As Remembrance Day is coming soon I decided to do a unit on World War 2 with Iona over this fortnight. It fits in well, too, with how I am covering history, by working backwards from the present: we have talked about Iona's history, then when Mummy and Daddy were little (the '70's), and most recently the first moon landing in the '60's. Now it's time to do about when Grandma and Grandad were little and the war that Grandpa fought in (while Nanny was a teenager at home).
I struggled a little with how to introduce this subject to a 3 1/2-year-old, although at our home ed group's bring and buy sale yesterday I was able to buy a book called "Having Fun in Grandma's Day". We looked at it first thing this morning, and Iona enjoyed trying to play the game of Jacks, as described in the book. I then decided to introduce the idea of war by looking at what happens when someone wants something we've got. I acted it out with 2 of her Zingzilla toys, getting them to argue and get into a physical fight. We talked about how that wasn't good - the toy food they wanted might have got trampled so nobody got any, and they probably got hurt too. I then asked her to try and do it better, but she enjoyed getting them to fight again, so I demonstrated sharing rather than fighting. She enjoyed that, too, and acted that out herself with them some more. I then explained that the Second World War happened because some nasty leaders wanted to take some other countries and be the boss of them, too. After that, I printed out some pictures of people being friends and sharing, and Iona coloured them in.
While we were on the subject of people taking things and hurting other people I asked Iona who she could tell if someone did that to her. She didn't know, so I told her to tell Mummy or Daddy, and that police could also help in that situation. We went on to act out Policeman Pudsey Bear telling a fighting pair of Zingzillas to stop fighting and share, which Iona again enjoyed, making the Zingzillas apologise.