Diverse cultures in our centre
written by: Ineke
Celebrating all types of cultural diversity in our centre is a must, and all our aged-based environments learn this through different play-based activities throughout the year.
Young children are always comparing their experiences with those around them, and as parents and educators it is important to guide them to explore this new awareness in an appropriate way. Guiding the children by providing a role model using our own behaviour helps. Children will always copy what they see and hear around them, so an early start on awareness of cultural diversity is essential to building positive life skills.
“Helping all children and young people understand difference encourages them to feel good about who they are, where they fit in the world and appreciate diversity in others. It helps to build strong, inclusive communities where everyone enjoys a sense of being valued and belonging, which supports positive mental health.”taken from Beyond Blue.
So how do we encourage diversity awareness on a daily basis? Usually it’s the small things that make a big difference.
We display artwork by all the children; by displaying everyone’s work we can promote and praise all children’s differences and abilities.
Speaking a second language (or more!) is encouraged and shared. Many of our children speak more than one language at home and this is supported by our team of educators and carers.
How we behave and respond to the children. The team here at Balga ELC are mindful of cultural diversity within their own lives and seek to lead by example at all times.
We also celebrate specific national diversity events, such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day. Below is an example of how our education team recently guided the children through play-based activities to learn more about our Indigenous culture.
Our youngest learners:
This year it was celebrated with some sensory play. The children listened to Indigenous music and were given shakers and bells to play along with the songs. Playing with finger paints was also encouraged after viewing some Indigenous art for some learning-through-play experiences.
Our older learners:
Sensory play was again a theme, along with the addition of some nature-based play with painting on pieces of bark. The children also watched a short movie called ‘How the birds got their colours’ (book written by Mary Albert and Pamela Lofts). Making music was also encouraged as the children used tapping sticks to tap in time to a Yothu Yindi song called ‘Djapana ‘.
All activities were chosen based upon the curriculum recommended to us by ACECQA. Our parents have access to weekly information on curriculum learning achieved by our little ones in their learning environments, with team members always available to give more information to parents if needed.
With over 30 years of child care experience, we look forward to providing a safe, nurturing and culturally diverse learning and caring experience for your family.