This month at Daisykins nursery in Rugby we held a Cultural Celebration week. Each day we focused on a different country that had a meaning/significance to the children within the setting and the children were taught about the traditions, languages, etc that were associated with these.
On the Monday, our Toddler room celebrated Poland by making their very own hand print eagles to represent their national symbol. They painted their hands with white paint and pressed them onto red paper. These hand prints made the body of the eagle and after they had dried the Toddlers helped to stick on an eagle head. The children were very proud of their eagles and were excited to show their mummies and daddies when they were picked up at the end of the day. One little boy said “Look, there’s my eagle. And there’s my friend’s eagle!”, with excitement, smiling and pointing to the pictures they had made.
The children also went up to the dance floor where they listened to Polish music and nursery rhymes. They made their own music using the musical instruments and some of the songs they listened to included Stary Donald farmę mial (translating to “Old Donald had a farm”) and Głowa, ramiona, kolana, pięty (translating to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”). One of the children in Pre-School Minors whose family are originally from Poland spoke to the Pre-School Minor and Pre-School children about her home country and attempted to teach them some Polish words and phrases.
The children were very excited to be learning a new language and some picked up the new words very quickly. Even the Baby room joined in with the festivities by setting up a multicoloured tuft using shredded paper, different coloured pieces of card, feathers flowers and small world people. This was used to represent different festivals celebrated in Poland and practitioners accompanied this with real life pictures for the children to look at.
On Tuesday the children across the nursery learnt all about Italy and each room was given a map of the country to decorate using pictures of Italian landmarks and produce from Italian travel brochures. Children within each room were encouraged to carefully cut out what they wanted to stick on and then use glue and glue spreaders to stick them onto the map. The Pre-School children were told about all the different castles that they had in Italy so they decided to build their own using cardboard boxes. The children used grey paint to paint them and then made their own little Italian flags to stick onto decorate them. Baby Room also made their own castles using the mega blocks to build their own interpretations of the structures.
Outside in the garden the Toddlers and Pre-School children joined forces to make the leaning tower of Pisa out of the wooden bricks and mega blocks. One child said “Look I’m going to build my leaning tower very tall until it topples over!”. In Baby room practitioners set up a tuft spot full of different kinds of cooked pasta for the children to serve to each other, pretending to be Italian chefs, while the children in Pre-School and Pre-School Minors used dried pasta to paint with and make their own Italian pictures. We also had our very own little Italian chefs in Toddler room who made their own yummy pizzas. The children were encouraged to choose the toppings they liked to add onto the pizza bases before practitioners cooked them for them to take home.
The next stop on our cultural trip around the world was Spain on Wednesday. We were very lucky to have one of our parents from Baby room who is Spanish come in and teach the children some Spanish words and share some stories with our Pre-School and Baby room. The children were very keen to learn a new language and enjoyed repeating the words, even after the Mummy had gone!
A practitioner in Pre-School Minors also taught the children the Spanish names for the colours and used props to represent these. In Pre-School the children made their own postcards from Italy by cutting out pictures from travel brochures and sticking them or drawing their own interpretations of these on the front of pieces of card. Practitioners then helped the children to write their own personal messages on the back.
The children have had lots of fun so far learning about the traditions and exploring the differences between other countries that have a significance to their friends or other children within the setting. Keep a look out for the next article to read about the other countries the children discovered on the last two days of our adventure around the world!