Simple bravery medals kids can make at home or in the classroom. This bravery medal craft for kids can be a soft and gentle introduction to their understanding of war by focusing on what it is to be brave, how it feels and how we can each show it. Great craft activity for children of all ages.
In Australia and New Zealand a national day of remembrance is approaching, which is called ANZAC Day. It is a day that we all reflect on the incredible sacrifices and bravery of all service men and women who have fought in war and ensure they are never forgotten.
Possum (aged 3 years) is obviously too young to fully comprehend the concept of war. I’m not sure I can fully comprehend it myself! At the same time I don’t want this ANZAC Day to be just another day for her, instead I decided to break it down in such a way that she can take something away from it. Through bravery.
I think children at a very young age can often grasp the concept of bravery so I thought this might be a good angle to take with Possum and age appropriate for her. I began by putting the word in context for her and excitedly shrieked as I told her how brave I thought she was for riding her balance bike down a steep hill at the park. She soon caught on and our discussions turned to what bravery looks and feels like.
I showed Possum a few pictures on the iPad of some elderly service men and women marching at a commemorative service. She quickly took notice of their bravery medals and she talked about how much she would like to wear some too. I went about explaining that the people in the picture had been very brave at a time they were a little scared or unsure of what was going to happen next.
“When might you feel brave?” I asked her. We then had a great conversation that related her most recent personal experience of being brave and what that feels like and can look like. We also talked about how people can be rewarded for bravery and spent time researching various war medals.
We have done some fabulous ANZAC Day activities in the past, but we decided to go about making our own special bravery medals this year, which Possum will wear at home on ANZAC Day in Australia. This is how we went about it.
You will need –
- cardboard or thick card
- gold/silver paper or paint
- cookie cutters
- safety pins
We began tracing around our cookie cutters on the cardboard to make our medal shape. I quickly cut them out so the craft could continue.
These cardboard cut out shapes can easily be painted, however, I decided we would cover them with some gold and silver paper I had in my craft box.
From this point the craft activity became much more sensory related. Once each of the medals were covered in paper I instructed Possum to smear PVA craft glue over them, not with a brush, but with her finger. Having a damp cloth on stand-by can help children deal with any uncomfortable stickiness they may experience.
We set up our craft station using a large plate to catch any stray sequins, we knew there would be a few.
Let the creative decorating begin! Using a variety of coloured sequins gave us a chance to revise knowledge of colour names. The actual process of pinching the sequins in order to decorate the medal worked well on developing fine motor skills.
The sequins on the medals looked absolutely gorgeous! We were so delighted with them. Next step was to add some of the ribbons, which we had also seen attached to the medals from the pictures earlier.
Using about 5cm lengths of ribbon we used sticky tape to fix them, yep, just sticky tape. After scrambling around for a few safety pins the bravery medals were finished and ready to be worn.
I’m sure you’ll agree, these bravery medals look absolutely gorgeous. Possum was so proud wearing them and I felt that it was a lovely and gentle way for her to know about those who have served in war. She has a greater understanding of what bravery is and what it looks and feels like to be brave. Lest we forget.
Yes! Just perfect for young ones to understand why ANZAC Day is important without overwhelming them with the realities of war.
what a thoughtful way to bring this topic to Possum! And the medals do look beautiful!
kate @ livinglovinglaughing says
Oh, I am really touched by this! What a gorgeous activity and way to gently introduce the concept of war. Its a topic I struggle with myself. This is just such a lovely way to deal with it, and love the result too!
Gorgeous! Lovely little craft and a great way to introduce these concepts to children. 🙂
Oh I love this idea!
My smallest and I just bought 4 ANZAC badges this morning.. one for each of my kids to wear to school/kinder on Friday.
Our school is the custodian of our local war memorial so our students have a lot to do with ANZAC day and Remembrance Day and in doing so learn a lot about it. And I love that my four year old has been coming home from kinder last week and this week talking about ANZAC day… they have read some lovely stories and just generally talked about what it is and why so many people are talking about it at this time of year.
Kate - The Craft Train says
These are so cute!
This is such an awesome idea, Kate. In the USA we didn’t grow up with Anzac day and I’m so impressed by the reverence it is shown here. I’m going to share this with my son’s preschool to use next year! x
This is great!
Would love to try this with my little one.