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Rose 3 Learning Experience Clap Sticks

"Learning Experience" activities and suggestions that will empower and enable you as educators to support multicultural education using the principles laid out in the new ELYF Framework.

Please find below free valuable, insightful and practical ways that multiculturalism may be brought into your early years learning environment on a daily basis using the "Early Years Learning Framework" (EYLF). 

Each article includes:

  • Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) Outcomes
  • Key Learning Area Links
  • Extension Ideas
  • Equipment required
  • Instructions
  • Global Kids Oz Linked Resources

 All articles on this page have been kindly created and modified specifically for Global Kids Oz use by Rebecca Perkins of Rose 3 Learning Experience, all articles are subject to full copywright guidelines and may only be used within a classroom environment and not to be used for any other article content for any other reason, permission to copy or use this content for anything other than a EYLF setting must be approved in writing by Rebecca Perkins of Rose 3 Learning Experience. To access more learning experiences supporting the full ELYF program please contact Rebecca directly on 0402 284 581 or go to her website

Objective: to develop aboriginal cultural awareness through artistic and musical experience


2 sticks* per child (approx. 15cm long and 2cm  diameter)

Paint (children could choose colours or use “earth” colours)

 Fine brushes and/or cotton buds.

* more meaningful if sticks are collected from nature, “debarked” and cut to size with the children, however   wooden dowel or old wooden broom handles cut to size are also an option.  Recycled materials are more cost effective.


Show children pictures of aboriginal clap sticks.

Find sticks of the correct size and shape for clap sticks.

De-bark and let children paint their own designs and patterns on the clap sticks.  Let sticks dry.

Children can use clap sticks in a variety of areas:  indoors or outdoors, in dress up area, music time

 Early Years Learning Framework Outcomes*

Outcome 1:  Children

  • interact with care, empathy and respect through  discussion of aspects of traditional aboriginal culture.

Outcome 2:  Children

  • respond to diversity with respect through discussions about traditional aboriginal culture.
  • become socially responsible through growing understanding of diversity.

Outcome 3: Children

  • take responsibility for physical wellbeing through dance.

Outcome 4:  Children develop

  • curiosity, enthusiasm and creativity through understanding other cultures, musical and artistic expression and experience.
  • range of skills and processes such as inquiry researching and investigating nature and different cultures.

Outcome 5:  Children

  • interact verbally and non-verbally with others.

· express ideas and make meaning through artistic  expression, music and dance

Key Learning Area Links

Pre-Numeracy (Mathematics)

Patterning and sequencing (matching markings on each clap sticks, repetition of rhythm/beat cards)

Counting a 4 beat rhythm.

Measurement: Size and shape (comparing sticks).

Literacy/Vocabulary (English)

red, brown, yellow, white, aboriginal, Indigenous   Australians,  corroboree, clap, sticks, beat, rhythm, bark, traditions.

Languages other than English (LOTE)    Find out aboriginal name for clap sticks, is it  different in different areas and dialects?

Health and Physical Education

Fine Motor Skills: fine brush painting on sticks.

Gross Motor: dance to traditional and contemporary aboriginal  music.

Studies of Society and Environment

Cultural Diversity—exploring and discussing elements of traditional and modern aboriginal culture.

The Arts

Artistic expression through decorating clap sticks

Music experience through use of sticks for musical expression and dance. Colour - colours of nature, traditionally use colours. Medium—the type of paint used, acrylic, water based,  ground rocks to make pigment or traditional method.


Comparison of different sticks against required criteria.  (15 cm x 2cm approx.) 

Extension Ideas  Discuss aboriginal clap sticks, use the internet to find pictures and listen to how they are used in aboriginal music/dance.  Children can play their clap sticks with the music. Look at pictures/books about other aboriginal musical instruments. Use the rhythm cards black line masters with the clap sticks.  (available on website)   See if the children can attend an aboriginal corroboree or ceremonial dance. 

Global Kids Oz Linked Resources     

South American/Aboriginal Rain Sticks 

Aboriginal Clap Sticks

Aboriginal Play Mats

Multicultural resources, Indigenous, Maori, Cultural Diversity in childcare, multiculturalism, cultural learning resources