local parade scheduled? Don’t let that stop you! Grab some poster board and markers, and make signs that say “Thank You, Veterans” and the march down your neighborhood street.

5. Call a veteran and say “thank you.” Chances are, your family knows someone who is a veteran. How about a grandparent, aunt or uncle, family friend or neighbor? Dial that person on the telephone (sorry, no texting) and simply say, “thank you.”

How do you teach your kids to honor veterans? Tell us your great ideas!

—Leah R. Singer