Harmony Day is celebrated on the 21st of March every year in Australia. It is a day that was created to celebrate cultural diversity and promote inclusivity and respect for all cultures. At Genius, Harmony Day is a great opportunity to teach our children about these themes, and to enthusiastically celebrate the diversity found within our centres.
Read on to learn about the significance of Harmony Day at Genius as well as some fun activities that we will be exploring in centre to celebrate diversity.
The Significance of Harmony Day in Childcare
Children learn about the world around them through their experiences and interactions with others. It is therefore essential for us as educators to create an environment in childcare that promotes diversity and inclusivity. Harmony Day provides an excellent opportunity to introduce children to different cultures and help them appreciate and respect the differences that exist between people from different backgrounds. An important part of curriculum and vital in guiding our children towards becoming positive citizens of the world!
Celebrating Harmony Day in childcare can help children:
Develop a sense of belonging: When children are exposed to different cultures and learn to appreciate them, they develop a sense of belonging to a community that values diversity.
Foster empathy: Learning about different cultures can help children understand and empathise with people who are different from them.
Build social skills: Celebrating Harmony Day can provide children with opportunities to interact with people from different cultures, which can help them develop social skills and learn how to communicate effectively with others.
Learn about different traditions and practices: Children can learn about different traditions, practices, and customs that exist in different cultures. This can help them develop a greater appreciation and respect for the rich cultural diversity that exists in the world.
Fun Activities to Celebrate Harmony Day
There are many fun and engaging activities that we like to explore in our centres to celebrate Harmony Day. Both our educators and children come from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities and it’s wonderful to acknowledge and appreciate these!
Here are some activity ideas around Harmony Day we will be exploring in our centres this year:
Cultural dress-up day: Often we encourage children to dress up in traditional clothes from their culture or a culture that they are interested in. This can help them respectfully learn about different styles of clothing and understand the importance of traditional dress in different cultures.
Cultural food day: Sometimes we ask parents to name a traditional food from their culture and submit a recipe for this dish. If the dish is suitable, our in-house chefs will try to recreate them for our children to try. This can be a fun way to explore different tastes and learn about the role that food plays in different cultures. Of course – as always we will be mindful of allergies and dietary requirements of individual children, which is why we ask that families don’t bring these foods in directly.
Multicultural art projects: We explore art projects that reflect different cultures throughout the year, not just on Harmony Day! Children might create traditional masks, paintings or sculptures that reflect the art of different cultures. Sometimes we even incorporate words from different languages!
Cultural dance or music lessons: In previous years we’ve hired professional dance instructors or musicians as part of an incursion to come in and teach children traditional dances or songs from different cultures. This can be a fun way to learn about different cultures and get some exercise at the same time as children move to the beat!
Storytelling: We love to have a selection of stories from different cultures represented in our centres at all times, especially in the days around Harmony Day! This can help children understand the different values, beliefs, and practices that exist in different cultures.
Language lessons: Our educators from non-English backgrounds love to teach children some basic words and phrases in different languages. This can be a fun way to learn about different languages and help children communicate with people from different cultures.
Celebrating Harmony Day each year helps children understand and appreciate the diversity of cultures that exist in the world, while promoting empathy and respect for people from different backgrounds. While we enjoy celebrating different cultures throughout the year at Genius, Harmony Day is always a great excuse to delve deeper into cultural exploration and appreciation!