Where have all the turtles gone? – local lake visit

Where have all the turtles gone? – local lake visit

Key words:

Place/Country-responsive play, discovery play, non-human play, death play, biodiversity, ecosystems, habitat, conservation, drought, climate change, seasons, precipitation, animal tracking, food webs, lifecycles


Rockhampton South Kindergarten


The children at Rockhampton South Kindergarten regularly visit a local lagoon, and were very concerned to observe the lagoon near empty during one visit towards the end of the year, after a period of drought. Centre director Julia explained the immense concern expressed by the children for the ducks, birds, turtles and other animals they usually see during their visits to the lagoon. Serious discussions followed around what may have happened to all the wildlife, demonstrating children’s attachment to place and their awareness that the lack of water was problematic for the local animals. After witnessing the children’s concern and fielding many questions, Julia organised for animal experts to come to talk with the children about the drought and the impacts on plants and animals – the cycle of life and animals’ capacity to move on to search for alternative water sources. He shared that “when the rain comes back, the [animals] will return… there will be new life there”. This place/Country responsive experience was particularly influential for the children, and they were eager to return after the rain to observe the return of the animals.