Monday, 28 June 2010

Pania of the Reef Puppet Story

Last week I brought in my felt puppets to recreate the story 'Pania of the Reef'. The children already knew the legend of Pania and quickly became interested and absorbed in what was happening in the puppet story. Puppet stories are used to capture children's imagination and inspire creative thinking in ways that foster intellectual, emotional and creative growth. The children really enjoyed this experience and have already started to plan new stories to recreate. Next on the list are 'The Three Little Pigs', 'Three Billy Goats Gruff' and 'Sleeping Beauty'.


Matariki head bands

The children were looking at Maori designs to use for Matariki art work. Maia decided to make a head band and decorated it with Maori patterns. A lot of other children joined in, wanting head bands of their own. Everyone had a lot of fun making their own designs, measuring their heads to make sure they would fit and wearing the head bands around KIDSPACE. These photos show Caelyn finishing hers off with some help from Rachel. Libby and Alana are wearing theirs proudly while they play.

Posted by Picasa

Haere mai Tyson

Welcome to KIDSPACE Tyson. We have noticed already your interests in construction and outdoors play plus having a go at play dough and puzzle activities also. We know you will have lots of fun here. Haere mai.


Friday, 25 June 2010

Paapaakiri bread

On Wenerei (Wednesday) we made Paapaakiri bread (flat bread) and butter with a group of children.

We measured out all of our ingredients for the bread, we mixed, we kneaded, and then it was ready to cook. It looked like a giant scone. To make butter we poured in a bottle of cream and shook, and shook, and shook, and shook.....

Charlie showed great persistence with making this, we found jumping up and down while we shook the shaker really helped.

We had the bread and butter with homemade jam for pm/tea- yum.

Process cooking exposes children to early science concepts. They are able to observe that effect that temperature, force and interaction have to change row ingredients into a new product. The butter e.g., cream stared as liquid and the interaction and force changed this into a solid mass. Physical science is the interactions between matter and form and the study of change.

Authors of 'Who Am I in Teaching Lives of Children?, Introduction to Early Childhood Education' believe- "That science education for younger children must not only be hands on, but must also be mind on".



Isabella is doing well at KIDSPACE and settling in and beginning to have a sense of belonging. She's getting to know the teachers, children and knowing the routines. She's exploring what our environment has to offer and using self help skills, like putting the chairs away, helping with the table cloth and getting her own lunch box.
Isabella it's great to see you getting involved.


Rock art

Posted by Picasa
Caelyn, Libby, Donnagh, Teihana, Ruby H and Eneri all had a go at painting on rocks. I displayed some pictures reflecting Maaori culture like bone carvings, kowhaiwhai patterns, flax and plants which reflect new beginnings and growth. I put these pictures out to inspire the children and show them different types of art. Eneri choose to paint the Matariki stars on his rock, Caelyn layered colours starting with black then putting white over the top. Libby used several colours on her stones putting on lots of layers of colour.
It was fantastic to see the children having a go, exploring with Papatuuaanuku (Earth Mother)and being self expressive.


Thursday, 24 June 2010

Matariki screen printing

Today was the perfect opportunity for the children to do some Maaori inspired screen printing for Matariki week.
The children looked through books with korus and other Maaori art works. After looking Caelyn and Maia then drew and cut out their own shapes.
"I am going to make a zig zag, like in this picture", Maia was telling me. After carefully drawing and cutting out their patterns, the children then placed their patterns where they wanted them to be on their piece of paper.
"I would like the red first, but not to put on all of it", Caelyn told me as she was setting up her picture.
The children spread the paint over their picture, and then re-laced their cut outs to make another pattern. They then chose another colour and repeated the process.


Welcome Ruby

This week at KIDSPACE we welcome Ruby and her whanau. Ruby enjoyed her first week exploring the new environment and getting engaged within various activities. I noticed today that she enjoyed talking on our pretend phone. Ruby's dad told me that she enjoys talking on the phone at home. Ruby is developing an awareness of the connections between home and centre (her new environment at KIDSPACE) (Belonging - Te Whariki).


Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Farm at the End of the Road production

On Tuesday 22nd June, Monica and myself (along with our great parent helper Kelly, Caelyn's mum) took a group of nine children to the Capital E production 'Farm at the End of the Road' at the Municipal Theatre. Maia, Caelyn, Eneri, Ruby, Donnagh, Kian, Oly and Libby were ready and waiting to catch the 9am bus, just a one minute walk down the road from KIDSPACE, which took us just outside the Napier Library. From there we held hands with our buddies and made our way down to the theatre. We met Charlie there, and had morning tea on the grass before the show started. We went inside and found the usher lady who showed us to our seats. It was a very fun and exciting atmosphere for the children. The theatre was packed full with children, teachers and other adults. The children's faces were priceless when the show began. Puppets, singing, musical instruments, acting, props, and familiar items and songs from nursery rhymes kept the children very entertained. After 50 minutes of fun and excitement, we made our way out of the theatre and off to Marine Parade. We sat on the grass in the sun for some early lunch and talked about all the things we enjoyed about the show! We walked back through town, observing the business of town, shops, people and roads before catching the 12pm bus back to KIDSPACE. A very fun outing had by all.

Thank you to Kelly Rakei for being our parent helper for this trip.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Matariki New Year planting

For Matariki- Maaori New Year we planted new pot plant petipeti (flowers).
Jess, Max, Charlie, Eneri and Kian helped to add potting mixture to our hanging baskets, pulling out the old dead petipeti with a koko (shovel).
We selected different coloured pansies to press into the one (soil). These where coloured whero (red), kowhai (yellow) orange (karaka) and tawa (purple). Lastly we watered them before rehanging.
We plan to plant more seeds to whakanui (celebrate) Matariki, as this is a time to plant crops, prepare and take action for the Maaori New Year.
"Nga kai o Matariki naana i ae ake ki runga- Makariki scoops up the food".

Murphy's trip away from KIDSPACE

Last Thursday Tamara noticed that Murphy's bottom looked very sore. He also hadn't been out of his cage much lately. So off to the vet we went. I took Murphy to ANIMALZ and left him in the hands of the kind vet (who cut the dags and gave him a clean up). After picking Murphy up after 5pm, I took him back to my house for the night. I feed him lettuce and carrots which he loved, and he got a lot of attention in a nice indoors home for the night. When I took him back to KIDSPACE bright and early in the morning, the children were very eager to see him and ask how he was. It is great to see the compassion and love for our rabbit Murphy (who is doing very well now) from our children.


Friday, 18 June 2010

Future buskers here we come

Kian and Donnagh both had their ukeleles they were sitting down having a jam session, the first song they sung was 'Old McDonald had a farm' they sung about sheep, chickens and dogs, then they changed some of the words like 'Old McDonald had a Kian ei ei o, then it was Rionagh then Donnagh. The next song Donnagh sung was a solo "I dunno oooo why does love do this to me I dunno I dunno". Check out the videos.

Through this experience Donnagh and Kian are being self expressive, they are showing increasing confidence in singing and being playful.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Keita, big sister Alana and Libby enjoyed each others company on the see-saw today. Alana did lots of smiling. Keita had to be reminded to hold on and Libby said "get my photo too".

These friends are showing"... an increased ability to determine their own actions and make their own choices", Well-Being, Te Whaariki.


Ice Age

These are our brave (and well dressed) 'ice and frost finders'. Together with Charlie, Donnagh, Eneri and Rionagh we found frost on the water trough lid and ice in the pot plant trays.

We talked about frost, how it is cold and made of water. Also about how it could be found in the shade where no warm sun had yet been. Donnagh said "oh yea, we have frost on our lawn at home". Charlie and Eneri drew shapes in the frost, Eneri commenting "my finger is frozen!" then they all, with Rionagh joining in sampling the frost and went on to find and eat ice in the pot plant trays and reels in the sandpit also.

"Children develop the knowledge that playing with ideas and materials, with no objective in mind, can be enjoyable, creative, and valid approach to learning", Exploration, Te Whaariki.


Noah's cousins

Noah's Nan Sonia and cousin's Maisey and Tyler visited at the end of the day, one day last week.

They sang 'Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosie' at the top of the hill. Jack, Keita then later Libby joined in too, as they where laughing and having so much fun!
These special cousins played outside for a long time before moving in to discover our bookshelf, supermarket trolley and ride-on bugs.

"Children develop an understanding of the links between the early childhood education setting and the known and familiar wider world through people that are the same as at home", Belonging, Te Whaariki.

We look forward to Maisey and Tyler visiting again with Nan Sonia.


Friday, 11 June 2010

"Who's that?"

Posted by Picasa

Kian's Racing car

Kian was very busy on Wednesday playing alongside his friend Donnagh.
Kian had created a racing car out of mobilo, when I was nearby he told me all about it, "this is my racing car, it goes really fast". I replied, "wow, you have been working really hard on building that". Later on I heard Kian saying, "there's been an accident, quick". Kian had a piece on mobilo in hand shaped like a cellphone, he was contacting emergency services.

Kian you show so much interest in anything to do with vechicles whether it's in the sandpit, block corner, or mobilo like Wednesday, you also have a great imaginatination in creating things for your play. You show confidence in pretend and dramatic play. Also the ability to be creative and expressive through different areas of the curriculum.


Farewell Sarah

On Wednesday we farewelled Sarah who turned five years old, she has been at KIDSPACE for a long time and will be surely missed. She is bound to enjoy her next adventure and new learning.

All the best Sarah, it has been fantastic to know you and see you grow and develop into a confident young lady.

Posted by Picasa

Happy 4th Birthday Acacia

Posted by PicasaTamara

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Rachel is here for 5 weeks

Hello everyone. My name is Rachel and I am a student from the Graduate Diploma of Teaching ECE at Waikato University. I am here for 5 weeks and I am really excited about my time here in such a warm and welcoming centre.

I have 2 children of my own aged 8 and 10. I love hockey, photography and holidays with my family.

I am privileged to be working here with such dynamic teachers and wonderful children. I am looking forward to some fun KIDSPACE learning adventures. I look forward to getting to know some of you, please come and say Hi.

Kia ora, Rachel

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Early Literacy

Ruby, Eneri and Taneesha display their "understanding that symbols can be 'read' by others and that thoughts, experiences and ideas can be representing through words, print, and shapes", Communication, Te Whaariki.

Look at the marks, letters and shapes these children are making to represent themselves, Eneri and Ruby- their names, and Taneesha is mark making shapes. They are making their own language and developing writing the English language too.

Ko te re tuakiri Language is my identity
Ko te reo tooku ahurei Language is my uniqueness
Ko te rea te ora. Language is life.
(Whakatauki taken from "The New Zealand Curriculum, for English-medium teaching and learning in years 1-13").


Friday, 4 June 2010

Noise conference

Two Fridays ago, Jessie and I attended a noise workshop in Havelock North called Protecting Tender Ears: Plug and Play Strategies for Reducing Noise with Tim Corbett from The National Foundation for the Deaf inc.

Who should worry about noise?
We all should- no matter how old or young you are, too much exposure to loud noise can permanently damage your hearing.

We discussed what sorts of noises occur in an early childhood centre,
-traffic outside (sirens etc)

Tim said, early childhood centres are in actual fact at industrial level for sound.
He gave ideas on evaluating sound in the centre, such has videoing different areas and listening to how noisy these are. He suggested that within a centre we should have quiet zones, and around these quiet zones there shouldn't be noisy experiences.

As teachers and parents we can encourage children with
-having inside voices
-role modelling
-talking to squealing children (talk about it hurts our ears)
-stories sometimes (at lunch times, so it's not as noisy with lots of back ground talking)
-sing songs at a normal tone, then whisper (showing different levels of sound)

Jessie and I believed KIDSPACE has good acoustics, inside and also in the art room. Tim also discussed that if the teachers eat well then we have the energy to support children with the awareness of noise and trying to lower noise levels in our centre.

Tim introduced a noise meter machine "The National Foundation for the Deaf inc" had designed, based on an 11 year old girls model of a noise reading meter. This meter has three lights like a traffic light. The meter measures sounds ranging from 80 decibels to 90 decibels, when any given area is getting too noisy the lights will glow from green to amber to red- at maximum level. This noise meter would be a fantastic tool at KIDSPACE, so if anyone is happy to donate towards purchasing one of these this would be fantastic.

Lets protect the taringa (ears) of our tamariki ma (children).

For more information please go to


My mummy loves me

Mollie started talking to me outside on Tuesday this is the conversation we had;

Mollie, "My mummy loves me."
Tamara, "How do you know?"
Mollie, "She gives me kisses, even when I'm naughty she kisses me. I know she loves me",
then Mollie went on to say, "you can't see what you've learnt. Things come from your heart, you can't see what's in your heart, then you're talking (it) comes from your mouth."

Mollie is showing confidence in her first language and being self-expressive, I can see she had been thinking hard about the human brain, thoughts, ideas, and our heart.


Thursday, 3 June 2010

"I like the rain... R-A-I-N"

It has been wet lately but that doesn't stop us getting outside in our warm clothes, a hat or hood and water proof shoes.
Sarah and Maia held onto Bridie's umbrella, Mania, Kian, Acacia and Donnagh sheltered under a big golf umbrella and Oly kindly shared his umbrella with Eneri in the rain today.
These children are self-managing, developing good relationships with others, and are appreciating different physical needs and abilities of their peers.- Links with Essential Skills, Contribution, Te Whaarki.


Happy Birthday Ann

Posted by Picasa

On-going interests at KIDSPACE and new challenges

Climbing, jumping and extending our bodies physically, is still a very big part of the daily programme at KIDSPACE. This afternoon, Netana, Mania, Acacia, Maia, Oly, Libby and Kian spent a long period of time up on the obstacle boxes after lunch. Walking one by one behind each other like a train, up and over the planks, they made it up on to the big green boxes. One at a time they would jump, while the next person in line waited until the mat was clear before they jumped. I was very impressed with the amount of confidence and physical strength and ability these children showed. Every jump looked different. Some high, some low, some with arms and legs stretched out, and others crunched in a ball. The children were showing great spatial awareness, with the limited space on top of the box when standing close together. Acacia reminded her friends to be careful not to push. And Mania was great to praise her friends jumps. The next challenge that came along was 'walking backwards'. I noticed the interest in jumping backwards and walking up planks backwards last week, with some of the 4 year olds. This new skill has obviously rubbed off on to some of these children, as they were challenging themselves to do this. Mania started this, and got her friends following suit. Netana confidently gave it ago, watching his footing carefully. The jumping and extension of their bodies continued on into the afternoon, with children coming and going from the obstacles.

"Children develop increasing control over their bodies, including development of locomotor skills, increasing agility, co-ordination, balance and gross motor skills" (Te Whaariki).