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Nov 7

Remembrance Day

There are certain holidays or events that mark the year. Remembrance Day – or Poppy Day as we called it when I was a kid – is certainly one of those events.

Poppy Day was always a signal to me that summer was long gone, that we were fully into autumn and that winter Copy of Remembrance Day (1)weather and Christmas holidays were just around the corner. It was (and still is!) the days and weeks leading up to Poppy Day that brought that feeling as you started to notice the poppy pins appear on people’s clothes.

You likely know the history of Remembrance Day but it is always worth a refresher for our old brains! It is a day observed in countries in the British Commonwealth of Nations to remember all those who have died in the line of duty and those affected by war. It has been held since the end of the First World War and is held on Armistice Day – the day the treaty to end World War I was signed.

Whilst the tradition of honouring those lost was started by King George V, it was a poem written by a Canadian doctor for the funeral of his friend who in perished in the First World War that introduced the concept of poppies. The poem, “In Flanders Fields”, refers to the poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers.

You may wonder how to talk to kids about Remembrance Day and war. Talking about such difficult topics can be challenging, especially as they are hopefully far removed from your kids experiences to date. Try to relate it to things that your kids can understand such as separation and or the loss of loved ones. Grandparents can help as they can explain their experiences or memories. But always remember to make your child feel personally safe and secure when talking about these types of topics.

Balance the harder aspects of a discussion on Remembrance Day with a discussion on all the events and activities that are planned. Talk about the events that will happen in Ottawa for example as well as events planned in your home town. Go online and show your kids pictures of the thousands of poppies at the Tower of London in 2014 that marked the start of the British involvement in the First World War.

There are also many activities that you, or your nanny or babysitter, can do with your kids for Poppy Day. There are activity books online that you can download. There are word games and puzzles and pictures for colouring.

There are different views on when to start wearing a poppy – the day after Halloween, the week leading to Remembrance Day and more! reports that “Veterans Affairs Canada says poppies can be worn from the beginning of the poppy drive, which this year was Oct. 30.

If you do not have poppies for your family, this is another activity you, your nanny or your babysitter, can do with the kids. Simply get out the red and black construction paper and scissors and glue and get to work!

If you or someone you know is looking for a Nanny, check out qualified candidates in your area at is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.