ANZAC day is one of the most revered days on the Australian calendar, but coming up with activities that discuss ANZAC day can be hard for the preschool aged children. When considering activities for ANZAC day, keep circling back to the ideas that resonate with the ANZAC day story including bravery, mateship and resilience under pressure. These are not only valuable personal attributes in wartime, but also in kids' day-to-day life.
Poppies are a traditional sign of remembrance. Try making your own poppies with red tissue paper petals or cutting red satin into petals, then threading onto pipe cleaners. You can get the children to try and write or draw images of people behaving bravely and ask them to decide on something that they want to do in the next year that will require some bravery. Perhaps they might want to start riding their bike without training wheels or start to play on a different playground. You can even thread the poppies together to make a class wreath to lay at a war memorial.
Simpson and his donkey
The story of Simpson and his donkey, who worked together to save injured soldiers, resonates well with many children because they enjoy the idea of an animal helping people. Find a storybook that covers the story in an age appropriate way, and get the children to colour in an image of Simpson and his donkey. Ask them to think about a time in their life, or a story they know, where animals have helped people.
Excursions or incursions
ANZAC day is a great time to invite speakers from the children's family or local veterans association to come in to the classroom and talk about their experiences serving in the defence forces. Children often like the interactivity of the incursion experience and relate better to a person telling their stories than dry displays at a museum. This can be a nice experience for the veterans as well, who like to come in and share their stories with the next generation. You can also get family members to discuss the experience of having had a family member at war and discuss how they dealt with the difficulties they incurred - both away at war and at home having to learn new jobs. This is great way to get the kids to think about dealing with difficulties and resilience.
With some planning, ANZAC day commemoration can help your preschool students to understand the important role that ANZAC day play in Australian culture. For more advice, contact a school such as Centenary Hill Pre-School.Share