The Anzac legend is such a crucial element of Australia’s history. As a nation, we have come so far since the landing on Gallipoli. It is understandable why younger children find the concept so foreign. Approaching this topic can be challenging. Here are some simple activities to help commemorate and teach your kids about the Anzac spirit.
For many, baking in the kitchen is an enjoyable activity that involves the whole family. The best part about baking as a family is the ability to bond and allow for open conversations. This Anzac Day, try baking classic Anzac biscuits or if you are feeling advantageous, these collection of Aussie recipes are delicious.
Explain to your kids that biscuits were made and sent from Australia to troops wherever they were stationed around the globe. Express the biscuit’s significance, you can also use this as an opportunity to ask them what they think Anzac means.
The thought of waking up the entire family for dawn service may seem daunting. However, this is a great opportunity for kids to gain a deeper understanding of the day and its importance.
On your way to the dawn service explain the importance of respect during the service. If this is your child’s first dawn service explain the process of the service and how it will be running, so they know what to expect.
For younger families and dawn service may not be on the books, however, you can always send the morning at an Anzac Day March. Pack a picnic and some chairs or a rug and watch your local march. This is a great commemorating activity for kids who have lots of questions, as you can answer them throughout the parade.
There are many significant plants related to Anzac Day, all holding their own unique meanings. Rosemary is a great plant which is easy to care for, useful in the kitchen and high significance. Flanders poppy is a well-known plant in relation to Remembrance Day.
You may find that your child is extremely curious and interested in Anzac Day. A great way to capture and maintain their interest is by teaching them facts surrounding the event. If you are having difficulty explaining topics or what life was like back then, borrow an Anzac book from your local library.
For young children (3 and 4 years old) the following books will be useful: ‘Why are they marching Daddy?’ and My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day.
For primary aged children, some useful books include Simpson and his Donkey, The Fair Dinkum War, and A Day to Remember.
Older children may be interested in reading The One Day of the Year, The Divine Wind, and The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
You will find that you spend a lot of time explaining why we remember troop who have served our country. However, don’t forget to take time to remember the men and women who are currently serving overseas.
Depending on the age and maturity of your child, explain to them in a gentle way why we still have troops overseas. Spend the afternoon creating postcards with your kids to send to serving troops in a program developed by the Department of Defence.