On 8th May 1945 at 3pm, Winston Churchill announced to the nation that World War II was over. After six years of destruction and chaos, Britain was ready for a party. Up and down the country, crowds spilled onto the streets to celebrate: the day they had been waiting for had finally arrived.
75 years on, we may not be able to gather together for parties with our schools and local communities but there are plenty of ways to get involved at home, celebrate and say thank you on this wonderful day. It’s also a great way to support your child’s learning at home.
1. Research your family history
Many of us have been chatting to friends and family online and through video calls during this time. Have you got some friends or relatives who could talk to your children and tell them a little about what life was like around VE Day? Use our VE day activity downloads to record these memories, adding print outs of old family photos or drawings.
2. Spread the word
Once you’ve learnt about life in World War II, why not use it as a fun learning opportunity and ask children to have a go at telling others about it? Create a newspaper report, presentation or even a TV news feature sharing the wonderful news that the Prime Minister has announced the end of the war. What celebrations will be taking place? Who could you interview?
3. Have a party online or in your garden!
Are you taking part in an online street or garden party? Then you'll need decorations - in true wartime spirit, why not use arty materials found around the house to make your own bunting? And use our poster to let others know what’s happening in your local community.
4. What does a party need? Games!
You can’t have your friends round at the moment, but we’ve got some great tips for how to run an online quiz, which is great fun for all the family! You could have a scavenger hunt round with a party theme, rations round or a picture round (air raid shelter, Spitfire plane, gas mask etc).
Another fabulous idea, contributed by Holbrook Primary PTA, is to run online bingo through Facebook Live. See how they got on here.
5. Let’s have a singalong!
A special free Spotify playlist has been put together with some celebratory wartime classics such as In the Mood and Run, Rabbit, Run. Raid the dressing up box, have a good old knees up and round off the day with a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again after the Queen addresses the nation at 9pm.
We’d love to see what you get up to! Don’t forget to share your stories and pictures with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #veday75