Today Children’s House Preschool celebrated Australia Day, as part of our story book journey, “How We Go To School.” The book shows how children around the world go to school. We had Aboriginal decorations and artwork to show the children, including boomerangs, didgeridoos, carvings, bark paintings, a bark basket and embroidery.
In art, the children looked at Aboriginal paintings for inspiration and made their own paintings. One piece was a group mural of the Aboriginal Flag. Students used hand prints to cover the flag and learned the colors stand for: red for the red earth, yellow for the sun-the giver of life and protector- and black for the Aboriginal people. During the art time, children listened to the blind Australian Aboriginal musician, Geoffrey Gurrumul
At circle the children saw where Australia sits, “Down under,” compared to Colorado, on the globe. Michael, our resident Australian, played the didgeridoo and the children tried to replicate the sound with their voices, feeling the vibration. We talked about the way boomerangs fly and come back. Children volunteered the animals they knew from Australia and we talked about kangaroos, platypus, emu, quokka, echidna, and the kookaburra. We then sang three different verses of “Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree.”
At snack, after fruit, the children had a chance to taste a bit of Vegemite sandwich. A majority of the children enjoyed trying it, but there were some faces of disapproval. For lunch Michael cooked up a homemade meat pie, but didn’t have enough to share.
The afternoon class made a group mural in the Aboriginal style, using dots, circles, hand prints and footprints. Children kept passing though adding bits contributing layers. During outside time, the children played an Australian ring toss game called Quoits and spontaneously used the horse shoes as boomerangs.
Australia day was rich, and our school was infused with authentic, full sensory opportunities for the children to experience.