Our centres recognised National Reconciliation Week by creating indigenous activities that are designed to provide meaningful learning opportunities whilst having fun!
Papilio Early Learning Wakerley
At our Queensland-based centres, Papilio Early Learning Wakerley, the children in the Toddlers, Junior Kindy, and Kindy rooms enjoyed various activities. They participated in cooking sessions, engaged in art projects, played symbol match games, and explored indigenous literature through storytelling.
The children embraced and thoroughly enjoyed all these activities as they promoted cultural inclusion and the principles of Aboriginal learning known as the “8 ways.” These activities provided valuable educational experiences and created a safe and enjoyable environment for the children to engage in.
Reflecting on one of the initiatives, Dress in Yellow Day, Elizabeth Small, the Centre Manager at Papilio Early Learning Wakerley, shared, “As I researched the significance of wearing yellow, I came to understand that this vibrant colour symbolises the Children’s Ground, representing energy, freshness, and hope. Furthermore, yellow is at the centre of the Aboriginal flag, symbolising the sun.”
Papilio Early Learning Sherwood
At Papilio Early Learning Sherwood, in Queensland, they created an environment for their Junior and Senior Toddlers to delve into Indigenous perspectives through art. They utilised natural materials donated from the local flower market, incorporating the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. During this process, they encouraged discussions around the significance and symbolism of these colours, fostering a more profound understanding among the children as they created their own artistic masterpieces.
The children immensely enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere in the yard, where music played, allowing them to dance, sing, and express themselves to the enchanting sounds of Indigenous music. In the Nursery room, they learned a new Acknowledgment of Country Song. Simultaneously, the Junior Toddlers sang Taba Naba each day.
They challenged and supported the children’s fine motor skills through activities involving pegs and cotton balls, encouraging their perseverance and focus. These seemingly small activities lay the foundation for pre-writing skills later in their childhood. In line with the Early Years Learning Framework, Papilio Sherwood aimed to foster children’s connection to their surroundings and broader communities; With this in mind, they provided numerous opportunities throughout National Reconciliation Week for Indigenous and First Nations perspectives to be embedded, including art, music, discussions, and storytelling. Their goal is to help the children understand our history and their place in the broader community.
Brooke Latta, Nursery Lead Educator and Educational Leader at Papilio Early Learning Sherwood, shared her inspiration, “We were inspired by our sister centre, Milestones Early Learning Cooroy, and decided to utilise our Papilio Indigenous Artwork as a provocation for the children’s own artwork. It was important to me to allow our little creators to explore National Reconciliation Week in their own unique way, and it was fantastic to witness their creativity and interpretation of the artwork.”
Papilio Early Learning Pitt Town
At our New South Wales-based centre, Papilio Early Learning Pitt Town, the Toddler room engaged their children through creating unique outback scenes using brown playdough and native plants. This activity sparked a discussion about using natural materials from the land for crafts.
Meanwhile, the Preschool children displayed their gross motor skills by mimicking the movements of Australian native animals, accompanied by the captivating sounds of the Didgeridoo.
In the Nursery room, each child expressed their creativity through painting, using brushes and their hands, with the colours red, black, and yellow; then, the individual artworks were combined to create a collective representation of the Aboriginal flag.
Reflecting on these activities, Georgia Micallef, 3IC at Papilio Early Learning Pitt Town, shared, “At Papilio Pitt Town, we believe it is crucial for children to understand and appreciate various cultures and their unique ways of doing things. National Reconciliation Week provides a fantastic opportunity for us to introduce our children and their families to the traditions of the Darug tribe, the original custodians of the land.”