NAIDOC Week activities at early childhood education and care services

Library Home  >  Arts, Crafts & Activity IdeasDiversity and Inclusion
  Published on Wednesday, 04 November 2020

NAIDOC Week activities at early childhood education and care services

Library Home  >  Arts, Crafts & Activity IdeasDiversity and Inclusion
  Published on Wednesday, 04 November 2020
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Next week is NAIDOC Week, an annual event that celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC Week runs from 8 to 15 November and the theme for this year is, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ to recognise that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

There are activities and events happening all around the country, and here are six ways that early childhood educators and under-fives can celebrate NAIDOC Week:

  1. Indigenous people could share their knowledge in the child care setting

Young children and care-givers can learn a lot from local Elders and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, and there’s the opportunity for ECEC services to invite guests to come and speak to children, perform dances or incorporate a flag-raising ceremony, Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country. 

  1. Educators can share picture books about Australia’s indigenous people

Books are a fantastic way to inspire children’s curiosity and prompt conversations about history and culture.

My Country by Ezekiel Kwaymullina and Sally Morgan, and Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo by Alison Lester, are two picture books recommended for early childhood settings; and Wilam – A Birrarung Story by Aunty Joy Murphy, Andrew Kelly and Lisa Kennedy also comes recommended by Early Childhood Australia and The Children’s Book Council of Australia. 

  1. Children can watch videos that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Ages two to five should be getting less than one hour of screen time a day, but a little quality entertainment can teach them a lot.

Little J & Big Cuz is an award-winning animated TV show, and preschoolers could watch one episode a day during NAIDOC Week.

There are also some great Little J & Big Cuz education resources that educators can use to build upon children’s learning when watching the TV series.

  1. Educators can play music that’s in tune with NAIDOC Week

Under-fives love to sing and dance, and Wombat Wobble by Johnny Huckle and Helen Moran is a classic ditty for the young (and young at heart).

Long before he became Prime Minister, Scott Morrison was wombat wobbling, and these lyrics will strike a chord in child care centres and preschools:

Let's do it, do the didgeridoo, and the Wombat Wobble, and the kangaroo, and the emu too

Jump up in the air, and you turn around and say to Mum and Dad, and all your friends in a big love heart

I love you.

  1. Children can launch into visual arts

The NAIDOC Week 2020 poster by Tyrown Waigana can be displayed in the classroom, and it’s also a great way to inspire visual arts.

For starters, under-fives can try their hand at colouring in the black and white version of the poster, then come up with a poster of their own, using crayons or paint.

  1. Educators and children can take part in a yarning circle

Last but not least, a yarning circle is a great way to enhance young children’s understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and ways.

It generally involves everyone sitting in a circle and in the ECEC setting, an educator invites children to introduce themselves and share something about themselves. The educator will introduce focus questions, and everyone then takes turns sharing ideas and thoughts. These might be written or drawn on a piece of butcher’s paper in the middle of the circle, and the group finishes by reflecting on what has been said.

At the end of the day, NAIDOC Week is an inclusive event that enables all ages to learn about the history, culture and successes of First Nations people.

The above activities will engage under-fives’ bodies and brains, and ECEC services are also encouraged to focus on cultural competence training for staff.

Educators, families and other community members can learn about NAIDOC Week here, and to see what activities are happening in your local area, just contact your regional office.


SBS Learn

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Sunday, 01 November 2020

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