Book Week 2021 – Nature-Themed Books and Places to Explore!

Book Week is always an exciting time of year – a time when we, as adults, remember the joy our favourite childhood books gave us, and when our children surprise us with their choice of costume – Halibut Jackson? Really?

Book Week Costume Inspiration vs Real Life – Halibut Jackson

For 2021 the Childrens’ Book Council of Australia have chosen the theme of – Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds – and we’re sure you’ll find some inspiration here for this year’s celebrations.

For the team at Nature Play WA, nature is always an inspiration, so we thought we’d share some awesome children’s books that capture the wonder of the natural world or inspire imaginative and creative play, and a list of wonderful places (both built playspaces and natural spots) to entertain and inspire a love of nature in even the smallest nature player.

If you’d like to know more about any of the places in our list, follow the links to check them out in our free Play in WA app!


Thrills and Spills

The Adventures of Alec the Flying Fox – by Luke Rowland

Do you have a nature player who love some thrills and spills?  Have them pretend they can fly “for real life” (thanks, Bluey!) on a huge flying fox, or sail down a super slippery dip at these wonderful play spaces. But, a word of caution – high speed play can be very addictive.  Once your nature player feels the wind in their hair on the flying fox and breaking the speed of sound on the slide, you may have a hard time getting them off the equipment when it’s time to go home!


Up High!

Another Way to Climb a Tree – by Liz Garton Scanlon

Many nature players love to climb, and get as high as they can.  While many local parks do not have climbable trees, there are some great play spaces with lots of opportunities to get up high above it all!  From “birds nests” in the sky, to elevated walkways, through to climbing walls that lead to high platforms, your climber will definitely get to stretch their “limbs” at these play spaces!

Pirates and Shipwrecks

Tough Boris – by Mem Fox

Y’arr, where are our scurvy seadogs?  Who doesn’t love a bit of adventurous play, aboard a pirate ship upon the high seas?  These play spaces have created three very different tall ship play experiences, from way-up-high crows nests, to rope “rigging” to climb, to hidden away galleys and brigs, giving little land lubbers the chance to find their sea legs.  Time to set sail!

Castles and Forts

The Fort – by Laura Perdew

Whether you’re playing Kings and Queens of the Castle, knights vs dragons, or invading Barbarian or Viking hordes, playing forts and castles offers limitless opportunities for imaginative and creative play.  These play spaces all have unique and vastly different designs of their castles and forts, so your mini imagineers will never be short of inspiration.

Adventure – Wild Things!

Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

Do you have a wild one, with energy to burn, who loves to let loose in adventurous play?  Space to roam, secrets to discover, and places to play hide and seek are all elements of what makes a play space feel magical.  Here are some of our favourite play spaces to let the wild ones loose.

Beach Babies and Water Play

Magic Beach – Alison Lester

There’s something quite magical about playing with, or being close to, water.  Whether it’s the sounds of rhythmic the ocean waves or the bubbling of a nearby brook into the play space, or the satisfaction of cranking a lever or winding a wheel to get the water flowing in a water play space, children love to be in and around water.  Bring a change of clothes (or several changes!) to these wet and wonderful spots.  We recommend a change of clothes for grown ups too!

Water Play Spaces

Weird and Wonderful

Oh The Places You’ll Go – Dr Seuss

Want something a little left of centre?  A little kooky and surprising?  Find Dr Seuss-inspired spaces, visit the pre-historic era to play with dinosaurs, and discover re-purposed farm machinery and vehicles for some weird and wonderful fun.


Looking for natural play and adventure spots perfect for nature players?  Check out the Great Places section of the Play in WA app!

Click to access the login or register cheese