Can You Complete These Australian Nursery Rhymes?


By: Hania Syed

6 Min Quiz

Image: Jordan Lye/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

We all grow up being familiar with nursery rhymes, from having them sung to us in the crib to learning the words to them in pre-school. Australia's unique culture means we have plenty of nursery rhymes based on our flora, fauna and traditions. From nursery rhymes that are sung to babies, to classic songs that every Aussie kid had to learn at school (or even tunes that adults love to belt out together!), this quiz covers nursery rhymes and traditional tunes alike. Featuring patriotic anthems that bring Australians together, like "I Am Australian," "Waltzing Matilda" and "Home Among the Gum Trees," to adorable songs from shows like "The Wiggles," "Playschool" and "Hi-5," how much do you know about Australian nursery rhymes and songs for children? 

Aside from Australian-specific nursery rhymes, Australian kids also grow up with nursery rhymes that are universally known and loved. Are you on top of these familiar, timeless tunes as well? 

Test your knowledge of all things Australian with this quiz. Why not send it to your mates to see who has the best knowledge of the songs every Aussie grew up with? Be prepared because this quiz gets harder as you progress! 

What did the swagman sing as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled?

This line is from the classic Australian ballad, "Waltzing Matilda," by Banjo Patterson. In fact, it's so loved by Aussies, it was once seriously considered as the new national anthem!


What should you reply with after hearing the chant "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie"?

While not a nursery rhyme, every Aussie kid grows up knowing this chant. After one person yells "Aussie Aussie Aussie," the rest will repeat "Oi, oi, oi" or repeat a singular "Oi" after someone calls out "Aussie!"


What line comes after "singing too-ral-li-ooral-li-addity"?

"Botany Bay" is an Australian folk song detailing the experience of Englishmen sailing to Australia. The song originally comes from a musical that was performed in London and then in Melbourne, Australia.


In the classic clapping song, what did the singer's boyfriend give her?

"My Boyfriend Gave Me An Apple" is typically accompanied by a clapping game which school kids are fond of playing. It's a cheeky song with plenty of playful lyrics to giggle over!


What is being rowed in the popular nursery rhyme beginning with "Row, row, row"?

While not strictly Australian, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" is a classic nursery rhyme that all Aussie kids grew up with. Typically, preschoolers start singing this song with their teacher's help.


Where did John Williamson want his home to be?

"Home Among the Gumtrees" is a country song written by John Williamson that many Aussies grew up listening to. It fondly speaks of the gorgeous natural surroundings enjoyed by Australians.


What is "in there" in addition to a bear?

This is the opening line to the intro song of the iconic Australian children's show, "Playschool." For generations, Aussies have grown up hearing this jingle, plus plenty of other songs on "Playschool."


What do The Wiggles say after "fruit salad"?

Another kids' show favourite, this song is from "The Wiggles." These brightly coloured entertainers put on live shows for children, as well as regular episodes filled with catchy songs.


What happens after the "little visitor" visits at night?

These lines are from the nursery rhyme, "Little Grey Bandicoot," by Maybanke Anderson, which details the adventures of a little bandicoot, and the whole family's efforts to spot the cheeky creature.


Why did the sailor go to sea, sea, sea?

Slightly different versions of 'A Sailor Went to Sea' are sung throughout the English-speaking world, with fun actions accompanying the lyrics. What variants do you know of the words?


Where does the kookaburra sit?

This popular nursery rhyme was written in 1932, celebrating the trademark laugh of the kookaburra. This bird is known for the merry feeling its laugh gives off, echoing throughout the trees.


What does John Williamson first cook up in the kitchen in his song, "Home Among the Gumtrees"?

These lines are also from "Home Among the Gumtrees" by John Williamson, celebrating the little pleasures of having a roast, a slice of Vegemite toast and a cup of tea - all Australian essentials!


Who played the fiddle in "Hey diddle, diddle"?

This nursery rhyme is sung throughout much of the English-speaking world, with the song being regularly performed on "Playschool" in Australia, accompanied by puppets and imagery.


What did the itsy bitsy spider do?

Sometimes called "Incey Wincey Spider," this simple nursery rhyme tells the sweet story of a little spider who gets washed away from the water spout it was in, but then makes its way back up again.


In the famous advert, what do the children sing after "we're happy little"?

This iconic line is from the advertising jingle of Vegemite, Australia's favourite spread. In the ad, children merrily announce their love of Vegemite and the health benefits of the popular product.


Which one of these animals is first referred to in a nursery rhyme as a cuddly creature?

This simple nursery rhyme is sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques," and is an ode to one of Australia's favourite animals, the cuddly little koala. It also mentions possums, wombats, wallabies and roos.


In "The Boy From Oz," what does the singer say after "But no matter how far or how wide I roam"?

"I Still Call Australia Home" is a touching ode to the land down under performed by Peter Allan in the musical, "The Boy From Oz." Plenty of kids grow up learning this song, especially if they did drama at school.


In the Australian version of "Jingle Bells," how did the protagonists dash through the bush?

This line is from Australia's very own take on "Jingle Bells," which includes references to the heat, summer outfits, barbeques, the pool and everything else that makes Australian Christmases so unique!


In a classic Christmas song by Paul Kelly, which dish does he ask to be made?

Australian musician Paul Kelly wrote "How to Make Gravy" as a Christmas tune, telling the story of a family's Christmas traditions. Plenty of people still analyse the lyrics to figure out who actually makes the gravy!


In a famous patriotic song, what are "you", "I" and "we"?

"I Am Australian" is a rousing classic written by The Seekers and since performed by a host of other Aussie stars. The lyrics celebrate the multicultural nature and fascinating history of Australia.


After Hi-5 say "five in the air," what do they sing next?

This fun bop is the theme song of "Hi-5," another iconic kids show. "Hi-5" was made a particularly entertaining show due to the presence of a live audience filled with kids singing along to their fun songs!


What is the line after "It's raining, it's pouring"?

This silly tune is well known in Australia and is thought to date back to around 1912. It's thought to originate from New York, and it is now a popular nursery rhyme in Australia!


What do the five little peckled frogs do?

This children's tune is a popular, fairly modern one about the adventures of five frogs, the yummy bugs they get to feast on and the cool water they enjoy dipping into. What a life!


What is said after Polly puts the kettle on?

This fun little nursery rhyme is popular among Aussie kids and has a simple tune. Amazingly, it was first published in 1803! Did you know when it was first published, Polly was actually a pet name for Mary!


What did Little Miss Muffet do?

This nursery rhyme first made its rounds in the mid-20th century, featuring a spider startling a young girl. Since its origins in England, it has become a fairly popular nursery rhyme in Australia as well.


What did Little Jack Horner do?

Similar to "Little Miss Muffet," "Little Jack Horner" is an older nursery rhyme focusing on a young protagonist. The rhyme tells the simple story of a little boy enjoying a plum pie at Christmastime.


What does Rolf Harris say after asking for help with tying his kangaroo down?

"Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" was a popular song written in the 1960s by the now controversial Rolf Harris. The lyrics mention various Australian animals, but they also use some outdated language.


What goes "click" in the classic Aussie song?

"Click Go the Shears" is an Australian bush ballad telling the story of sheep shearers. The song is a nod to how important the wool industry was to early Australian settlers (and still is to many shearers!).


What completes the line, "hickory dickory"?

The simple tune of "Hickory, Dickory, Dock" is well known by all. Teaching children how to tell time in a fun and approachable way, the song is known by Australian kids as well.


In addition to stout, what is the little teapot?

Another universal classic in the English-speaking world, "I'm a Little Teapot" is a popular American nursery rhyme which features accompanying actions for an added bit of fun.


How is Miss Polly's dolly?

This tune tells the story of Miss Polly who has an unwell doll. It's known by Aussie kids due to The Wiggles performing it with their own flair. The song is another great one for accompanying actions.


Which bush do we all go around in the classic Aussie version of "Wheels on the Bus"?

While English in its origins, "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" is a song that many Aussies are familiar with, too. It can be sung to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus," making it an easy one to remember.


What does Old Macdonald have?

Everyone knows this one about Old MacDonald, his farm and all the noises his animals make! It remains a popular tune among Aussie kids, being one of the first they learn at school.


What action is the kangaroo doing in the song by Peter Combe?

"Kangaroo Kangaroo" is a simple song by Peter Combe, one of Australia's most loved children's songwriters. The song tells the story of befriending various Aussie animals, and it includes the sounds they all make.


What type of tree is the little bird asleep in?

Another Peter Combe classic, "Jacaranda Tree" is a simple ode to the beautiful jacaranda tree, which is known for its purple flowers. It also notes the beauty of a bird taking shelter in the large tree.


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