After the winter school holidays, we are back at preschool and kicking off by celebrating NAIDOC week.
What is NAIDOC week?
NAIDOC week is an annual event held in Australia and the acronym “NAIDOC” stands for “National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee”. During this week, Australians come together to honour and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC week is all about colourful festivities, cultural performances, and art exhibitions. As well as a variety of activities that showcase the contributions of indigenous Australians to our nation. NAIDOC week typically falls in the first full week of July each year.
NAIDOC Week At Preschool
Celebrating NAIDOC week at preschool is important as it’s a special time when the children can learn about the history and culture of Indigenous Australians. We get to hear stories, do arts and crafts and learn about their traditions. By doing all these activities we show respect and kindness to our First Nation friends. And it’s also a great way to learn and appreciate their heritage better.
Today we had an Aboriginal performer come along to the preschool and she introduced us to her culture. She shared some songs and traditional dances. It was interesting to learn some words from her language and she even brought along some tools used by her ancestors for hunting, gathering and preparing meals.
At the end of the performance, the children had the opportunity to get their hands painted with an emu symbol. And interestingly, the paint she used was made from a special rock called Ochre. Ochre is the natural pigment that has been used for thousands of years by indigenous Australians in their traditional art and ceremonies.
The children were curious and attentive throughout the show, which was great to see because they can get easily distracted. After all, they’re only four and five years old! Their endless energy and eagerness to explore means that their focus can easily shift from one thing to another in a matter of seconds. So I thought they did a great job of sitting still and following along.
I enjoy having incursions at preschool because apart from them being so much easier to organise than excursions. They are also a fantastic opportunity for our preschoolers to learn about different cultures and traditions. And each experience is valuable as it helps the kids to appreciate and understand how others live.