Cultural Celebrations in Early Childhood

Within the early childhood setting, we have many different elements that make up our educational program for the children. We explore subjects such as social skills, emotional regulation, literacy, numeracy, scientific and mathematical concepts and of course, cultural events. These cultural events are important for children to be exposed to so they can build their understanding that everyone is different and that differences should be embraced. How the cultural event is celebrated will differ based on input from the centre community. This input can come from children, families, educators or the wider community in which a centre is a part of. What is important is that we are exposing children to these celebrations in a way that allows them to build an understanding of it while being mindful of the traditional and authentic way of celebrating. Killara Preschool

For many of these events, one of the most engaging ways to introduce it to children is through environmental learning. You may have seen that around Easter, objects such as rabbits, chickens and eggs were in your child’s room. This allows them to see, explore and question about their significance without the educators just sitting the children down and telling them “It’s going to be Easter in a week”.

Sometimes a cultural event is not as well known to the educators in a room and may be missed accidentally, however, we want to ensure we are acknowledging everything that is relevant to the children and families that attend the centre. Talking to your child’s educators about these events coming up will allow us to discuss these with their whole class. Sharing items such as cultural dress, recipes, songs and dance can also enrich these experiences for the children as they learn more about them. Killara Childcare

As an educator, the exposure to these different events is exciting and interesting to research into. The meanings behind the commercialised celebrations should be what we are exposing our children to. While it is almost impossible to avoid all commercialisation, discussing with your children why we do these things gives them the understanding of where the event has stemmed from originally. As a father, I want my child to be exposed to the cultural events of his peers that we do not celebrate in our own home. This is how we learn, form our own ideas and become an individual citizen of our global community.

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