Excursion to Narana

Excursion – Tarneit Kindergarten

In our two kindergarten rooms, we have begun exploring Aboriginal culture, as such, we decided to go on an excursion to further explore these themes. We hopped on the bus and off we went to Torquay.

It was quite a long bus ride for the 42 children with us but once we arrived, everyone was so excited to be there. Our first stop was Child’s Play Torquay where we were able to have a play in a new environment and begin to build relationships with our educators and children that attend our sister service. As the children had not been to Torquay before they were very interested in the environment, exploring the gardens, pet enclosures and permanent play spaces such as the surfboards and wooden hut. The Torquay service has one very large outdoor space, which is quite different to what is available to them in Tarneit and this experience also enabled the Tarneit children the opportunity to explore multiple indoor spaces as well.

While at Torquay the children were given the opportunity to have lunch at Child’s Play Torquay with the kindergarten children from that service. Laura the cook from Torquay prepared enough lamb stew and potatoes to fill all the children and even created a beautiful fruit cake for Max; the birthday boy. Max enjoyed listening to all of the kindergarten children singing to him, and then all children enjoyed some of the fruit.

From there we hopped back on the bus to head to Narana, which was only a short distance of about 10 minutes down the road. Once at Narana, the children were able to meet Anthony. Anthony sat us all in a circle and demonstrated what some Aboriginal tools were and how they were used, we all laughed so much during his explanations and then were even able to feel them. Anthony explained that some tools were used for hunting different animals and gave examples of the different situations these may have been used in, as well as what mothers would have used to rock their babies as well as keeping them warm and even some storage items that people made from plant materials. Anthony even demonstrated to us how stories were told through song by playing different sounds on a didgeridoo for us and explaining scenarios that were easy to imagine.

Anthony then took us outside to learn and perform an Aboriginal dance. The boys stood on one side with the girls on another and each side performed different actions. The girls began by recreating actions of picking berries from trees, as well as scaring the boys. Whilst the boys performed spearing fish in the rivers and wobbly legged actions. All children then came together in the middle with a ‘crazy dance’. The children were able to recreate these actions in front of one another and enjoyed listening to the didgeridoo Anthony was playing as they danced.

From here the children were each given the opportunity to throw a boomerang. Anthony helped each child to practice the movement before letting them have a turn. All those who were waiting for their turn stood behind a protective netted area. Whilst children were taking turns a kangaroo hopped across to where we were all standing as it had recognised some seeds to eat on the floor. The kangaroo hopped away and the children continued to take their turns throwing the boomerang. It was a very casual interaction between the children and the kangaroo, almost as if we were really in the bush and this was something that took place all the time.

To finish our excursion, we took a walk around the Narana garden and also saw a wallaby and a few emus. We stood nearby them and watched them for a little while before hopping back onto the bus and heading back to Child’s Play Tarneit.