National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) is our national day dedicated to celebrating our children and is celebrated across the country each year on 4 August.
Children's Day is a time when all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, celebrate the talents and culture of our young people. It's an opportunity for us to show how much we care about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids while also learning about the significant roles that culture, family, and community play in the lives of all ATS kids.
Children’s Day has grown every year, becoming a major event in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and community organisations. In communities throughout Australia, this special day has been celebrated with activities such as cultural events, open days, arts and crafts, storytelling, face painting, concerts, morning teas and community barbecues.
Songs and Rhymes
- Inanay - A Torres Strait Islander song about a goanna in Yorta Yorta, a language of one of the Torres Strait Islander tribes in Victoria.
- Taba Naba- This song is about going to the reef and is accompanied by a sit-down dance where the dancers perform traditional movements corresponding to the lyrics.
- Pitjantjatjara 123 - Learn to count to 3 in Pitjantjatjara with this simple song. A dialect of the Western Desert Language, the largest language group of Aboriginal Australia.
Crafts and Activities
Dotty Art - Create dot art using cotton buds. Aboriginal people use dot paintings as a way to create and re-tell stories using symbols and colours such as red, yellow, brown and orange.
Track That Animal - This is a simple and fun activity for children to track Australian animals.
Australian Animal Track Prints - Children will learn to "track" the footprints of different Australian animals.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags With Coloured Stones - This simple activity enables children to use coloured rocks to create the ATSI flags.
Colours As Cultural Symbols - This craft-based activity reminds children of the cultural meanings and significance of the colours that make up the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag.
Nature Bracelets - Collect and gather natural materials from the local environment and use them to create and decorate this bracelet.
Bush Tucker Posters - The Bush Tucker Posters detail information on the nutrition bush tucker foods provide to the Aboriginal people. These posters can be used as a display to start conversations with children on bush tucker.
Aboriginal Symbols Flashcards - Aboriginal Symbols are a symbolic language that Indigenous Australians use to tell stories of the Dreamtime and are used in contemporary art. Using these aboriginal symbol flashcards, children can be introduced to Indigenous Culture. These flashcards can be used in numerous ways to extend children's knowledge.
Australian Dot Colouring - The Australian Dot Colouring provides 8 Australian animals on a background of dots. Children can make patterns using different colour paints, textas, crayons, cotton swabs etc. Originally, indigenous people of Australia used dots to disguise the sacred meanings behind the stories in the paintings. They drew designs that included dots on the soil, and sand, and made body paintings for ceremonies because they could easily erase them as they were considered sacred.
Children's Acknowledgment of Country -. Incorporating a daily Acknowledgement of the Country is important because it encourages children to engage with diversity and respect.
The first National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day was instituted in 1988 on August 4 against the backdrop of demonstrations organised by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those who supported them during the bicentennial year. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples believed that there should be a day set aside to honour our kids and give them the confidence, inclusion, and specialness they deserve.
The Stolen Generations, a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were abducted from their families at an early age without being informed of their birthday, had their birthdays collectively celebrated on August 4 in the past.