VE Day dawns on Friday, May 8, 2020 – marking 75 years since the guns fell silent in Europe near the end of World War Two.
There were grand plans for the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, with events, street parties and a spectacular VE Day concert at the Royal Albert Hall. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, all these plans are now cancelled.
Celebrate at Home
But you can still celebrate – and throw a ‘Stay at Home Street Party’ instead! With social distancing in mind, people can decorate their houses in red, white and blue, have a picnic in their garden and even sit outside in the street.
To help you plan, VE Day 75 and English Heritage have developed some toolkits, including recipes, posters, dance moves and a Spotify play list! You can check it out here!
The VE Day 75 website is also encouraging all those taking part to undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May, from the safety of your own home. You can stand up, raise a glass and undertake the following ‘Toast’ – “To those who gave so much, we thank you,”.
In Calderdale, local museum staff have been working hard to prepare an online mini-exhibition, showcasing one object per day.
Items including gas masks, photographs, food packages and more, will be posted at 11am each day from @BankfieldMuseum twitter account. On Friday 8 May, a new web page will launch with all the photos and further information about each object.
We also have lots of ideas on how you can celebrate with the family below.
We’d love to hear your ideas on how to celebrate under lockdown – please share them on our Facebook page! Here are some of ours, with lots of crafting to keep the kids entertained and a great history lesson thrown in too!
We’ll be uploading more of our very own VE themed crafting sheets throughout the week. So keep an eye out for them!
Create your own Red, White & Blue Bunting
Give your party a BRITISH theme and design your own red, white and blue bunting! There is a great free bunting template which you can download here. Grab your paints, crayons, pens and crafting materials and get busy! Once the designs are complete simply cut the flags and attach together with ribbon or string!
Design your own VE DAY Party Hat and have a competition for the best design!
This one will have to be done in advance.
Grab some old newspaper, PVA glue, balloons, paint and create your own party hat from papier-mache! For a top hat, try using a flower pot covered in cling film for your mould.
Blow up the balloons to slightly bigger than head size
Cover the top of the balloon in the newspaper and PVA glue. Add 2 -3 layers. This will take around 2 days to dry.
Once the hat is dry pop the balloon or remove it from the cling film.
To add a brim to your hat simply take your dry moulded hat and place it on a surface covered in cling film. Set the hat at the centre so you can papier mache around it. First, add long paper strips around the hat to fix it in place on the brim. Build the brim with 3 layers of papier-mache.
The brim doesn’t need to be flat, it can be moulded into any shape you wish. Make a bonnet brim by placing 4 cans underneath the rim. Make a Cowboy hat brim by using something to hold up the edges as the papier-mache dries. Use a tray covered in cling film as your surface and papier-mache up the rims of the tray to create a lip around your brim.
Paint your hat or, use crepe paper or wrapping paper to cover it.
Add feathers, ribbons, flowers or even stickers to your hat!
Create a VE Day Wreath for your Front Door
We had great fun making a VE Day Wreath and it now has pride of place on our front door! All you need is an egg box, a paper plate or some cardboard you can make the circle out of, red, green, black paint and glue!
Have a Picnic
Set out the picnic blanket in the garden (if the sun is shining!) or in front of the telly and enjoy some best of British favourites! We have ideas for how to make an amazing afternoon tea at home HERE. and some baking ideas you can do below.
Red, White & Blue Baking Ideas
Get the aprons out and whip up a storm (or a flour cloud!) in the kitchen with the kids.
These are our favourite recipes for red, white and blue-themed goodies.
Or for the quintessentially English, try adding blueberries to your Strawberries and cream, or try blackberry jam on your scones!
Try your hand at 1940s baking!
There are lots of recipe ideas online to take you back to the 1940s. Here are a few of our favourites!
Bread & Butter pudding
Fancy Dress Theme
We all know how kids love to dress up at any occasion so why not have the kids don their best WW2 outfits or they could come in their military uniforms, as knights, medics, evacuees or their Sunday best! Here is a blog we’ve done on VE Day fancy dress.
Put a spin on the traditional party games with these fun ideas!
Air Raid Statues. Like musical statues, but instead of pausing the music play air raid sounds instead. Use Air Raid sounds on YouTube and gets the kids to dance around, freezing when the air raid plays
VE Day Morse Code Challenge: there is a great downloadable challenge here
Pass the parcel – Have the parcel wrapped in newspaper or parcel paper for an authentic take
1940s Bingo: Rather than using numbers, have 1940s films, icons or events. There is a great guide here
The Soldier Says… a VE Day themed take on Simon says!
Play some traditional games like tin can alley or marbles!
There won’t be chance for the big street parties we had envisioned, but let’s get out in those gardens and celebrate with a good old family picnic.
Here are a few party game ideas too:
Pass the parcel – have the parcel wrapped in newspaper or parcel paper for an authentic take
1940s Bingo: rather than using numbers, have 1940s films, icons or events. There is a great guide here
The Soldier Says… a VE Day-themed take on Simon Says.
There are so many events to join online, as well as TV coverage, including a televised address to the nation from the Queen at 9pm. A quick google search will bring up loads of events and ideas.
There is a two minute silence at 11am, and a “toast to heroes” at 3pm.
I’ve seen some posters on Facebook asking people to sit outside their homes between 4-6pm (social distancing observed) for a street party, and the Government has put together some ideas here.
Please follow Government advice when celebrating VE Day