It's important to talk to your children about Anza day and the importance of it in perhaps your familiy's history and the history of Australia.It is also important to be very mindful of the age of your child and word things appropriately.
When introducing a new tradition to a young child, talking to them with clear explanations in the lead up is vital. This will mean they are more prepared for the day. Anzac Day is just like Christmas or a Birthday and happens once every year.
ANZAC Day is Australia and New Zealand’s national day of remembrance for all soldiers who have fought and died in wars and conflicts around the world. Every year on the 25th of April, people in both countries gather for services at dawn, as well as for parades and ceremonies throughout the day.
Usually people prefer peace however sometimes when their daily lives, family, friends or country is threatened, people choose to stand up and fight the bad guys. The goal is always that the good guys win and not too many friends are hurt along the way, however that does not always happen.
Australia has sent Soldiers to help some of their friends from other countries in the past. People who have fought in a war are called ex servicemen or veterans.
Anzac day facts for children aged 6 years and above.
- ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
- The first dawn service was in 1923. Dawn is significant because this is when the soldiers landed at Gallipoli. It is also considered the best time to attack in battle.
- A young soldier noticed bright red poppies were growing where some fighting had taken place, he called his poem "In Flanders Fields". The wives of soldiers began making and selling paper poppies to make money to care for soldiers who returned from war to help them to rebuild their lives.
- We all now wear bright red poppies as a way to remember soldiers who had fought in the war.
- The ANZACS landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on the 25th April 1915. This is why this date day is now known as ANZAC Day.
- The first world war last 4 long years. World War 1 began in August 1914 when Britain and Germany declared war on each other. Australia and New Zealand were friends with Britian and chose to support their friends and followed Britain into war.
- The 2nd world war lasted 6 long years.By the early part of 1939 the German dictator Adolf Hitler had become determined to invade and occupy Poland. Sadly the 40,000,000–50,000,000 deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict, as well as the largest war, in history.
- The battle at Gallipoli lasted 8 months, with more than 11,000 ANZACS dying and 23,500 being wounded in battle.
- All ANZAC soldiers who fought at Gallipoli were volunteers – they weren’t drafted into service like soldiers were in other countries.
- Wives of ANZAC soldiers made what we now know as ANZAC biscuits for their husbands. Since they contained no eggs or milk, they had a long shelf life. The soldiers ate them instead of bread.
- Other countries who celebrate ANZAC Day include Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. There are also services in France, England, and at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.
Your child may have a family member who serves in the Australian Army or has a Grandparent who fought in the wars for their country. This short animation made by the Australian Department of Veteran Affairs may assist you to discuss Anzac day with your child.
Looking for Anzac Activities for your kids?
- Make Anzac Biscuits and discuss why these biscuits last longer than a normal biscuit.
- Make a Poppy at home.
- Do some colouring in.
- For grade 3 and above : pretend you an Anzac in the war and write a letter to a loved one at home.
- Make your own medal
Remembering Anzacs is an important part of Australian history, share this with your children and fill them with the pride we all feel.