Celebrating diverse festivities – Childminder | Connecting parents to children

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  • Dec
    18
    2023

Celebrating diverse festivities

Celebrating diverse festivities

As childminders, we play an important role in introducing the children in our care to the rich tapestry of the world’s cultures and traditions. Embracing the ‘Diverse World’ aspect of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, this festive season presents an excellent opportunity to explore and celebrate a variety of holiday traditions from around the globe.

Let’s embark on a cultural journey that educates and delights the young minds we nurture…

The importance of cultural awareness

Cultural awareness in early childhood lays the foundation for empathy, respect, and a broadened worldview. By exploring different holiday traditions, we provide children with a glimpse into the diverse ways people celebrate, fostering an appreciation for global cultures from an early age.

Christmas around the world

While many of us are familiar with Christmas traditions, they vary significantly across cultures. For instance, in Mexico, ‘Las Posadas’ involves re-enactments of Mary and Joseph’s search for a lodging in Bethlehem. In Sweden, Saint Lucia Day on December 13th marks the beginning of the Christmas season with candlelit processions and traditional songs. Sharing these stories and perhaps even re-creating some aspects of these traditions can be both educational and fun for children.

Hanukkah – the Jewish festival of light

Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday, celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. Introduce children to the lighting of the menorah, play the dreidel game, and maybe even try cooking latkes together. Discussing the story behind Hanukkah offers insights into Jewish history and customs.

Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights

Though it takes place between October and November, it’s an excellent example of a vibrant, culturally rich celebration. Known as the festival of lights, Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness. Create simple Rangoli designs with children using coloured rice or chalk, and discuss the stories associated with Diwali.

Incorporating activities into childcare

For each festival, consider incorporating themed activities. Craft-making, storytelling, traditional cooking, and music and dance can all be part of the learning experience. Encourage children to ask questions and express their thoughts about these new experiences.

Involve parents by inviting them to share their holiday traditions and stories. This not only enhances the learning experience but also builds a stronger, multicultural community within your childcare setting.

Exploring global holiday traditions is more than just a festive activity – it’s a journey into understanding and respecting the diverse world we live in. As childminders, we have the unique opportunity to influence the next generation’s outlook on cultural diversity, making the festive season not just merry, but also meaningful.

By Ivy Steele