In the lead up to ANZAC Day, we have been reading The Treasure Box.
This story is set during a period of war. A young boy keeps a book safe in a treasure box. It is a book about his people. The story demonstrates the power of the human spirit in rising above the pain and sorrow to keep a nationality alive. Read more about The Treasure Box and follow up activities.
After reading The Treasure Box, we spoke about items that symbolise individuals and communities. We decided to create a treasure box for our own family, filled with objects that are important to us at this moment in our lives.
War isn’t necessarily a topic parents want to discuss with pre-schoolers, but community and history are two concepts I definitely want Cam to understand and they are also concepts set out in the Australian curriculum for early years and school aged children.
Not only does this activity help children to understand the importance of the book in The Treasure Box, but it is also a fun way for children to understand the significance of objects for communities and how they can help us to create images of groups and communities from the past.
We created a treasure box by decorating a box with gems (we used a cardboard gift box that was given to us when Ike was born):
Each family member contributed an object to the box that holds meaning for them:
Cam chose to put Bunny into the box: This is Cam’s special friend. She relies on it to help her get to sleep. Bunny also comforts her when she is feeling sad. Cam enjoys telling Bunny about her day.
Mummy chose to put her iPhone in the box: The iPhone is important to me at the moment. While I’m a stay-at-home Mum, it connects me with the world outside my home. I can text friends and make new ones via social media. I also love the built-in camera that allows me to take photos of my children all day. I don’t miss a moment (unless my storage is full).
Daddy chose to put his Melbourne Marathon Medal into the box. The medal most definitely recognises his achievement, but it also symbolises his personality: determined, disciplined and health-conscious.
Cam chose an object for Ike. She chose his dummy: Ike spent his first four weeks in hospital attached to leads and all sorts of devices. At times we were unable to pick him up for a cuddle so he became very reliant on a dummy for comfort.
We wrapped and protected our items in a rich red cloth:
And closed the lid:
We each drew a map of our backyard in preparation for a treasure hunt:
Then we took turns to hide the treasure box in the backyard:
Finding the treasure box was made easier by using X to mark the spot:
We needed our objects back at the end of the day, but we wondered what people would say about our family if they were to find our treasure box in another 30 years?
Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities (Early Years Framework-Outcome 2)
- Discuss personal and family histories (History)
- Recognise personal qualities and achievements (Personal and Social)
- Make decisions (Personal and Social)
- Organise and process information (Critical and Creative Thinking)
- Interpret maps and diagrams (Numeracy)
You can read more about The Treasure Box in our review, and also find a list of other activities for the classroom and home.