Reconciliation Week activities for toddlers

23 May, 2024

Edge Early Learning Milton
Australia’s First Nations people have a rich culture. In fact, it’s one of the oldest continuing cultures in the world. National Reconciliation Week is the perfect prompt to introduce children to First Nations culture through storytelling, art and play.


What is National Reconciliation Week?

National Reconciliation Week is held each year in Australia from 27 May to 3 June. Reconciliation Australia describes the week as: “a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia”.

We can introduce our smallest children to the idea of reconciliation by sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history and introducing concepts such as respect, diversity and inclusion.

The best Reconciliation Week activities for toddlers are fun and age appropriate, encouraging them to explore and appreciate the traditions, stories and art of Australia’s First Nations people.


Storytime at home during National Reconciliation Week

Books are a fantastic way to introduce children to new ideas and there are some terrific picture books written by First Nations authors and illustrated by First Nations artists. Babies and younger toddlers will appreciate the gorgeous art and lyrical words in First Nations artist Melissa Greenwood’s picture books, including Miimi Marraal, Mother Earth and Giinagay Gaagal, Hello Ocean.

Welcome to our Country is a new series of picture books specifically designed to introduce youngsters to First Nations history and culture. Stories so far include Somebody’s Land, Ceremony, Back on Country and Walk With Us. The books include a QR code so children can listen to the stories read again and again.


Fun arts and crafts

Creating their own work of art is one of the most fun National Reconciliation Week activities for toddlers. Draw inspiration from Aboriginal art in the picture books you’ve read, or from a quick Internet search together. First Nations art often centres around the deep connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have to the land, so toddlers may like to create a painting or drawing that relates to a place that is special to them. Another option is to use traditional techniques, such as handprints or dots.


Celebrate culture through movement

Music and dance are an important part of First Nations culture and storytelling and feature prominently in National Reconciliation Week activities. Singing and dancing are such fun reconciliation week activities for toddlers. Little ones will love bopping along to the traditional Torres Strait Islander song Taba Naba. This rendition is sung by Torres Strait Islander singer Christine Anu with The Wiggles. The video includes traditional dance moves children can copy as well as Torres Strait Islander-inspired headdresses (another potential craft project!). Children can sing along with First Nations author Gregg Dreise. He has created a catchy tune to go with his storybook Kookoo Kookaburra. Encourage them to use the kookaburra as inspiration to bust out their best dance moves. It’s never too early to teach your toddler the words to I Am Australian. Show them the ABC’s joyful rendition with the introduction sung in Pitjantjatjara and the choristers set in the Australian outback – it’s beautiful.


Make it memorable with a game

Show your child pictures of Australia’s three flags and explain the colours and meanings behind each one. Play a simple recognition game and ask them to point out each flag as you name them.


Edge Early Learning supports Reconciliation

At Edge Early Learning, we share First Nations stories and songs as part of our early learning programs. Introducing children to Australia’s culture and history helps to raise children who appreciate and value diversity.

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