May 30

Introducing Children to First Nations Cultures

Arts & crafts, daycare, ece, dramatic play, literacy, storytime, music, First Nations, Indigenous Studies

One of the most difficult tasks for Early Childhood Educators is to provide our children with diverse, multicultural experiences.

In Canada, this includes Indigenous peoples' culture, history and languages. There are countless opportunities for every child to be exposed to First Nations cultures in Canada.

Here are a few ideas for how to weave this content into your curriculum:


Scholar's Choice considers finding great books rich in First Nations cultures, history and languages one of our priorities. Exposing children to many different Indigenous languages, cultures, and histories is a key part of any Canadian childcare centre.

Here are two activities that you could do with your Preschoolers using the Book of Play and Native Animals books:

Read the Book of Play book to your class. After, have them point to which animals fly, swim or walk. Alternatively, you could print off a number of copies of the image below, cut up the images into individual pictures of each animal, and have the children place them into different piles- those that fly, those that swim, and those that walk.

Storytelling Follow Up Activity

Copy images of animals from the Book of Play and Native Animals books. Put them in the Interactive Wall and record the names and/or animal sounds to coincide with each animal. Children can interact with this pocket chart independently or as a group.




Celebrate, communicate, and make a lot of noise with our Gathering Drum!

If you like to have dance parties in your class, consider playing songs like those found on the Putumayo Native America CD. Native America from Putumayo is a collection of music by singer-songwriters and instrumentalists who draw inspiration from the traditions of their indigenous North American ancestors.



Dramatic Play

After reading books during storytime, children will love these Native American Animal Puppets. The children can draw out what they learnt from storytime. Many of the puppets go hand in hand with the boardbooks we carry. For example, The Mouse Woman book and puppet.



Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts are a wonderful way for children to explore First Nations cultures.

They can make Dream Catchers, make their own Drums, or extend their learning with colouring pages inspired by the images you have exposed them to in the stories and puzzles around your room.



Independent Play

We carry a fantastic range of wooden puzzles that offer exposure to First Nations cultures. Puzzles are a great independent and easy to digest way for children to learn.




Incorporating First Nations Cultures into Early Childhood Education

  1. How can I incorporate First Nations cultures into literacy activities? One approach is to use books rich in First Nations cultures, history, and languages. You can engage preschoolers by reading books like the Book of Play and Native Animals, then follow up with activities like categorizing animals based on how they move or creating interactive wall displays with animal images and corresponding names or sounds.

  2. What role does music play in celebrating First Nations cultures in the classroom? Music can be a powerful tool for celebration and communication. Consider using instruments like the Gathering Drum or playing songs from albums like Putumayo Native America CD during dance parties or other classroom activities to expose children to Indigenous music and traditions.

  3. How can dramatic play activities incorporate learning about First Nations cultures? After reading books about First Nations cultures during storytime, children can engage in dramatic play with Native American Animal Puppets. They can use the puppets to reenact stories or draw inspiration from what they've learned to create their own narratives.

  4. What arts and crafts activities are suitable for exploring First Nations cultures? Arts and crafts offer a hands-on approach to learning about First Nations cultures. Children can create Dream Catchers, make their own drums, or engage in coloring activities inspired by images from stories and puzzles related to Indigenous cultures.

  5. How can independent play activities support learning about First Nations cultures? Wooden puzzles featuring images and symbols from First Nations cultures provide children with an independent and enjoyable way to learn. These puzzles offer exposure to cultural elements while promoting problem-solving skills and spatial awareness.

Arts & crafts, daycare, ece, dramatic play, literacy, storytime, music, First Nations, Indigenous Studies

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