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Digital resource
Free, no bookings required
For any questions regarding the event, please reach out to the Community Learning Team:
Phone: (08) 8207 7239

We are offering digital resources designed to support learning and inquiry into play and the toys and games of the past, accessing the rich collections held safely at the State Library of South Australia.  It promotes exploration of similarities and differences in children’s toys and games across cultures and moments in history. 

Through a variety of multimedia assets, learners will explore the concept of play and why people play.  They will study images of historical toys and games from the State Library’s Children’s Literature Research Collection and learn more about the role of their State Library in collecting, preserving and sharing the histories and stories of South Australia. 

Key inquiry questions 

  • What is play? 
  • Why do people play? 
  • How is the present different from and similar to the past? 
  • How do we describe the sequence of time? 

Links with the Australian Curriculum

The learning experiences are aligned with the Australian Curriculum for schools, with a particular emphasis on the learning area of Humanities and Social Sciences: History, Information Literacy skills and the general capabilities of critical and creative thinking.  

Effective Learning principles strongly underpin the learning design. 

Elements of this resource have been co-designed in partnership with children to provide relevant learning experiences that effectively engage young learners.  

View the digital resources


View the State Library's  Digital Collections website for toys and games that form part of the Children’s Literature Research Collection.

What is Play?
View South Australian school children talking about what play means to them 


Universal Games
View South Australian school children talking about games that are played throughout the world such as spinning games, knucklebones, drawing and nature play, and string games  


Welcome to the State Library 
The following welcome video is for young learners and educators. It provides an overview of the role of the State Library of South Australia in collecting, preserving and sharing the stories of the state. Take a behind-the-scenes glimpse into some of the areas in the library and the work that we do. 



Please assist us by completing the appropriate survey after you have used our digital resources.


Interested in more of our DIGITISED ONLINE RESOURCES?
Have a look at our Digital Collections under the Toys and Games theme.

Search the South Australian Museum website to learn about First Nations toys and games.

Article 31 - The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child.

How much does using a Digital Resource cost?

All Digital Resources are provided free by the State Library of South Australia and are available for download on the website.
 You are responsible for providing the tools and materials for your activities.

How do I know what to do with or how to use the Digital Resources?

We have provided a Guide for each of the Digital Resources which gives ideas for exploring the concepts and using the tools. 

Do I need to use all the resources?

The resources have been provided as a tool for you in the exploration of the concepts. You are welcome to use those you see as most closely aligning with your teaching plan. 

We would ask that you complete the surveys attached to the Digital Resource you use, to tell us what you found useful. This will enable us to develop the resources further.

Is there someone I can speak to about the resources if I need assistance?

For any questions regarding the resources, please reach out to the Community Learning Team.

Phone: 8207 7239

What can I do if the videos don't work?

The issue with MS Edge and YouTube video playback is a known issue which Microsoft is supposedly working on.


- Enable Edge Flag "WebRTC Min/Max Video Encode Accelerator dimensions" (it was on Default).
- Disable "Use hardware acceleration when available" from System.
- Switched the Flag back to default.

We suggest you check that your browser is up to date and supported by YouTube >

 OR –  use a different browser. We recommend using Google, Chrome or Safari.