The ongoing theme of Harmony Day is ‘everyone belongs’. Harmony Day is a day of cultural respect for all. By participating in Harmony Day activities, we can learn and understand how all Australians equally belong to this nation and enrich it.

Australia is truly a melting pot of cultures and Harmony Day on March 21st or rather Harmony Week (17th to 23rd March 2019) is a true reflection of how ‘everyone belongs’ to this nation and enriches it. 

And, this is a fantastic opportunity for schools, clubs, workplaces and other organisations to celebrate and embrace Australia’s cultural diversity through meaningful activities and events that pay respect to our cultural difference and encourage diversity and inclusion.

There are plenty of inspirational ideas available online to plan activities or events for the week including the official website of Harmony Week.

So we at Cubsta put our thinking cap on and put together a number of activities that educators can undertake in their toddler and pre-school rooms. And if you want you can also get parents to get involved.

Learning Outcomes

  • Introducing the Idea of Countries, Cultures and the concept of Diversity
  • A sense of Identity – Being, Belonging and Becoming 
  • Understanding the different Languages, cultures and traditions that exist 
  • Introducing the concept of Harmony Week and why it is celebrated

Activity 1: Pin & String, Where You Come From?

Things you will need:

  • A Poster-sized World Map. We have used a world map printed out on an A4 sheet for illustrative purposes.
  • A bunch of Push Pins
  • Thumbnail-sized pictures of children in the room
  • A Poster Board (We have used recycled cardboard for illustrative purposes)
  • Coloured String or a ball of wool (preferably Orange in the spirit of this colour representing freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect*)

Let’s get started!

Step 1

Take a poster-sized world map and pin it up on the poster board in your room. You can either buy these posters online or find some educational resource website that allows you to print out an A3 version.

Step 2 

Engage the children in a conversation about the world map and introduce them to the concept of countries.

Now call each child in the room and ask them about where their family origin and start pinning the thumbnail images of the child against the country that they name.

It might also be a good idea for educators to have some prior knowledge about the child’s origin by talking to their parents.

Hints: It is a good idea to print 2 images for each child as their parents might have a different origin, given the cultural diversity of Australia

Once all the children have been pinned against their respective countries, it is now up to the educator to initiate different conversations with the children about countries, languages and cultural diversity.

Step 3 

Once you have finished pinning up each of the children in the room, take a coloured string and connect the push pins with the string starting from left to right.

*Why Orange you may wonder? well because this bright colour signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect*      

And we are done!

Activity 2: DIY Belonging Harmony Day Puzzle

Note: We had published a similar activity for Halloween and have used the image from that blog for illustration purposes only.

Things you will need:

  • Any picture of your choice eg: map of Australia, a World map or a picture of multicultural faces
  • Popsicle wooden sticks
  • Glue and 
  • Scissors

Step 1

To get started, position your Popsicle sticks to the back of your Harmony day picture to ensure you have the correct desired positioning. Taper off edges slightly to ensure the image you have selected fits perfectly to the length of your wooden Popsicle sticks. 

Step 2

Next, start adding glue to one side of your wooden sticks and start gluing on to the blank side of your favourite image.

Let dry! Then, carefully cut along the length of each wooden stick and voila! Mix up the pieces and let the kid’s piece them back together!

Activity 3: Vegetable Hand Painting

For this activity, get your preschoolers to trace out the shape of their hands on a large craft paper. The more hand shapes the better!

Now get creative with vegetables and paints! Using different vegetables dipped in different paint colours like Okra, Potatoes, Broccoli, Capsicum and mushrooms get your preschoolers to paint in the hand sketches.

To make your harmony day activity extra special, why not focus on painting in each hand sketch with the colours of a flag!

Activity 4: Salt Painting

A clever little math, art, and science learning activity to help preschoolers learn about multiculturalism with colour mixing and understand the reaction of salt and paint.

Things you will need:

  • Cardboard cutouts of different flags
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Glue

Step 1 

Start off by assisting your preschoolers to carve out as many cardboard flags as possible representing the countries your preschoolers may originate from. You can also stick the flag outlines on the cardboard pieces.

Step 2

Use the Glue to outline your flag gently following the outer lines with glue. Next, add salt to cover the glue.

Step 3

Time to get creative and colourful! Using your favourite paints and colours, fill up your paintbrush with colour and water which you gently tap over the patterns covered with salt. Watch how the colour dissipates when in contact with salt and “magically” travel in both directions!.

Additional Learning Outcomes: Kids will learn the concept of textures using the science of chemical reaction whilst learning about the different flags and the countries they represent in the world. 

Activity 5: String Flag Banner

An easy little activity packed with fun! Get your preschoolers to colour in the flags that represent the country of their origin. Once completed, assist them to glue this to a piece of jute string to hang up as a decoration in the class. Or, you could even try to glue in all the flags into a giant map of Australia!

About Us:

We are Cubsta. A childcare software startup aiming to reduce the use of paper within the early education Industry. Our platform offers a number of functions including observations, daily sheets, checklists, newsletters, notes and more. For more information, you can call us on (02) 8034 4320 or email us at care@cubsta.com.