On the 25th of April we stop as a country and celebrate Anzac Day. This is an important day
of remembrance and commemoration for the men and women who have served and
continue to serve our country. This is an important day for many families but it can be tricky
to know how to share it with our young children.
I have a strong family connection to Anzac Day, we would wake up early to attend the Dawn
Service, lining the roads as the soldiers marched by. I remember watching the colours of
their uniforms, their shining medals and the red poppies everyone wore. I could see pride
and sadness on people's faces as they remembered the lives of friends and family. I think of
the laying of wreaths and the playing of the last post. This was a special time of sharing and
remembering for my family, where we honoured loved ones and shared their stories.
As with most things in life, the best way we can support our children is to be honest with
them, while sharing simple and age appropriate stories and information. We can focus on
stories of kindness and mateship.
● Engage in practical activities, children learn best through being engaged:
o Make Anzac biscuits
o Create poppies or lanterns
o Make rosemary scented playdough
o Visit a local park with a War Memorial.
● Talk about freedom and safety and how the soldiers have looked after our country.
● Share stories of kindness and mateship.
● Listen to your children’s questions and answer them with simple, honest language.
● Attend a Dawn Service, prepare your children so they understand the traditions such
as the laying of wreaths and the playing of the Last Post.
● Engage in a minute's silence, this will be tricky for younger children so give them
something to focus their attention on such as a picture or on an object (like a
● Share your own family stories and create traditions.
Books and Anzac Day
As a parent and teacher I turn to books whenever I am struggling to communicate about a
topic with children. Books are a wonderful way to engage children and help build their
understanding. I would encourage you to buy some stories about Anzac Day, find them at
your local library or look them up on youtube.
Anzac Ted- by Belinda Lansberry
Anzac Ted is the special story of a little boy’s teddy bear, that was passed down to him from
his grandfather. Battered, torn, missing an eye and an ear, he might look scary but he’s got a
great story to tell. Anzac Ted went to war, keeping soldiers company and giving them
My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day- by Catriona Hay
This book tells the story of a young girl as she wakes up early to attend the Dawn Service
where her Grandad marches. This is a great way to introduce the concept of Anzac day to
young children and helps them understand how we honour soldiers who served our
Lest we forget- by Kerry Browns
This book talks about remembrance, the little boy shares special things that he remembers
from his life and applies this to remembering our soldiers.
Children learn best when they are engaged in an activity – find out what organisations in
your area send care packages, cards or letters to our troops. This is a great way to get
involved and do something practical to help.
Anzac Day, a significant day in our Nation.
We will Remember Them.