Pēpi says

I’ll be moving freely, maybe crawling, pulling myself to stand, walking holding on to things – furniture, people!

Or I might be walking without help.

I’m showing my feelings very clearly. When I am happy, I like to awhi and kihi my whānau.

I’m great at picking up little items using my thumb and index finger – kai, small toys, bits of fluff, stones. Yep you better watch out because I’m a little vacuum cleaner!

I’m starting to use more words and my whānau know what I like and don’t like.

My whānau know that playing and lots of love is exactly what my brain and wairua need.

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Whānau say

Distraction still works but we need to be pretty quick with it.

We are keeping a close eye on them and the possible dangers in and around our kainga.

We’ve started to give finger foods and they’re loving the chance to feed themselves.

We try and name everything they see, because we know they understand lots more kupu than they can say.

We see them using ‘trial and error’ to solve simple problems. If something doesn’t work, they’ll try another way.

We’ve started introducing words like ‘tohatoha’ – share.

Te Ika-a-Māui

Māui longed to go fishing but was never allowed to join his brothers, as they left early each day. One day Māui decided he would hide in the bottom of his brothers' waka so he could go out fishing with them. He secretly made a matau from a magical jawbone and crept into his brothers’ waka and hid. It wasn’t until the brothers had paddled far out to sea that Māui showed himself. His brothers were angry and tried to ignore him.

But Māui took out his magic fishhook and threw it over the side of the waka, reciting karakia to Tangaroa as he did.

The hook went deeper and deeper into the moana until Māui felt the hook touch something. He tugged gently, and the hook caught fast. Together with his brothers he brought a huge fish to the surface. Māui cautioned his brothers to wait until he had given thanks to Tangaroa before they cut into the fish. But they were impatient and began to carve out pieces for themselves.

When Māui returned it was too late. This fish is the North Island, known as Te Ika a Māui, and the pieces the brothers cut out became its many valleys, mountains and lakes.

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Kaitiaki pēpi
Kapa Haka

Kapa Haka is a group that performs various items of waiata and haka together. Joining or supporting a kapa haka team is good for the whole whānau, even pēpi.

New Zealanders are used to seeing haka performed at public events. The performers and the audience feel a sense of pride in who they are and their connection with the haka.

When the All Blacks perform a haka before kick off, the pride is visible both in the players and the crowd.

Try and learn a haka with your pēpi now. It’s amazing what they already know. They will learn to sing, copy movements, keep a beat, use te reo Māori and listen to others. What a great workout for their brain and body!

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Waiata Kohungahunga
Ka mate

Through their interest in watching and copying other people pēpi learns so much. Try and encourage this natural curiosity by giving them lots of opportunities to see, hear and join in waiata-a-ringa, poi, and haka.

Ka mate

Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Tēnei te tangata pūhuru huru
Nāna nei i tiki mai
Whakawhiti te rā
Ā upane! Ka upane!
Ā upane ka upane, whiti te rā!

Ngā mahi a whānau
Posting activities

‘Posting’ activities help pēpi with their hand-eye co-ordination, concentration and problem solving skills.

 See if pēpi is interested in this simple posting game. You will need a clean, empty milk bottle and some pegs to post inside, use ones that won’t pinch pēpi. It’s a great activity for a growing brain.

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Your baby's brain

Just being happy helps to grow babies’ brains! Baby’s experiences build new connections in his brain.Through repetition these become memories. The more positive the experiences, the happier the memories.

Let them explore. A young child’s brain receives information best when they can see, hear and touch all at the same time.           

A young brain processes information best when it feels safe and secure.  Keep games and learning fun.            

Connections form best when pēpi can see and hear you kōrero and sing.  Don’t worry if you can’t hold a tune pēpi doesn’t know that yet!

When a young child feels scared, is over stimulated, hungry or overtired – their brain won’t be working at its best. So remember enough sleep and some quiet time is important for brain development too.

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Ngā mahi a whānau
Problem solving

Give pēpi problem solving games.  Cut a circle out of the lid of an ice cream container. Replace the lid and show pēpi how to post different objects inside.  Maumahara safe sizes, as they may still want to test them in their waha first.                                                            

Too easy? Try making the opening a narrow slot and give them some lids or discs cut from plastic for an extra challenge.  

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Kaitiaki pēpi
Gifting of Taonga

Whānau are often given special taonga for their tamariki. These can link them to their wider whānau, hapū, iwi and also to the person who gifted the taonga to them.

Pounamu taonga like kape ū, manaia or tiki were sometimes used when tamariki were teething. These types of pounamu were used as due to their large size; there was no risk of pēpi choking. The hard and cool stone was just right for helping to soothe sore gums and to help teeth push through.

The tiki, considered a good luck charm, was believed to give the wearer clarity of thought and great inner knowledge. The tiki depicts the first mortal born to the gods. It is also a symbol that represents the human embryo, fertility and life.

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Waiata Kohungahunga
Let’s get moving

Tō ringa ki roto, tō ringa
ki waho, tō ringa ki roto, ka ruiruihia.
Kei te hope hope au, kei te hurihuri au
Kei te pakipaki au e!
Waewae, māhunga, tinana, ringa.

The wisdom of past generations

He taonga te tamaiti.
A child is a precious treasure.

Ko te manu kai i te miro, nōna te ngahere.
Ko te manu kai i te mātauranga nōna te ao.

The bird that feeds on the miro berry, his is the forest.
The bird that feeds on the tree of knowledge, his is the world.

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