Anzac Day in Early Childhood Education

Anzac Day in Early Childhood Education

Children in early childhood education are curious young learners who are interested to learn about the world they live in.  They are fascinated with what happened in the past and want to make connections to their relatives who lived before them.  With all this in mind it is a perfect opportunity for children to learn about Anzac Day now.

Anzac Day is such an important part of New Zealand history that tells stories of real people, who gave up everything to defend our nation.  They were heroes and to learn about them and the rituals that come with Anzac Day, will mean that these will continue to shared through our younger generations.

At our small West Auckland preschool in Te Atatu South, the children learn about Anzac Day and what it means to us as New Zealanders.  We present the children with a range of experiences such as: digging trenches in the sandpit, looking at photos, reading a variety of stories; where they learn about the roles of different people and animals.  The children get to create poppies to wear or to contribute to our wreath, bake Anzac biscuits and get a close up look at some precious medals.

Throughout the month of April the young children are eager to participate in all these experiences and are eager to learn more.  Their funds of knowledge develop from thinking Anzac Day is about volcanoes or earthquakes, to being about remembering the soldiers.  They develop their understanding of peace and how this can continue to be maintained.

Through this project at our Te Atatu kindy, the children take their knowledge home and share it with their families.  This inspires families to do their own research and share their family history with their children, which are then brought to the centre and shared.  This is another example of stories being shared through the generations.

We hope that by presenting Anzac Day in the early childhood education years, we are laying the foundations for future learning about it’s significance as they embark on their learning journey through life.

From all the staff and children at Te Atatu South Childcare Centre, Auckland… 


Digging trenches
Acting out their learning
Reading stories
Wearing poppies
Looking at medals
Baking Anzac biscuits

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