Harmony Week is all about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians and is the perfect time to educate children on the importance of diversity. Here are four fun ideas on how to celebrate cultural diversity in early childhood groups.
Orange is the signature colour of Harmony Week. This colour was chosen as it traditionally signifies social communication, meaningful conversations, freedom of ideas and mutual respect. Encourage children to wear something orange one day to represent Harmony Week.
Hold a cultural day
Research shows that the most effective cultural programs are where children engage with people from diverse cultures to develop intercultural intelligence1. A cultural diversity day is a great opportunity to highlight different cultures and traditions. Invite a guest speaker or First Nations elder to share their background and traditions to help children connect to cultural diversity through stories. Another activity could be to explore cultures by playing different music and invite children to create their own moves.
Explore languages together
Arrange students in pairs and have them practise saying ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘friend’ in different languages. Another activity could be for the group to learn a song in a different language, such as ‘Happy Birthday’. Find out how many children are bilingual and ask them to share something in their language.
Get creative with arts and crafts
Encouraging children to share their cultural backgrounds through art, colour and patterns, is a great way to help them explore and understand the diversity around them. Organise an activity where children can play with patterns and shapes using our handy Harmony Week lesson plan.
When you purchase supplies for your school, you can make a difference and support diversity by buying products from First Nations organisations. We partner with several Supply Nations certified brands to help create positive social and economic outcomes for First Nations communities. View our comprehensive range of products from First Nations suppliers here.
1OECD, 2018, ‘PISA Global Competence Framework: Preparing our Youth for an Inclusive and Sustainable World’, <https://www.oecd.org/education/Global-competency-for-an-inclusive-world.pdf>