In music the definition of ‘harmony’ is: the combination of different musical notes played or sung at the same time to produce a pleasing sound; a pleasing combination or arrangement of different things (Merriam Webster dictionary 2016).
When we think about Harmony Day these very same musical principles come in to play. It’s about different people and different lives coming together and being embraced. It’s about finding a sense of belonging. And like all different musical instruments and singing, when we come together we can do beautiful things!
Harmony Day 2016 is Monday 21 March and this year’s official theme is: our diversity is our strength. Encourage children to talk about their differences, what they have in common and what makes them special as individuals. Help them to understand that it is because they are different that they can each bring something unique and awesome to the table.
At Bonkers Beat we have chosen our own theme for Harmony Day that is closely related: Harmony Every Day. We want to celebrate our diverse and wonderful Bonkers Beat community.
If you’re thinking of celebrating Harmony Day this year in your centre, education is the key in an early childhood setting. Here are some things you could incorporate, as found on the Harmony Day website:
-Explore Harmony Day stories via the Harmony Day app
-Create some DIY Harmony Day materials via the official templates here
– Painting to music: Listen to a diversity of music styles and paint what you hear with different colours and brushstrokes.
-All the same: What things make us the same?
-Diverse mates: Find out the many ways in which your classmates are diverse eg hobbies, favourite colour/food/music/TV program, things they dislike.
Here are some of our own provocations for thinking and possibilities for learning:
-Share educators’ ethnic backgrounds and by using a pin or string connect to countries on a map
-Identify children families’ backgrounds and by using a pin or string connect to countries on a map
-Invite families to share their traditions and culture
-Introduce a variety of songs and dances from around the world
-Engage children in multicultural cooking experiences
-Use multicultural dolls and gender diverse dolls for dramatic play
Have you registered your Harmony Day event yet? It can be anything from a morning tea to a massive community event! Register and you’ll get some great free promotional products to help you celebrate: harmony.gov.au/celebrate/register
One last thing: click here for a special gift for you centred around belonging and togetherness from Bonkers the Monkey.
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