Tamaiti says

I went to visit my new kura and I know where the boys wharepaku are. Only boys can go in there – no kōtiro allowed!

I had my B4 school check. They checked my taringa and how big I’ve grown. I had a test too and I’m very clever. 

We sing and do haka at my marae. If we go to a tangi and my mum and nan cry loud, sometimes it makes me want to cry too.

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Whānau say

They’re really wanting to know more about what’s going on around them and asking lots of ‘why’ questions. From the very practical like why don’t we sit on the table or wear our shoes inside to the philosophical like what happens when we die?  

We try and give them clear answers to all the many questions but sometimes we just have to say we don’t know for sure. We might ask them what do you think?

We started thinking a while back about which kura will suit our tamaiti. We’ve been to visit a couple and that was really helpful.

Because their imaginations are so active sometimes their stories seem a bit over the top. We can’t be sure what’s true and what’s made up? For us, the most important thing is that it won’t hurt anyone.

We’ve been thinking a lot about screen time in our whare and how much time should the kids be spending watching and playing on them. We thought about how much time we spend on our different devices and whether what we’re modelling to them is okay?

Singing waiata over and over again is great for strengthening brain connections. Kids can learn so much from singing: about mathematics from timing, beats and rhythm; about themselves and their culture through te reo and whakapapa. Here’s a Matariki waiata for everyone to learn:

Ngā Tamariki o Matariki

Waitī, Waitā, Waipunarangi Tupuanuku, Tupuarangi, Ururangi e…
Koinei nga tamariki o Matariki
Ngā whetū e piataata i te rangi e
Ngā whetū e piataata i te rangi e.

Kaitiaki Pēpi

Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. Matariki is translated as mata riki – tiny eyes, or as mata ariki – eyes of the gods. These eyes watch over the land and people.

Matariki appears in the tail of the Milky Way in the last days of May or in early June, just before dawn. In the old days, when Matariki rose, this indicated when food crops were harvested and the storehouse would be well stocked. Today, it’s seen as the Māori New Year and a time to celebrate the revitalisation of te reo Māori and other Māori knowledge

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Ngā mahi a whānau
Out and about at the park

There’s so much to enjoy and learn from a play at the park. At the swings and slides there’s the language of movement and speed - tere/fast, tōmuri/slow, reti/slide.

There’s mathematics at the see-saw, balance beam, the ladders and swing ropes with height, weight, length and balance. 

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Waiata Kohungahunga

Dr. Hirini Melbourne wrote this waiata for his daughter who he hoped would one day grow up to be a beautiful free butterfly.


Pūrerehua rere runga hau
Papaki parirau rere runga hau
Ka piki, ka piki runga rawa e
Papaki parirau rere runga hau.

Ka tau, ka tau runga pūāwai
ka whānauhua a pūrerehua.
Kātahi, ka rua, ka toru, ka whā.
Ka rū, ka rē, ka puta te whā whē

Pūrerehua rere runga hau
Papaki parirau rere runga hau.

Your baby's brain

Through the many strengthened connections, thinking is getting much faster and more automatic. Giving tamariki challenging games – like ‘snap’ – can be a lot of fun. But remember to give them time to think through answers to some questions especially how they’re feeling.

Their young brains have developed so much that the combination of skills and knowledge they have will amaze.  Their physical skills, their imagination and their language ability means they can create things, make up stories and tell you all about them.  This is truly ‘hinengaro mīharo’ at work.

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The legend of the three kete of knowledge

Long ago, when Tānemāhuta decided to climb up to the heavens to seek the baskets of knowledge, his brother Whiro was angry. Whiro thought he had more right to the baskets than Tāne, because he was the elder brother.

But Tāne, with the help of the winds, was able to climb until he reached the summit of all the heavens. Here, at Toi-o-ngā-rangi, he reached the three baskets of knowledge and the two sacred stones.

The baskets were: Te kete-aronui which held all the knowledge that could help humankind; Te kete-tuauri which held the knowledge of ritual, memory and prayer; and Te kete-tuatea which contained knowledge of evil or mākutu that was harmful to humans.

When Tāne finally reached earth again, he placed the baskets and stones in a special house of knowledge called whare kura, which he had built before his journey to the heavens. From that day on, he was known as Tāne-te-wānanga (Tāne, bringer of knowledge from the sky) and was left to maintain order on earth.

Messages from this pakiwaitara:

  • Knowledge is power
  • Learning is a life-long opportunity no matter how young or old you are.
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Ngā mahi a whānau
At the Marae, tamariki can learn about…

  • Identity and belonging Ko wai au? Whakapapa, tipuna, whānau across generations working and playing together.
  • Mathematical concepts of pattern, rhyme and rhythm through waiata and karakia.
  • Differences and similarities through tikanga and kawa and the roles and responsibilities shared on the marae.
  • Protocols, processes, te reo Māori and public speaking through karanga and whaikōrero
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Ngā mahi a whānau
Through waiata and music tamariki can learn about…

  • Identity, language and culture through kapa haka, poi, ngā mahi a Rehia.
  • Other countries, their people and languages from across the world.
  • Timing through waiting, joining in and listening skills. They learn about their own voices by matching, harmonising and signing together as part of a group.
  • Patterns and how they can be repeating, different or continuous.
  • Emotions and how feelings can be expressed through waiata tangi, harikoa or korikori tinana.
  • Coordination and combining skills, through singing and movement, waiata-ā-ringa, haka and poi.
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The wisdom of past generations

Nau i whatu te kākahu, he tāniko taku.
You weave the cloak and I the border.

Ngā mahi a whānau
There’s work to be done

Tamariki will enjoy helping the whānau especially when it involves water.  Give them a bucket of water and a rag and let them give the car or house a wash. 

Show them how to use their fingers to make the hose squirt but don’t have it turned on too hard or it might be too ‘squirty’ to handle.  Show them the things it’s okay to spray, the car, the garden, the path. Not Pāpā or Māmā unless you need a cool down!


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I’m big now!