August Cultural Calendar Ideas

August is the time when little birds test out their wings and are starting to practice flying. August is a great time to explore the Creation stories of the Nations of your host agency, the traditional territory your program resides on, and nations of the families involved in your program.

This is an important topic for discussion and exploration as every nation has a story of origin.
It gives children, families, Elders and staff a great sense of pride when they can share and or learn about their nations and origin stories. This is also a great time to learn about and include the lunar calendar into your program’s cultural calendar. Many nations follow the 13-moon cycle. Exploring the different names of moons from region to region, nation to nation, each moon name reflects what’s happening on the lands in those places during that moon.


Anishinaabeg      Minooini Giisis (Wild rice moon)

W̱SÁNEĆ             Centawen (Coho salmon return to earth) 

Tla’amin              T’agams ta Kliyam (the moon of the cockles) 

Iroquois-             Ohyotosheli (green beans) 

Qikiqtaaluk          Saggaruut– (caribou skin is ready)

August programming Preparations

Create a lunar calendar! 

Using your nation(s) lunar calendar, discuss and think about what moon is represented in August for your program, and what teachings does this moon bring? 

What resources do you have in community that can be used to reinforce these teachings? 

Explore Creation stories. Invite families and Elders to contribute to planning and program activities by inviting them to present their Nations’ Creation Story and legends. This could include visiting sites, or photos of special places that relate or represent Creation stories and teachings. 

August is a warmer month and still full of Nature’s abundance. Continue to bring most of the month’s programming outdoors! Explore the last of Summer by experiencing sights, smells, and natural sensory experiences outdoors.  

Art Centre:

Rubbings are a fun way to explore natural textures, with an area outside with seashells, rough bark and other items from nature to do layer paper thin enough to do rubbings with, but thick enough to last through the fun of rubbing!

If you’d like to explore Métis dot painted designs in the art area, learning by experimenting with the ends of paintbrush handles, bingo markers, Q tips, circle stickers and easy mediums for young hands. 

Metis Dot Art Flower Template


August is a great time to continue exploring Indigenous Musical Instruments.

Order musical wooden spoons that have no finish to them and invite families to come into the center to help dot paint a pair of spoons for their child. Have a Knowledge Keeper, Elder or a Métis artist that does dot painting in to teach the technique and share teachings about dot painting and the spoons. After the craft is complete make sure you treat this item with a product that will ensure longevity. 


Hot summer days give plenty of opportunities for explore sensory play outside: 

Describe and compare how/what we’re feeling as we experience: 

Bare feet on wet grass, climbing a boulder, digging for worms and bugs, picking a flower or berries, rolling down a grassy slope, playing in the rain.


  • Playdough/ clay with seashells and other natural materials to make imprints. 
  • Fingerpainting with mud
  • Sprinkler play or play with spray bottles. 

Cooking/ Food Prep/ Gathering

It’s berry season! 

Inviting everyone out on the land to help pick berries~ children, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, families, following local protocols. 

Blueberries, cherries and peaches are also available in some places for a hands-on field trip to follow a berry picking expedition. 

Other items in your harvesting garden may also be ready to be picked. 

Have the children and families learn how to store and prepare the berries from Knowlege Keepers.

Have menu items and experiences with items throughout the week using what you pick.  This could include making soap berry ice cream, fruit leather, berry sundaes, pemmican.

Growing Salal For Food and Beauty in Your Home Garden (

What Are Salmonberries? ( 

Science Topic to explore for the month of August:


Explore the fun science behind colours with easy do it yourself activities.


Check out these easy STEM bubble experiments easy for young kids.

Animals with shells 

Expert feedback to curious kids questions on how seashells and animal shells are formed.

Playful additions: 

Building Block/ Construction Area: At the child’s eye level have pictures with numbers and the word in the language shared in your program. Taking turns, count blocks in the language. 

Dramatic Play Area:  Set up your indoor play area as a camping site, using teepees and other tents. Setting up a pretend fire, camping dishes, supplies, with small back packs for children to have fun “setting up camp.”  Invite the cook to suggest and make camping foods one day for lunch could tie into the children’s exploration and creativity with the camping theme. 

Clever Raven AHS

Reading Area:  

Books can be incorporated into areas beyond the reading area! Including books in all play areas that can invite further connections and expand creativity. For example, the Lego table can have books with pictures of log cabins, teepees and other traditional items children can build or can have transportation or community helper themed books to encourage exploration of the child’s building in these areas. 

Photos from eagle’s nest preschool

Future 4 Nations AHS

Outdoor Ideas

Explore options in your community to participate in a story walk. If there are no opportunities in your community most Child Care Resource and Referral locations are willing to partner with AHS centers and provide this opportunity.  

Add seashells and other items you would find at the beach in your sand area outside. Build excitement with the children in the sand area by having a “treasure hunt or a fossil hunt”

This could lead to a bigger project of hosting a scavenger hunt in the language(s) shared in your program and inviting families to participate. 

Circle time area: 

AHSABC has provided our educators who attended The LOVIT Way Gathering with Spoons. We have been hearing that the children are enjoying playing the spoons.  Incorporate the spoons into songs and activities, play fiddle music and role model how to spoon to the beat of the fiddle. Invite Elders in to join in or lead some fun activities with the Spoons. 

A great resource and site to order finished ready for playing (would not work for an art project)  Wooden Spoons | Gabriel Dumont Institute (

Elder Betty Gladue recommends these metal spoons:  

Spoons, Castinets & Finger Cymbals – Long & McQuade (

Elder involvement: 

Invite Elders to PEP it helps them to understand the different processes that happen at programs! As well as the importance of Elder involvement to the daily program as well as to the operation of the program. 

Grandma Josie recently participated in PEP at the Kermode Daycare. 

Kermode Childcare Center Terrace B.C Grandparent Josie Casey Nisga’a Ksim Laxgibuu
“I didn’t realize all the work and care that goes into our AHS daycare. I knew we had our granddaughter on PEP days, I never knew what PEP meant. You ladies are doing a wonderful job!”

Inviting Elders to take the lead on the land gathering and berry picking, preserving and storing activities is a beautiful community building activity. 

Parent Involvement Ideas

Parent Boards:   

Create a parent board full of back-to-school resources ie. free backpack day, free haircuts, links and resources on back-to-school routines, easy slow cooker recipes, and more. 

Create a healthy living board and feature Indigenous and Community resources. Expanding that, programs could host a health fair to prepare parents for the busy back to school season. Invite local resources to have a table and create a circuit for families. This could include dental health, health nurse that does vision screening, Speech and language therapist, CCRR, BCAA or another organization that provides car seat safety, dietician (could be someone from a health food store,) other providers from your host agency this could include AIDP, ASCD, literacy supports, outreach supports, Jordan’s Principle Staff, literacy access services, and more.

Including Elders and Knowledge Keepers with medicine and foods knowledge, would hold Indigenous wellness in balance with western. They could also share: medicine bag making, salve making, tea making and more. 

Reach out to FNHA they may be able to send a representative and they have several wellness campaigns that could be incorporated, such as active living, respecting tobacco, and nurturing spirit. 

Outreach Activity kits: 

Send home easy to read bedtime stories and information on ways to add literacy to busy home schedules, and information that reinforces the importance of bedtime routines! 

Book ideas: 

Nighty Night Author: Richard Van Camp

Good night, World Author: Native Northwest

I was born precious and sacred Author: Deborah Abood Grandmother Ptarmigan Author: Qaunaq Kikkigak

Create a kit with the newest addition of Canada’s food guide and choices of healthy foods. 

Set up a time that families can attend a healthy foods grocery store tour in your community. 

Lofty Ideas:

Decorate your loft to incorporate children’s favourite stories. You can also have laminated copies of pages and pictures from the book of choice so the children can connect the book to the environment. This provides a place and inspiration for dramatic play inspired by the stories they are hearing and reading. 

Examples of stories you could choose; Awasisak and the world-famous Bannock, I am rock, T’uc’up greets the animals. 

Resources and related articles:

  1. FNHA-Canning-Foods-Your-Guide-To-Successful-Canning.pdf
  2. Who We Are Book Series – Learning The Land
  3. Food guide snapshot – Canada’s Food Guide
  4. Oneida Nation | Creation Story (
  5. cur2.pdf (

Recommended children’s books/ resource books:

 Vibrantly illustrated book that features the numbers 1-10 in Cree. 

Colorful book that follows a dog and its owner on the powwow trail. 

Plains Cree language content and the topics of self-care and self-love. 

A book that explores cultural values regarding hair protocols.

Book of the Month 

Title: 13 moons on Turtle’s Back

Author: Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London Illustrator: Thomas Locker 

This book has vivid paintings and features poems from many Nations that explore the Indigenous 13 Moon cycle. This book emphasizes on the land teachings and respect for nature.

Recipe of the month: Seafood Fritters

Feature Haida Tourism Recipe: Seafood Fritters — Haida Tourism

Traditional foods and wellness link of the month:

Eating Healthy (