Do you remember the first time you learned about Anzac Day as a child? While it’s true that April 25 is perhaps the most solemn day on Australia’s calendar, it’s also one of the most important, and one that Aussies of all ages can get involved in – even the kids.
This year, we’ve come up with five activities perfect for commemorating ANZAC day with your little ones.
1. Take them to an Anzac Dawn Service
Set those alarms and teach your children the importance of sacrifice by attending your local Anzac dawn service. If it’s their first service, explain to them the importance of remaining quiet during the moment of silence. Tell them to think about all the things they love to do (play with their toys, swim at the beach, go to school) and explain that it’s because of their ancestors’ sacrifice that they’re able to live their lives and do all their favourite things today.
For this, you’ll need some red paper, green pipe cleaners, glue, scissors, a ruler and a pencil. Measure and cut 10x10cm squares of paper and fold each square into four quarters. Next, fold along on the diagonal so that the cut edge is along the top. Then, draw a curve along the top and cut. When you unfold it, you should have a flower shape. Push the pipe cleaner through the centre of the flower, twisting or tying a knot to make a stamen and dabbing some glue on the opposite side to keep it in place. Voila!
3. Bake Anzac Biscuits
Instead of buying them from the store or making your usual recipe, make a batch of beautiful, fresh Anzac biscuits using one of the first recorded recipes dating back to before 1920!
They’re not quite as sweet as more modern versions, but they’re still a delicious way to show the kids what food was like back in the days of rationing.
2 level cups (200g) rolled oats
1 level cup (125g) plain flour
1/2 cup (105g) granulated sugar
1 extra generous tbsp. golden syrup
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp. boiling water
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan-forced and line two trays with baking paper.
Thoroughly mix the oats, flour and sugar large bowl.
Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat, then dip a tablespoon in hot water and use to measure the golden syrup. Add the syrup and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat just before it comes to the boil, but don’t allow it to cool.
Add the bicarb of soda to the measured boiling water and mix until dissolved, then add to the pan of hot melted butter and golden syrup.
Stir mixture until frothy, then add immediately to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Measure a teaspoon or flat dessert spoon of the mixture then roll into a ball in your hand, placing on the tray at least 5cm apart. Flatten slightly with the base of a glass or a fork dipped in flour.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden.
Leave the biscuits on the tray for five minutes (as they will still be soft) then transfer to a cooling rack.
Rosemary holds a special significance on Anzac Day as it can be found growing wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It’s often paired with poppies to make a boutonniere and is also worn on Remembrance Day, a nod to rosemary’s memory-boosting properties. Take your little one to your local nursery and let them choose a young rosemary bush that the two of you can plant together.
Discover your own Anzac story by researching your family history. With sites like Ancestry, Findmypast and more, it’s never been easier to trace your genealogy. It’s a fun way to learn more about your own family as well as give your kids a stronger sense of identity. Who knows, you might be related to an Anzac hero!