On Tuesday 23 April, the Gracemere Kindy group combined learning and fun on a Walk on Country incursion at our Centre. They explored and observed their natural environment and discussed the importance of the land to its citizens, our connection with the land, and how we thank the Durambal people for sharing their land with us.
The children have been learning the Acknowledgement of Country, the National Anthem and the song "Walking on Country,” and we used this activity to foster their awareness and understanding of the beauty and resourcefulness of the land, and the importance of their role as custodians of the environment.
The group had a wonderful experience, observing the natural features of our Centre in great detail, comparing different elements, and collecting items to talk about in class.
Later, the children drew the things they had found while walking on the land, and shared what they considered to be important with the group. What confident little public speakers they were!
The discussions we have been having and the use of their creative and imaginative skills to express their understanding of the topic, are demonstrating clearly that the children are developing a deeper understanding of, and connection with, the land.
If you would like to get involved, and reinforce these valuable lessons at home, here are some suggestions to get you started:
Garden with your kids - They love the chance to get their hands muddy, and will treasure the rewarding experience of eating vegetables they helped grow, or seeing their plants flower.
Make outdoor time an integral part of family vacations - Get them away from the telly by going camping or hiking. Even a camp-out in your own yard is fun!
Play outside every day - Take them to the park or let them explore the backyard in detail. Even short outside breaks add up to big rewards, and it’s healthy for them to get out often.
Recognise teachable moments - Every time you’re outside with your kids, talk about what you see. Make positive comments about the weather, whatever it is, and stop to smell the flowers or admire a fascinating insect.
As early learning educators, we are committed to providing more pathways like this, to allow the children to gain understanding of the importance of the land, so that they will develop a deep sense of responsibility and belonging and take pride in looking after their heritage.