Bookish Play competition 2022
1st Prize

At Treetops Preschool our experience was inspired by two of our favourite books: “Colours of Australia” by Bronwyn Bancroft and “Collecting Colour” by Kylie Dunstan. On our weekly ‘On Country’ bush walk through our back gate into Garigal Country, we were inspired by “Colours of Australia” where Bronwyn Bancroft showcases our vast and beautiful Australian landscapes through her bold and modern indigenous art style; matching the colours Bronwyn describes in her book to colours we could see surrounding us: the green of the fern frond, the different shades of brown bark, even the blue of the ocean and horizon we could see in the distance. “The ocean is a different blue to the sky.” -Joey, “Yeah, it’s darker!”- Zoe, “I can see the horizon!”- Imogen

Combining Bronwyn Bancroft’s “Colours of Australia” and “Collecting Colour” by Kylie Dunstan, we carefully collected items of different colours; showing respect and caring for country by collecting only what has fallen onto the ground: leaves, berries, bark, rocks, a banksia ... “Just like Rose and Olivia” – Elvy. We compared them to a variety of paint colour swatches, observing all the subtle shades and colours in each item we collected from Country.

Several of our educators recently attended a Gai-mariagal Day event at Georges Heights during Reconciliation Week and were involved in constructing a coloured sand painting with Aboriginal artist Colin Walangari Karntawarra McCormack. Our educators shared photos of this experience with the children; “We can make one just like it” – Mikey, “But we don’t have coloured sand” – Kai, “We can use what we collected ‘On country’” – Aster.

Our bush art facilitated teamwork and cooperation as we worked together expressing our creativity. As we read “Colours of Australia” we were encouraged to look more closely at the environment around us, looking for colour in the sky, on the ground and amongst the bushes and trees. Our observation skills were heightened as we carefully took note of the palette of colours in our natural bushland setting. Our completed colourful art remained exposed to the elements out in our playground and it gradually blew away dispersing back into the earth on Garigal country.

At Treetops Preschool we are committed to fostering children's understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, promoting a culture of reconciliation. As educators, we are aware of our role in making a significant and positive difference as we are a crucial link between the rhetoric of reconciliation and the reality of the vision fulfilled. As we deepen our own understanding through local events and authentic resources, we are committing ourselves to furthering our own personal journeys of reconciliation.

Bookish Play competition 2022
2nd Prize

As we have been learning about ghost nets, the children were intrigued to know if the nets end up all the way at the bottom of the ocean. We learned that this is called the ‘trench zone’ and this is the deepest and darkest zone in the ocean, so we don’t know for sure if the ghost nets go all the way down there, however, we agreed that if any of the rubbish sinks to the bottom of the ocean, we think there would be nets down there hurting the fish. The children have loved learning about the different zones the ocean has and to explore this interest further, we created sensory jars for each zone. We’ve learned about how each zone has specific animals that live in the zones, as the lower zones are difficult to live in. This has been very interesting for the children to learn and has helped us to create the sensory jars, based off where the animals live. ‘The Dunggiir Brothers and the Caring Song of the Whale’ provided another Aboriginal perspective for the children to further develop their knowledge and interest.

When creating our sensory jars we collected some items we thought would match each zone. The children insisted we cut up some netting and put it into the zones. One by one we discussed the zones, adding a little bit of a lot of food colouring to colour the water based on what we have learned. We also took turns putting objects in each jar and some animals we know that live in the zones, including whales from our story. Once all our jars were done, we decided to label them by looking at the jars and identifying each of them. After we were all done the Grasshoppers enjoyed exploring them.

Bookish Play competition 2022
3rd Prize

We currently have a strong interest in animals in our Early Learning Room (0-3 year olds). We are in the early stages of embedding Aboriginal culture and history within our service, we’re taking our time to ensure we are being meaningful and respectful. We have community connections with a local Aboriginal family who we have been consulting with throughout our journey so far and have a number of passionate staff who are excited about this journey.

This play experience was set up based on two books, Bush Tracks by Ros Moriarty and Animals All Around Us by Melanie Hava. After reading the stories, discussing traditions around animal tracking, foot prints and patterns in nature, a table with rolled out playdough was set up with a backdrop inspired by one of the books.

Australian animals along with the Aboriginal symbols for different types of tracks was set up on the table. Educators role modelled making marks using the animals and then the children were given time to explore this independently.

Choosing a topic and activity the children are already interested in and have knowledge about helps to immerse them in learning new concepts!

Koori Curriculum's First Nations Bookish Play Competition


To celebrate NAIDOC Week the Koori Curriculum is holding a First Nations Bookish Play competition.

We are inviting early childhood educators and families with children aged 0-6 years of age to submit a photo of a play experience based upon their favourite First Nation Children's Book.

The top 10 play experiences with the highest votes will go in the draw to win a $200 voucher for 1st prize, a $100 voucher for 2nd prize and a $50 voucher for 3rd prize with the Koori Curriculum.


How to enter:

  1. Write a blurb of up to 300 words or more outlining how you have created a play experience based on your favourite First Nations book.
  2. Include an image of your play experience.

The competition will be open from the 27th of June to the 8th of July for entries.

Voting will close on the 10th of July.

The winner will be announced on the 11th of July via our newsletter, Facebook and on our Instagram.



To vote enter your name and email address, you will be able to vote for one entry once per day and will be added to our weekly newsletter.

Any issues with submission or votes please contact us at


How to vote in the competition:

  1. Click on “open gallery” below
  2. Click on the picture of the Educator you wish to vote for
  3. Scroll down to the “Vote Now” button
  4. Enter your name and email address and click the “I am not a robot” button
  5. Click on the “Vote Now” button