After arriving in Fiji, visitors soon discover that culture and community are very important to the Fijian people. Passing down traditional stories and sharing cultural experiences is part of daily life and something locals are proud to share with visitors.
Teaching children the importance of connecting and contributing to the communities they visit is easy. From a visitor’s first bula welcome to being involved in a meke ceremony, it’s not hard to instantly feel the happiness and warmth of the Fijian spirit.
By educating children with hands-on activities based on local traditions and conservation projects, they will gain a greater perspective of another culture, instilling good life principles and always having a piece of Fiji with them for years to come.
Here are some of the opportunities that are available to families to immerse their children in.
Authentic cultural activities abound at Nanuku Auberge Resort
Nanuku Auberge Resort’s Lailai Adventure Club is no ordinary kids’ club. Children are completely immersed in nature, mindfulness, education and traditional experiences. Involving children in customary rituals allows them to develop a more complex understanding of Fijian culture, as opposed to merely watching a choreographed traditional dance performance and forgetting it a week later.
The Pacific Harbour resort has recently added the ‘Kids Kava’ experience to its long list of cultural activities. Incorporating all ancestral elements such as Fijian clothing and traditional dialogue, the ceremony is as authentic as a customary adult version – but instead of kava, it’s chocolate milk!
Other cultural activities include traditional earth cooking, meke dancing, flower basket weaving, evening torch lighting, storytelling, coconut husking, lei making, Fijian language lessons, Fijian singing lessons, rice planting and bamboo raft building.
In addition to the above, kids can choose from a range of daily activities such as water sports, sandcastle building, ziplining, volleyball, rock climbing and crafts at Cakava Creative Workshop.
Learn about Fiji beyond the mainland
Bula Club is an award-winning kids’ club at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort with a huge emphasis on exploration and educational activities. Their goal is to encourage kids to discover and expand their horizons to help them better understand and appreciate where they are.
The Junior Chef Program teaches kids how to harvest and prepare a wholesome dish. After visiting the organic garden and they’ll whip up a delicious meal while learning the farm-to-plate concept along with other aspects of organic farming.
Take a walk on the reef flats with the resort’s marine biologist or join one of the elders on a medicine walk to learn about local plants and herbal remedies that have been used for thousands of years in Fiji.
Grow with Six Senses
At Six Senses Fiji, children will be able to experience the ‘Grow with Six Senses’ global program, which educates little ones on their surroundings in the most fun ways possible. Grow with Six Senses incorporates the six dimensions of wellness – social, emotional, environmental, physical, intellectual and spiritual – bringing kids ‘back to basics’ in order to reconnect with nature and people around them. Through these dimensions, children can take kids yoga and meditation, visit the nearby village and school, take a Fijian dance class and mini master chef lessons to ensure they have a fun-filled holiday and they take home a little extra knowledge of the world with them.
VOMO’s Kids Village
The VOMO Kids Village is a nurturing place for what this resort calls its ‘Little Islanders’. VOMO Island Fiji‘s chef prepares a delicious array of cuisine they can choose from, empowering them to think about their choices. Children are encouraged to eat breakfast with their family then dine with their Little Islander friends for the evening meal (and to give parents much-needed time to enjoy the adults-only areas such as The Rocks for sunset cocktails).
Adventurous Little Islanders can now participate in the Bubble Blowers course, a PADI-certified diving course for ages 8 to 12 years. Lessons will be taken in the swimming pool where diving experts will direct them through the steps necessary to travel the underwater world.
Hot Glass Fiji
For a fun and unique activity for the whole family, take a visit to Hot Glass Fiji. Learn a new skill together by learning how to create your own glass piece. Hot Glass Fiji, founded by Alice Hill, is Fiji’s first glassblowing studio. Each creation is inspired by the stunning colours of the Fiji Islands. Have a go at sandcasting, where visitors can make their own interesting shape – handprint, shell from the beach or turtle shape – within the sand, which is then cast using red gold liquid glass.
Lead image: Nanuku Auberge Resort
Learn more about Fiji and become a Matai Specialist through Tourism Fiji’s online training course. For all the details, go to matai.fiji.travel