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The Liberation of the Netherlands


The Liberation of the Netherlands is one of the best-known chapters from our country’s military history. The Canadians who fought to free the Dutch people in 1944-1945 played an important role in the Allied efforts to bring the Second World War to an end in Europe. You can use these resources to help the young people in your home learn more about this important campaign.

Formal lesson plans for these activities are also available and can be found in our classroom page


Ages 5-7 - Flowers of Friendship

The Dutch people suffered great hardships after the Netherlands was invaded and occupied during the Second World War. Early in the conflict, our country invited members of the Dutch royal family to come live in the safety of Canada. To say thank you, Princess Juliana sent tens of thousands of tulip bulbs to Canada after the war and the two countries remain close friends today.

Tulips

Flowers of Friendship

Read more about this story and the special symbolism of tulips with the younger children in your home.

Tulip Colouring Sheet

Tulip Colouring sheet

Print off a tulip colouring sheet for your children. They may wish to colour them in shades of pink and purple (Princess Juliana’s favourites), orange (a traditional Dutch colour), or red and white (the colours of the Canadian flag). Hang them in your windows to share with neighbours walking by!

Ages 8-12 - A Handmade Gift of Love

During the Second World War, Canadians helped the Dutch people in many ways and the people of the Netherlands also provided friendship for our soldiers serving so far from home. Many personal connections were made and a warm bond of friendship was forged between our two countries that endures to this day. This learning activity explores one way that Canadian soldiers reached out to those in need.

Handmade Coat

A Handmade Gift of Love

Read a short story about a heart-warming episode that saw our soldiers make a coat for a little Dutch girl whose family had lost so much in the war.

Tulips

Handmade Gift of Love Cruncher Activity

Play a memory game with the young people in your house using a “cruncher” to see what they remember about the little coat story.

Tulips

The Cretier Coat video

Watch an interesting video about the little girl’s coat produced by the Virtual Museum of Canada.

Ages 12-14 - Resisting Bullying

When Germany invaded the Netherlands during the Second World War, it was an act of bullying on a large scale. The Dutch resistance movement was soon organized to fight back and also to try to help the Jewish people who were being persecuted in their country. The Dutch found many ways to resist the German occupation. It was brave, but very dangerous.

Mona Parsons

From Privilege to Prison – Mona Parsons

One woman in the Netherlands who risked her life to hide Allied airmen shot down over the country was actually a Canadian! Read the story of Mona Parsons with your children.

Mona Parsons

Mona Parsons Heritage Minute

Historica Canada created a powerful vignette about Mona Parsons’s brave actions. Watch it with the young people in your house.

Liberation of the Netherlands - video

Heroes Remember the Liberation of the Netherlands Video

You can learn more about the efforts to free the Netherlands from those who personally experienced it – Canadian Veterans who were there.

Ages 15-17 - Liberation of the Netherlands fact quest

Remembering those who have served in the cause of peace and freedom over the years is an important part of being a good Canadian. This activity will allow young people learn more about the Liberation of the Netherlands by watching a short video and reading a brief historical sheet about the campaign, then answering a series of questions on what they have seen.

Heroes Remember the Liberation of the Netherlands video

Heroes Remember the Liberation of the Netherlands video

Watch this ten-minute video in which Veterans share their memories of fighting in the Netherlands. Young people can also fill out the accompanying question sheet as they do so.

[Answer sheet]

Heroes Remember the Liberation of the Netherlands video

Canada Remembers the Liberation of the Netherlands historical sheet

Read this succinct overview of the Liberation of the Netherlands and have young people fill out the accompanying question sheet.

[Answer sheet]

Ages 15-18 - Liberation of the Netherlands Dog Tags

This dog tag activity is designed to help youth at home ”put a face on remembrance.” Canada’s efforts in the Netherlands during the Second World War came at a high cost. More than 7,600 Canadians in uniform died to help liberate the country. Taking a few moments to think about a person who died there is a way to honour all those who served - and our remembrance dog tags can help.

Dog Tags

Liberation of the Netherlands Dog Tags

Print off a dog tag page and cut out some individual tags. Make two holes in each of them and attach a piece of string or yarn to wear around the neck. Youth can also research the individual on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and add their fallen Canadian’s service number and age directly on the dog tag.

Other learning resources for your home

We hope that you find these resources useful with your youth for home learning. If you would like more in-depth lesson plans, we encourage you to explore our other educational materials on the Liberation of the Netherlands.

Online learning opportunities are also available from a variety of other sources.

Liberation75

Liberation75

Through an initiative launched by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the support of several Canadian partners including the Canadian Tulip Festival, some 1,100 schools from across our country planted special Liberation75 tulip bulbs last fall. These beautiful flowers of remembrance that will bloom this spring honour the brave Canadians who liberated the Netherlands, but young people can also learn more in other ways. Check out their “Liberation75” education guide today to learn more.

Project 44

Project'44

On the 75th anniversary of V-E Day and the end of the Second World War in Europe, Defining Moments Canada is honoured to collaborate with The Juno Beach Centre and The Canadian Research and Mapping Association (Project44.ca) to offer educators around the country a series of FREE educational resources to help their students think critically about the legacy of this defining Canadian moment.

Defining Moments Canada

Defining Moments Canada

With the goal of having students explore and commemorate the stories of Canadians during the “Victory Campaign” from autumn 1944 to spring 1945, our digital mapping tools, inquiry-based lesson plans, storytelling resources, and vast array of supplementary material will have your students delving deeper than ever into VEDay75 and its implications for the people – and country – that lived it.

The Legacy Series

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is pleased to present The Legacy Series, a collection of free teaching tools to engage your students in powerful stories of the Second World War. This original documentary film series — created by Canadian film students in partnership with film professionals and the museum — showcases compelling, personal accounts of the Second World War, told through the lens of aviation. Explore The Legacy Series today.

Explore Juno from Home

Explore Juno from Home

During this period, we’re bringing the Juno Beach Centre to your home. On this page, you will find some activities from the museum’s youth circuit, Explore Juno as a Family.

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