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An Oldy but a Goody – Wombat Stew

Marcia K Vaughan (1984)

wombat stew childrens book

This very famous children’s book, includes a range of animals from the Australian bush. Throughout the story, it is evident the lengths the animals go to, in order to protect their friends from being cooked up in a stew, made by the infamous dingo. It shows true friendship, courage and intelligence when these animals decide to trick the dingo. The story encourages children to join in with the common rhyming verse.

“Wombat stew, Wombat stew, Gooey, Brewy, Yummy, Chewy, Wombat stew!”

The inclusion of this repetitious chant, allows the children to participate and engage in the story, thus developing their literacy skills.

Watch Wombat Stew being read here.

Let’s play
Little ones love nothing more than making up their own concoctions so now is the perfect time. Don’t be afraid of a little mess.

Select a large pot/saucepan or bucket. Take your little one and your stew pot on a nature walk, this could be through the back yard, in the garden or a walk around the neighbourhood. Hunt for different ingredients to include in your stew. As you find new things discuss words you could use to describe them.

Are they?

  • Sticky
  • Smelly
  • Crunchy
  • Prickly
  • Fluffy
  • Heavy
  • Bumpy
  • Spotty

Once your stew pot is full of delicious ingredients add some water and stir, stir, stir. Encourage your little one to perform the chant from the story. Remember, don’t be afraid to dance around and sing yourself, if your engaging they’ll be engaged.

“Wombat stew, Wombat stew, Gooey, Brewy, Yummy, Chewy, Wombat stew!”

Substitute some of the describing words from the story for some of the new ones you have discovered together on your nature walk. Not only is this activity fun and messy but it helps to develop a rich vocabulary in your little one through meaningful play. Enjoy!