National Reconciliation Week: Young Explorers

Pre-school and up to year 2

Young Explorers is a program for 3 to 5 year-olds based on the Reggio Emilia approach, which centres on children as the creators of their own knowledge. Children are curious individuals with the potential to learn from their surroundings. Presenters Emma and Stephen share stories, activities and songs centred around the objects and galleries of the Museum.  

In this special series for Reconciliation Week, they are joined by Eva Wilson our Aboriginal Educator who shares knowledge and culture through Adnyamathanha, Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna language, culture and song on the theme of ‘in this together’.  Together they explore the universal needs of living things including food, water, shelter, and warmth. 

Curriculum links

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture and Sustainability.

Key concepts and organising ideas: Country/ Place, Culture and People

Learning areas: Arts (Visual, Drama, Music), HASS, Science and Language.

Suggested activities

Make your own Wardli. What do you have at home or at school to make your own? Can you make a little one like in our video or a big one out of fallen tree branches, sticks and leaves? Or find out about some native animal homes. 

Sing and Share the Niina Marni or Mukarta Kartaka song with family or friends and teach on the language you have learnt from our videos. 

Draw or create a piece of artwork inspired by something you saw in the videos, it could be Yarlu, the sea or Pinko at the Museum. 

Learn some more Kaurna Language. Head over to or find out the local Aboriginal language group in your area and see if you can learn how to say hello in their language. Check out the First Languages Australia and The University of Melbourne’s 50 Words Online initiative

Young Explorers: An introduction

Niina marni! The Young Explorers team have missed having you at the Museum, so we’ll be sharing a series of videos with you over Reconciliation Week. Today, Emma and Stephen are joined by special guest Eva for songs, stories and rocking Pinko to sleep in a koolaman. We'll be sharing more Young Explorers videos throughout the week, so please stay tuned.

Here are the lyrics to today’s songs so you can sing along:

Niina Marni Song

Niina Marni Niina Marni – Hello you good?
Marniai Marniai – I’m Good
Wanti Niina Wanti Ninna – Where you going?
Wadlianna Wadlianna – I’m going home 

Heads and Shoulders

Mukarta, Karkata, Mumpa, Tidna – Head, Shoulder, Knee, Foot (toes)
Miina, Yuri, Taa, Mudla – Eye, Ear, Mouth, Nose
We all clap Marralla together (Marra hand, Marralla hands)

Young Explorers: Making fire

Brrr! It’s cold outside, and Emma and Eva have been at the Museum, thinking about keeping warm by the fire.

The lyrics for today’s songs are:

Like a leaf or feather
in the windy, windy weather
We can swirl around and twirl around and all fall down together.

Inanay gupu wanna
Inanay gupu wanna

Ay ay ay oola
Oola oola oola ay
Yippee yay yipee yay

Goo wana goo wana
Goo wana goo wana
Goo wah - Choo!

Young Explorers: Water with Eva and Stephen

Eva and Stephen are in the Museum again, finding some water to go with their food! Let’s look at some different ways Aboriginal people have of collecting and carrying water.

Sing along with us:

Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a dream
If you see a crocodile
Don’t forget to scream!

Young Explorers: Homes with Emma and Eva

Let’s count kuma, purlaityi, marnkutyi with Eva and Emma while we look at different types of homes!

The lyrics are:

Give me a home among the gum trees
With lots of plum trees
A sheep or two and a kangaroo
A clothesline out the back
Verandah out the front
And an old rocking chair
Here is a nest for a magpie
Here is a hive for some bees
Here is a burrow for a bilgy
And here is a wadli for me!

Young Explorers: Fishing with Eva and Stephen

Have you ever caught a fish? Let’s have a look at the food we can collect by the sea, with Eva and Stephen.

Join with us by singing:

Here is the yarlu, the wavy yarlu
Here is a boat, And here is me!
And little fishes way down below
Wiggle their tails, And away they go!

Young Explorers: Goodbye with Eva, Emma and Stephen

Ngaityalya, thanks for joining us for Reconciliation Week. We explored what humans need to live; food, shelter, water and fire, while looking at Aboriginal cultures and how they live. The Reconciliation Week theme this year was “In this together,” and we’ve loved singing and sharing stories together. Nakutha!

Coming up next


Back to National Reconciliation Week resources