We had a very special visit from Jonty’s dad on ANZAC Day. Jonty’s dad is a soldier and has completed several tours overseas to places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor. We invited him in due to our increased interest in ANZAC day and the special job that soldiers do to keep us and our country safe.

Joel dressed in camouflage gear and was happy to spend time answering the children’s questions, sharing simple stories and listening to their comments. Joel explained to the children that ANZAC day was a special day to stop and give thanks to all the soldiers who went to Gallipolli a long time ago. Joel explained that soldiers from Australia and New Zealand went over to be part of a war to ensure that everyone was being kind and respectful to one another.

Joel showed the children his medals and explained that he was given them in recognition of the way he helped different people in different countries.

The children had many wonderful questions and comments for Joel.

  • Harrison ‘I like soldiers. They help people.’
  • Phoebe ‘Why do you wear those clothes?’
    • Joel ‘This is a special uniform and it allows me to hide from people when I need to. It is called camouflage.’
  • Miller  ‘What do you wear on your hands?’
    • Joel ‘I wear gloves. They are the same colour too.’
  • Eddie ‘What do you wear on your hands?’
    • Joel ‘Special gloves.’
  • Austin ‘Do you have a gun?’
    • Joel ‘Soldiers can carry guns. But they do not like to use them.’
  • Hunter ‘How do you get to those places?’
    • Joel ‘We are helicoptered in and sometimes the helicopters land and we hop out. Other times we use a rope to slide down.’
  • Harrison ‘Why do you have so many pockets?’
    • Joel ‘To put my lollies and snacks!’
  • Amelia ‘Do you eat those biscuits?’
    • Joel ‘Yes I love ANZAC biscuits. Who eats ANZAC biscuits at their house ?’
    • Everyone shouted ‘YES!’
  • Austin ‘Why do you have that flag on your uniform?’
    • Joel ‘It is the Australian flag and it glows in the dark. It lets the helicopters know they are picking up the right people.’

Today we also made a poppy garden. The children used their creativity to create the poppies and their thinking skills to engage in discussion and ask questions to find out more about the significance of poppies.

Eddie asked, “why were they (soldiers) fighting?”

We discussed it was to protect our country and the rights we have in Australia.

Sophia asked, “why do we have flowers?”

Piper said, “to remember the soldiers”.

We discussed how the poppies are a symbol of respect.

“The poppies make the soldiers happy,” said Phoebe K

“They are about hope. It makes the soldiers happy to see them come out of the ground” said Austin

The children then took turns to place them in our garden.

In the afternoon we joined the College community for an ANZAC day commemoration service.

The Preschool children were very respectful as they listened to the speakers and engaged in the one-minute silence.

We listened to the New Zealand and Australian national anthems and watched the wreaths get laid under the flags. We even made poppies for Ms Lloyd and Ms Bain to wear.

Experiences of relationships and participation in communities contribute to children’s belonging, being and becoming (Early Years Learning Framework).

Michelle Neylan
Preschool Director