Koori Curriculum's 2023 First Nations Bookish Play Competition 1st Prize

Cassie Davis

I have developed this play experience at home for my 12-month-old son Kodi who's favourite book and song on ABC kids is the Tjitji lullaby. Tjitji was actually one of Kodi's first words and he says it every time he plays with his book :) We have been pointing out all of the different beautiful colours we see in the book such as when the sun is setting and when the moon is in the sky. So there are lots of different coloured objects for Kodi to explore and materials. We also point to the trees in the book so the sensory tray provides gum leaves, gum nuts and coloured materials to be touched and explored. The story cubes are used to point out the animals in the book and finger puppets to explore the animals further. Kodi loves playing the clapsticks when I sing the lullaby to him everyday :) I also used different heights to encourage Kodi to pull himself up and reach for items as this is a current goal for his physical development. Kodi loves learning about Aboriginal culture so much already, especially through books and music.

Koori Curriculum's 2023 First Nations Bookish Play Competition 2nd Prize

Georgia Walkden

“Walking With The Season’s in Kakadu”

This story is well loved by the children as they enjoy searching for all different animals, foods, plants, creatures and habitats through the beautifully illustrated pages. We talk about the weather and are intentional about noticing the world around us. The story tray includes lots of objects from the book including fruits, bugs, feathers, turtles, and frogs. Children played by exploring the different objects, asking lots of questions, and talking with peers about what they can see. We used the lands map to highlight where Kakadu is located, and the weather calendar for children to make connections with

Koori Curriculum's 2023 First Nations Bookish Play Competition 3rd Prize

Avenues Early Learning

Bush Track!

Let’s go on a bush track adventure! We based our bush track experience off the book ‘Bush Tracks’ written by Ros Moriarty.

The Pre Kindy children from Avenues Early Learning Centre Carina started off with tracking the kangaroo tracks up the steep ‘rocky hill’! The children were getting in the head space of a kangaroo, so we jumped together just like they would! The children used their gross motor and balancing skills to make it across the ‘rocky hill’ and to continue to follow the tracks. The children spotted the kangaroo’s hiding on our worm farm! We then saw that they had left us a gift! In the next page of our book, we read about how the Aboriginal People would create their own spears, lucky the kangaroos did all the hard work for us. We grabbed our spears and read the next page which told us to grab the soap leaves and rub them together in our hands. We don’t have a soap tree, but we do have a Lemon Myrtle tree which we got the children to pick a leaf off each and crush it into a ball. The smell instantly left the leaves, and we were all left with sweet lemon hands! We held onto our lemon myrtle leaves and brought them to our fire pit! The next page talks about cooking on the fire and using it to light our way and send a signal to our Aboriginal families. We cooked our lemon myrtle leaves in the fire and used some torches to light our way and send our signal. We were glad we read the book as it told us to watch out for the snake! We all spotted it, the children showed excitement when seeing it. Next, we had to use our spears to hunt fish! The children hurried to the fish in the sandpit. They used their hand-eye coordination to stab the fish ready to take home for dinner. Some of the children found this to be a little tricky but persisted with some positive re-enforcement from their educators. Soon everyone had a fish on their spear! Time for a water break! The Aboriginal People in the story dug for their fresh water and drank with their hands. Our group cupped our hands and had cold water poured into them for them to drink. The children were smiling as they tried to drink all the water before it ran from their hands. After drinking our cold water, we checked our book to see what was next. We had to check if it was a crab hunting season, so we looked for a full moon! We laid down in the sand pit and found the full moon! Let’s go hunting! We got our spears again and found the crabs. The children were confident this time and used the spears with all their strength, some even breaking the spears, we have some very strong hunters! We sat in the shade to read our next page, time to follow the stars in our canoes. The children grabbed their paddles, sat in our tire canoe, and started to row. Some of the children started to sing ‘row row row your boat’ so then we all sung it together as we rowed. “My boat is stuck!” One of the children said, “That means we have reached the land!” We got out of our boats and followed the stars that were placed around our playground, we used the Aboriginal symbol for the stars. The children showed a huge excitement when finding one and started to run to find the next. We then found a shooting star just like the book! We read the last page together next to the shooting star. Oh no! A storm was coming, loud thunder, wind and rain! We had to run to the cave to be safe from the storm, we ran through the ‘rain’ (water sprinkling from the hose) to our cave (under our fort) the children followed their educator through the storm and made it safely to the cave. In the cave the children were given a huge five for completing the bush track! The children did an amazing job using their imagination to the fullest and showing respect towards the Aboriginal culture and way of life.

Koori Curriculum's 2023 First Nations Bookish Play Competition


To celebrate our upcoming Koori Curriculum 2023 Book Summit we are 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:

  • 1st prize: A Group Ticket for up to 5 Attendees to the Koori Curriculum 2023 Book Summit.
  • 2nd prize: A $100 voucher for the Koori Curriculum store.
  • 3rd prize: A $50 voucher for the Koori Curriculum store.


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.
  3. Your entry will become visible in the gallery in 24-48 hours

The competition will be open from the 3rd of April to the 16th of April for entries.

Voting will close on the 23rd of April.

The winner will be announced on the 24th of April 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 info@kooricurriculum.com


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