Tamaiti says

I like to ride fast on my bike. I can go faster than you!

My whānau say it’s alright for me to eat heaps of healthy kai, not too much sugar though!

I don’t know why, but my tarau are all getting shorter!

I’m a big kid now, I like helping in the kitchen and washing the dishes and I’m not scared of the dark anymore!



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Whānau say

They’re getting so big we’re always passing on clothes because of growth spurts.

We try and make sure they know what’s happening around them by giving simple explanations.

They’re never short of questions – which we try and answer keeping it simple, keeping it honest.

Their imagination is so active they can sometimes scare themselves.  

When we go out visiting, they’re taking more notice of where we’re going and are recognising places we’ve been before.

They can run fast now and hardly ever fall over – they’re not a wobbly toddler anymore!

Ngā mahi a whānau
Learning out and about

There’s a lot of learning experiences for tamariki from just walking around the local neighbourhood. Things to notice and things to korero about like numbers, letters, signs, symbols, colours and shapes.

Learning about road safety works best from first hand experiences.  Think about all the things you can talk with them about from a walk around the block - crossing roads, watching for vehicles in driveways, holding hands and sticking to the footpath.

Combine ‘thinking and doing’ for example, counting the steps they’re climbing using their big leg muscles or sorting the stones they’re collecting into sizes.  

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Waiata Kohungahunga
Tīrama tīrama ngā whetū

Multi-tasking with voices, hands and eyes

Tïrama Tīrama Ngā Whetu

Tīrama tīrama ngā whetū
Kei te pēhea rā koutou
Kei runga ake rā
Te taimana tōrite
Tīrama tīrama ngā whetū
Kei te pēhea rā koutou

(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Kaitiaki pēpi
Mātauranga Māori

In the past, Mātauaranga Māori meant traditional Māori knowledge or the understanding of everything in the universe. It was the domain of tohunga, the understanding of human relationships, the world and the universe from an indigenous perspective.

Nowadays Mātauranga Māori is something that anyone who is willing, can learn. Traditionally, Mātauranga Māori was not written, but passed on through kōrero and oral traditions and taught at whare wānanga. This is the same way tamariki learn best – through listening, waiata and the sharing of stories.

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Ngā mahi a whānau
Water fun

Create a bit of water fun with the hose, some detergent and a long length of plastic to make your own slip’n’slide. You can buy black polyurethane by the metre from hardware or garden shops.


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Waiata Kohungahunga
Tō Ringa ki Roto

Get active with those body parts!

Tō Ringa ki Roto (Hokey-Pokey song)

Tō ringa ki roto, tō ringa ki waho,
tō ringa ki roto, ka ruiruia
Kei te hope hope au, kei te hurihuri au
Kei te pakipaki au e!

Waewae, upoko, tinana, arero.

The separation of Ranginui and Papa Papatūānuku

Ranginui and Papatūānuku loved each other so much they were inseparable. They held each other in a strong embrace and before long Papatūānuku had children. But as the children grew they found they had no space to move around.

One day Papatūānuku lifted her arm and for the first time her children saw the light. They asked their parents to let go of each other because they were growing and needed more space.

Papatūānuku and Ranginui, still very much in love, refused. Finally, Tūmatauenga, the god of war, said, ‘I will kill our parents’. But Tānemāhuta, the god of forests, thought that Ranginui and Papatūānuku could be separated instead. He thought that Ranginui should go up above, to the sky, and that Papatūānuku should go below, to dwell on earth.

All the children except Tāwhirimātea, the god of winds and storms, agreed with Tānemāhuta. One by one the children tried to separate their parents. Rongomātane, the god of cultivated foods, tried without success. Haumia Tiketike, god of uncultivated food also tried. Then it was the turn of Tangaroa, the god of the sea, and Tūmatauenga, the god of war, but neither of them could separate their parents either.

Lastly, Tānemāhuta rose. Strong as the kauri tree, he placed his shoulders against his mother Papatūānuku and his feet against his father Ranginui, and he pushed hard, for a very long time, straining and heaving all the while. Ranginui and Papatūānuku cried in pain, asking their sons, ‘Why do you wish to destroy our love?’Tānemāhuta finally managed to them and for the first time the light of day (Te Ao Mārama) came streaming in.

Once this happened, Tāwhirimātea, the god of winds and storms, left for the sky to join his father. Upset, he made strong winds and storms on earth, in revenge for his brothers’ acts.

The separation of Papatūānuku and Ranginui created the earth and sky. The morning mists are the sighs of sadness from Papatūānuku as she thinks of her beloved Ranginui, now separated from her embrace.


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Kaitiaki pēpi
Whare wānanga

Traditionally, whare wānanga were houses of learning for selected people of the iwi. This was where the special few would learn about tribal history, tikanga and other Māori rituals.

The whare wānanga were strict and only taught through kōrero, stories, waiata, haka and chants.

Today whare wānanga or Māori universities are open to anyone wanting to learn.

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Ngā mahi a whānau
Mud pie anyone?

Find a suitable large container or use an area that doesn’t matter if it gets messy. Mix water, sand or earth and stir up some mud pies.

For tamariki who don’t like getting their hands dirty some sticks for stirring or shells for scooping might help.  

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Your child's brain

A three-year-old’s brain is nearly 80 percent of the size of an adult’s brain. That growth has been the result of the many connections made through all their experiences so far.

 New and increased connections in the vision/imagery centres of the brain help pēpi ‘see things in their minds’. While this is fantastic for imagination and creativity, it might also lead to some new fears.

Remember they’re kids – laugh together, this releases endorphins, the brain’s natural, feel good high.

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Ngā mahi a whānau
It’s raining fun

A sprinkler attached to the hose can provide loads of fun on a hot day for tamariki.  Lots of squealing, laughing and running around outdoors will use up extra energy in a fun and active way. 

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How do you respond to sibling squabbles?