When I practice something over and over, my brain remembers what to do and that’s how I get better at doing stuff.
I like it when my whānau join me when I’m singing and they help me with some actions. My hands, eyes and feet are all working well together now. I love watching kapa haka and I join in too, singing loudly.
I’m starting to understand things called processes. It’s like when I climb into my car seat, then put on my tātua and make it click – Mahia kia pako!
There’s lots for me to learn and talk about out in the world. When my whānau and I go to the beach I get busy collecting, counting, sorting and searching for taonga.
We can help them learn about processes and changes when we explain things we’re doing and let them help too.
At the moana, there’s a lot for them to learn about and explore. We talk about all the different things we see at the seashore. We look for living things, we play in the sand and we always remind them about staying close to us when we’re near the water.
Pēpi is developing their own mana motuhake so we give them little choices and let them do things for themselves. They let us know when they need help and we praise them for trying hard.
Stories, songs and activities for pēpi and whānau
Ngā mahi a whānau
Noticing change by hands-on exploring
Playing with sand lets pēpi explore texture, learn about wet and dry, and about quantity and construction. If you can’t get to the beach, have a sand box at home, it doesn’t have to be huge. You can play hiding and finding, covering things with sand for pēpi to search for.
Freeze water with flowers, leaves or bits of fruit added and then next day watch with pëpi as it melts and changes back again.
Mā is white
Here’s a fun song to get the whole whänau up and looking for all the different colours around them.
Mā is white
Mā is white, whero is red, kākariki green,
Pango is black, mangu is too, A, E, I, O, U.
Kōwhai yellow, parauri brown, kikorangi blue,
karaka orange, ārani too, A, E, I, O, U.
Traditionally tatau pounamu were peace agreements between warring hapū and iwi. Rangatira would hui and negotiate with the two parties to try and ‘close the door’ on past troubles and build new relationships. Some tatau pounamu involved the gifting of taonga, perhaps a greenstone mere to signify lasting peace.
A tatau pounamu could help whānau support and guide tamariki especially when their behaviour might be challenging. It works best to negotiate whānau limits and boundaries when everyone is calm.
Ngā mahi a whānau
Read the supermarket ‘junk mail’ together with pēpi and choose pictures to cut out to make a pukapuka of their favourite kai.
Your baby's brain
At times just being a little person in a big world can be stressful, especially when you can’t have all the things you see and want! Baby’s brain reacts to the emotional experiences they have with you and others. Help make them positive ones by being gentle but firm – remember you can say ‘kao’ just as warmly as ‘ae’.
Stress has a negative effect on brain development. During stressful times a chemical called cortisol floods the brain. If it is released too often or for too long, cortisol can be like weed killer to brain cells.On the flip side feeling calm, happy and secure releases endorphins which are like fertilizer to the neurons. Grow that brain with lots of love!
Pēpi is getting better at forming mental pictures and symbols. People, places, objects or events don’t have to be right there in front of them for them to remember.
Tahi is one
Here’s a fun waiata to help pēpi learn about numbers and counting.
Tahi is one
Tahi is one, rua is two, toru number three.
Whā is four, rima is five – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Ono is six, whitu is seven, waru number eight,
iwa is nine, tekau is ten – 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Learning by doing
Help pēpi learn at your side by involving them in everyday activities with you. They learn best from real experiences around the kainga and within nature. Get them to help with things outside and inside, washing dishes, hoko kai or washing the car.
They remember what captures their attention so kōrero about what they’re seeing, hearing, tasting and smelling.
The legend of Māui and Mahuika
Māui loved playing with fire. One day he put out all the fires in the village. This made his iwi so angry that they went to complain to Tāranga, his mother.
Tāranga told Maui to go to the underworld and ask the old kuia, Mahuika, for some fire. ‘Be careful,’ she warned Māui, ‘She doesn’t like people.’
Māui visited Mahuika and helped her eat and drink, which was hard for her because everything she touched burst into flames. As a reward, Mahuika gave Māui a burning fingernail to take home to his iwi.
‘That was too easy,’ Māui thought, and dropped the fingernail into a river on the way home. He then went back for another fingernail, which he was given. This was repeated again and again until Mahuika lost her temper and threw fire at Māui, who just escaped by turning himself into a kāhu.
Māui flew frantically seeking a way out, but fires blazed all around him; the forests roared with the mighty voice of blazing trees.
Māui called the gods to help. Tāwhirimātea blew icy rains at the fire and Ruaumoko opened up the earth to swallow the flames.
When the flames were finally extinguished, the seeds of fire remained in certain trees and are still there today.
The wisdom from past generations
He aha te me nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
Ka hou ki te whenua he tungougnou, ka puta ki te ao, he pēpi.
A chrysalis hangs towards the earth and a butterfly emerges into the world.
Ngā tohu whānau
Six tohu whānau known to promote the best relationships between parents, whānau and their tamariki
Tell me more
Love & Warmth aroha, mahana
Talking & listening kōrero, whakarongo
Guidance & understanding ārahi, māramatanga
Limits & boundaries te tika, te hē
Consistency & consequences ngā hua, ngā hapa
A structured & secure world he ao haumaru