Friday, 30 July 2010

I love to play the ukelele

Keita has a big interest in the ukelele's at the moment. She will often look up at the stand on the wall and make noises and point, indicating that she wants it down. When Keita gets it, I encourage her to sit down with it so it doesn't get knocked around. Most of the time she happily does this. In these photos were singing a song together. Keita sung so confidently, making lots of little noises. She really has lots of joy as she plays with the ukelele, struming the strings up and down. A few days after these photos were taken, I got the guitar down and played some cords and strummed and Keita smiled at me and she strummed the ukelele alongside me.

Through this experience Keita is experimenting with music and sound. She is developing a sense that music can illuminate, excite, amuse and delight.


Kai in the basket

It is Maaori language week this week and the chosen topic for this year is kai.

After lunch I got a basket ready and I had some laminated cards I made with different vegetable/fruit pictures along with the Maaori name for that vegetable/fruit. Libby, Maia, Caelyn, Netana, Jorja, Shaydn, Acacia and Mania all joined in. I explained the game and we sung the song: "Kai in the basket for you and for me,
kai in the basket from the earth and from the sea,
thanks to the one who gave it to me
caring and sharing it round"
Some of the children knew the words while others didn't as we sometimes sing this song before meal times.

The basket got passed around and when the song had finished, the child left holding the basket got to choose a card. I would then ask, "what vegetable/fruit is that and if they didn't know, Maia and Mania were quite good at helping others with the vegetable/fruit name. I then taught the children the Maaori name for the vegetable and the children repeated it after me. Caelyn was quite good at pronunciation and the rolling of her tongue, Netana would name and repeat the English names of the vegetable/fruit after me.

This game encouraged the children to listen to the song and listening for the Maaori name for that vegetable or fruit. Jorja was so enthusiastic that most of the time she wanted to get a card straight away, but I reminded her about turns and passing the basket along to the person next to her. This game encouraged turn-taking, language (communication), listening skills, patience, being involved and helping each other. The children all enjoyed this game, so I plan to make this game available to them again. This also helps children develop an appreciation of te reo as a living and relevant language.

Here are some of the words the children practiced



Thursday, 29 July 2010

Happy last day to Harry

Happy last day to Harry, we wish you well and lots of fun adventures too, your friends and teachers at KIDSPACE.

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Maia turns five

Today Maia turned five and celebrated at KIDSPACE along with Taneesha and mum plus party food. Maia also graduated today, moving on to Greenmeadows School. We look forward to seeing Maia and whaanau when Taneesha is dropped off and picked up at KIDSPACE.
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JULY newsletter

JUNE newsletter

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Te Mahi Kai- the Language of Food

This week is Maaori Language Week, and the focus for this year is Te Mahi Kai- the language of food.
These two new karakia kai we are learning...

Our special thank you
Mo tenai kai
Mo te maunga
Mo te moana
Tatou tiaki e
Thank you for our food
Thank you for our mountain
Thank you for our sea
Keep us safe
(From Kathleen Reed and Bellblock Shildcare in Taranaki)

Karakia kai- Blessing of food
E to matou matua
Whakapaingia enei kai
Hei oranga mo o matou tinana
Whangai o matou wairau
Ki te taro o te ora
Nou hoki nga mea katoa
Dear Lord
Bless this food
As it provides nourishment for our bodies
Provide nourishment also to our spiritual well-being
With the bread of everlasting life
The most important thing of all
(From Otahuhu Motessori Preschool in Auckland)


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Planetarium Visit

Today a group of us went for a visit to the planetarium at Napier Boys High School. First we watched a video of a rocket taking off and some astronauts living in space. Then we all moved into anther room so that we could see the stars! We were shown exactly what the night sky would look like tonight (if it wasn't so cloudy and rainy) and we were shown a few different constellations. We then saw how the stars move across the sky in the space of a day and how the 'Seven Sisters' of Matariki rise in the morning.

Here are some of the things that the children liked about our planetarium visit...

Caelyn - "Eating lollies upside down in space".
Kian - "We saw two man's hanging upside down".
Netana - "Book".
Noah - "Moon, blue, black".
Maia - "The 7 sisters went round and round".
Paige - "Nana, car, twinkle twinkle".

Thanks to Kian's Dad and Paige's Nana and Aunty for bringing their cars and coming along to help out!


Whaanau Weaving Evening

On Wednesday 21st of July, from 7 to 8.30pm we had our Whaanau Weaving Evening at KIDSPACE. Thank you to the parents and grandparents who attended. We welcomed Rev Marie McDonald, who blessed our art room 3 years ago, to say a karakia to the group and share some of her knowledge and the tikanga around harakeke. Things like cutting it on an angle, returning the unwanted trimmings back to the flax bush, and not to step over harakeke, nor work with it while pregnant etc. Jess took a group to demonstrate making a ki (ball) and Rie took a group making putiputi (flowers). Tamara's dad helped Bridie, Tamara and Monica to make a kai bowl. We interacted and learnt by watching and doing (just like our tamariki do). We had some drinks and nibbles towards and the end, while sharing what we had made.


Welcome to KIDSPACE Xavier

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Monday, 19 July 2010

Teddy Bear's picnic

This is the day we had A Teddy Bear's Picnic. In preparation we made a sign with children drawing crayon bears, love hearts, shoes, a table cloth, a green lady and food. These drawings were to invite bears to attend our picnic. We baked muffins with Rochelle, biscuits with Ainslee and bread cases too all in bear mouth sized pieces. Bears made their own necklaces with Ann in the morning and after the picnic helped to build and paint a new ramp for Murphy and Jo-Jo to enter their hutch by. We also read "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" story all week.
"Children develop a playful interest in repetitive sounds and words, aspects of language such as rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration, and an enjoyment of nonsense stories and rhymes", Communication, Te Whaariki.

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Monica's birthday

On Sunday Monica had her birthday. Today we celebrated with song, kai and a gift.
Happy birthday to you.
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Farewell Charlie

Friday was Charlie's last day at KIDSPACE. We celebrated with graduation gown, certificate, song and ice cream in cones.

Today Charlie starts at Napier Central School. Farewell Charlie and we wish you lots of fun and learning at your new school. Pop in to visit us soon.


Friday, 16 July 2010

Whanau Evening Wednesday 21 July 7-8.30pm

Kia ora everybody! Next Wednesday (21st July) we are planning to have a KIDSPACE Whanau night. We will be having drinks and nibbles and hosting a beginners flax weaving workshop (as we are only beginners ourselves!). Everything will kick of at 7pm and we will wind up at about 8.30pm. Bring your friends and family. Everyone is welcome, the more the merrier!! If you can already weave, we would love your support to assist others. Look forward to seeing you all there. Jess

But wait there is more

Part two
from Tamara

There is so much I could share, one last thing I would like to share was the importance of Papaatuanuku, and the environment. The emphasis was on how important it is for infants and toddlers to connect with nature which is also an important part of the KIDSPACE philosophy. This is also a very important part of Maaori culture in which an importance to nature is held.

We each had to choose a natural item from a table which had an array of items. We all had to share what this particular item reminded us of, for instance a shell - family holidays or walks etc. We all had a fond memory and it just showed how nature connected us to people, places and things. So throughout this Marae stay we were immersed in living the tikanga experience.

A quote that stuck with me was "there's no bi-cultural journey, there's no destination map, it should always be emerging".

Feel free to talk to me about my learning on this course.

Naa te moa I takahi te rata-Infants and Toddlers conference part one

Kia ora Tamara here.

Last week I flew up to Auckland to go on an infants and toddlers conference with links to Maaroi tikanga (practices) and stay at a Marae. Initially this was way out of my comfort zone, not knowing anyone out of close to a hundred people and meeting new people, but eventually I got used to it.

There was lots of fun and learning throughout the days. There were lots of discussions about mixed aged centres and how the younger children (Teina) and older children ( Tuakana) really benefit and learn off each other as they observe and play together.

I also attended a workshop about the link between nurturance and brainy babies. The presenter, Nathan, really emphasised the importance of the first three years of a child's life and how vital their brain development is at this time. The back part of the brain near your neck is called the survival brain. If a young child becomes stressed, their cortisol (stress levels) go up and if a child has to use their survival brain it takes up space of the frontal cortex which is the front part of your brain.
Meeting babies needs through strong attachments means we are nurturing parts of their brains. A baby who has strong relationships is better off and will learn more.

He also talked about the importance of primary caregiving systems in centres which is the system we use at KIDSPACE. This is something I have reflected on and as a team we are looking at how we organise caregiving when I am away or in the office.

He said "infant and toddler teachers are sculptors, after three years they are polishers". When you're working by yourself, only part of your brain lights up but when you work or talk with others more of your brain engages. Brains are made to talk to others. It just goes to show the importance of relationships and communication with our tamariki.

One fact I didn't know, is that two year olds and fifteen year olds don't have access to their frontal cortex and aren't able to regulate their emotions. Also, most animals don't have a frontal cortex.

I hope you have found this helpful and interesting

From The Browns

KIA ORA KIDSPACE! its the brothers here Elijah & Laker Brown we are on school holidays at the moment and love Onekawa School, we have just started talking to our school teacher (Miss Borgman) because we are a little shy still but we are getting a lot more confident as we keep going to school. We are in the same classroom this year but sit at different tables when we do our work. Our friends are Azlow & Isaiah. Our niece goes to Kidspace, it is Teihana, we are her Uncles (that's funny) we went Charlies 5th Birthday party at Jungle Junction it was fun! Ka kite ano
The Browns!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

All Blacks Haka

Last week, we had planned to go for a walk, but it started raining. The boys were a bit disappointed, so I asked Charlie, Donnagh and Kian if they would like to go on the new laptop. To begin with, I opened up the KIDSPACE whanau blog, and we looked at people we knew, experiences we could recognise. I then invivted the boys to suggest... ...something else to explore on the internet. "Hmmm" Charlie said... "Ritchie McCaw" he added excitedly. "Yup we can search for that on google Charlie" I replied. This opened up many opportunites to explore Ritchie, rubgy, sports and other related things. We saw photos of Ritchie and some of the other All Blacks. "Let's watch the haka?", Donnagh and Charlie suggested. So we played about five different videos in full screen with very loud volume, to get a thorough understanding of the haka performance. Half way through the video's, Rionnagh and Tyson came over, showing interest and curiosity. After watching intentively for so long, Donnagh said "Ireland aren't scared of the haka"... "Ireland aren't scared of anything". Charlie was quick to reply with "Yes they are, they are cross when they do the haka". "How do you know they are cross?" I asked Charlie. "Because they have angry faces". A lovely interaction to be a part of.

Children develop "positive judgements on their own ethnic group and other ethnic groups" Communication - Te Whariki.


Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Charlie turns five

Thursday 8th July was Charlie's fifth birthday. We celebrated at KIDSPACE with chocolate cake and a song. Charlie selected his own five birthday candles and after blowing these out he cut his cake for friends.
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Mixing up ingredients

This afternoon we mixed up brightly coloured muffins. Charlie requested black coloured muffins, but then the group settled for blue and red coloured muffins. Kian broke and stirred in the eggs, Paige had a good mix together with the wooden spoon, while Noah waited for his turn. Harry waited for a long time to combine the muffin mixture with blue food colouring, and Charlie sift the flour. These muffins we wrapped up and named to be taken home.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Happy last day Eneri


Recovering our poi

One morning, I invited children to help me recover our poi with material. I wanted to do this with the children (rather than in my office time), as it is a bi-cultural experience for them. I wanted to talk about the importance of poi and ask the children what they thought they are used for. To begin with, we looked at the different patterns on the material we were using. There were taniwha's, a marae and koru designs etc. Donnagh helped me to do the first poi. We needed to follow a process: cut the material in to a big enough square, cover it over the poi, cut the string to tie around it, then wrap some cello-tape around it. Libby was confident in using the scissors and cut the material that needed to cover the poi. She also used the scissors to cut the string. Maia was extremely helpful and willing to participate. She helped to cut the material and string, and held the poi while I knotted the string around it. We needed to make sure we were covering them properly so they could be used effectively with poi dance. The children had fun using the poi later in the afternoon, spinning them around and using great co-ordination.