‘Kei te Peke Ahau’ book review – Music and Movement.

Kei Te Peke Ahau (Te Reo Singalong)

Today I want to review the book Kei te Peke Ahau by Sharon Holt and illustrated by Deborah Hinde.  This book is perfect for your music and movement session with children. This book is filled with 24 pages of pictures that delights children.  It also has a cd so you can enjoy listening to the music too.

I would recommend this book to everyone as it has been a great Māori resource for me in the past.  The use of te reo Māori is used throughout the song.  There is a glossary at the back to check what the Māori words mean.

Kei Te Peke Ahau (Te Reo Singalong) is a fun book.

This book is perfect for those learning te reo Māori.  There are other books similar to this there is a series of them.  Played on a regular basis you and the children will be singing this little song in no time at all.  This book is about animals from New Zealand and their movements.

Learning outcomes of using Kei Te Peke Ahau (Te Reo Singalong).

  • children are developing movement  to music skills
  • developing language
  • developing social skills as they interact with each other
  • developing listening skills
  • developing large and small  motor skills
  • developing their imagination
  • learning about different New Zealand animals and their movements
  • music and movement is important to development children’s minds, body and soul.

Let me know how you get along with this book in the comments and any suggestions you would have for others who have this great resource. 


How are you feeling today?

Through out the day you will constantly be supervising the children and monitoring how they are health wise. I often would find myself talking to children and asking them how are you feeling today?  Not always getting a reply but the older children would generally answer okay, good. I feel tired or I’m sad what ever it may be.  Today I am going to teach you a few simple sentences to ask someone how they are feeling and a few answers also.  I hope that this will help in your journey today.


E pēhea koe?  or Kei te pēhea koe? – How are you?

Question:  E pēhea koe?  to one person

Answer:  E …………………… ahau.

Or you can use this question with this answer.

Question:  Kei te pēhea koe?

Answer:  Kei te ……………………… ahau.

Here are some describing words to help you fill in the gaps.

E pēhea koe?         E pai ahau.  pai – good

E pēhea koe?         E makariri ahau.  makariri – cold

E pēhea Koe?         E ngenge ahau.  ngenge – tired

E pēhea koe?         E harikoa ahau.  harikoa – happy

E pēhea koe?         E hiakai ahau.  hiakai – hungry

This is a good book I found that you may be helpful for you and the children.

Kei Te Pehea Koe?

(Click on book to see where to buy)

Have a lovely day!


Dancing with scarves.

Today I want to talk about  dancing with scarves with children.  Dancing with scarves is enjoyed by all age groups.  It is an easy activity that incorporates music and movement with scarves,

The music that you choose can vary I like to put on classical music or you can sing E rere taku poi, which helps children to develop the words in te reo Māori.

What will children typically do when they hear music?  It depends some will stand there and just listen, others may jump around and others will tap a foot or jiggle their hips each child is unique when they start learning to dance.  Put a scarf in their hand and add music and watch their little faces glow.

Dance is very valuable to add into your program with children every day.   This is such a cool activity.  Give each child a scarf.  Stand alongside the children and start waving the scarves around in time to the music.

Here are the words to E rere taku poi for you to practice.

poiE rere taku poi, E rere taku poi, ki runga, ki runga

E rere taku poi, E rere taku poi Ki raro ki raro

E rere runga,  E rere  raro

E rere roto,  e rere waho

E rere taku poi, e rere taku poi

Ki runga ki runga



ki runga-up high

ki raro – down low

ki roto-inwards

ki waho- outwards

Dancing with scarves has many good learning outcomes which include:

  • developing skills for use of poi
  • developing fine motor skills- tiny fingers have to learn to grasp the scarf
  • developing movement skills learning to move to music
  • developing hearing one of the senses
  • developing the touch sense
  • creating their own moves and actions with the scarves
  • spatial awareness is developing
  • having fun with others
  • sharing scarves thus developing social skills
  • developing imagination

I always found it hard to find decent scarves but came across some great ones perfect for little fingers right here.

JZK 20 Multi colour soft organza silk square dance juggling scarves for children kids girls party activities accessory decoration rhythm band scarf baby sensory scarfs

Click onto scarves to see where to get them from.

Have a great day and get dancing!


Learn the colour song.

Let’s learn the colour song today.  Children love colours and you can sing this song throughout the day with them.  I have often heard children talk about a colour then I will sing that colour and the rest of the colour song which they will then join in.  It is a great little song and fun to sing at art times when using a lot of different colours and mixing colours to make new ones.  The Māori word for the colour is said first followed by the English word.


Learn the colour song – Mā is white.

Mā is white.

Whero is red

Kākāriki is green

Mangu is black and Pango is too


Kōwhai yellow

Parauri brown

Kikorangi is blue

Karaka is our orange



Additional colours are kiwikiwi is grey and māwhero is pink pāpura is purple.

I hope that you will enjoy singing this song.

Kia pai to ra









Professional Development in the Far North.

Today I would like to discuss the work of REAP the Rural Education Activities Programme.   REAP provide various educational support to the communities in and around the Far North area.  They offer support to schools, Adult community education, early childhood and Te Kōhanga Reo centres. road safety, parenting. AA vehicle and driver licensing as well as youth development.  AS well they also support te reo Māori for children, families and teachers.  There is a lot of te reo Māori workshops/courses to go to.

Peter Visser is one of the Kaitautoko Mātauranga here.  I have had the privilege to go to some of Peter’s workshops and workshops organised by him they have been great.   He does a great ukelele workshop and the children just love his music workshops with them too.  Peter and his team provide Professional Development for ECE teachers. Te Kōhanga Reo kaiako and families within the Far North areas.  Workshops are sometimes held in Kaitaia, Kerikeri and Kaikohe.    I would recommend talking to Peter and his team at REAP to see what there is to support you or your team.  Peter does send out regular emails with upcoming professional development to those on his email list.  Check out the REAP website.  I hope this information is useful to you.

Have a good day.



Maui and other Legends.

Māori have retold stories from their ancestors throughout time.  Children enjoy listening to these stories.  I would like to look at Maui and other Legends written by Peter Gossage.  His books are well loved by children and teachers alike and are some of my favourite books.

Today’s review is on Maui and other Maori Legends.  This is a mixture of all the  stories we love.  These stories are:

  • How Maui found his mother
  • The fish of Maui
  • How Maui slowed the sun
  • Pania of the reef
  • How Maui found his Father and the Magic Jawbone
  • How Maui defied the Goddess of Death
  • How Maui found the secret of fire.
  • Battle of the Mountains

This is an awesome book If you want to read about Māori legends from long ago.  They tell of many adventures that Māui endured,  I love the story of Maui and the fish its about how he and his brothers fished up Aotearoa New Zealand on their waka – canoe.  And how they formed the mountains and valleys.

Māori also have their own local stories.  Maybe if you are a teacher you could ask a person from your local community maybe someone from the local Marae could come in and retell stories about the area you live in.  Or maybe even you know a story you can tell the children. 

There are many learning outcomes for children with this valuable resource.  these include:

  • developing listening skills
  • developing reading skills
  • developing art skills art can be included in a lesson plan after the legend has being told
  • developing language skills
  • developing knowledge of Māori legends. te reo Māori
  • developing imagination

Peter Gossage is an excellent writer and children and adults alike will enjoy his books. This book is excellent because it has eight stories in one book. But if you like you can buy the books separately.  I hope that this book will have some interesting stories for you to share with your children and they will learn about the Legends of Maui and other interesting Legends.

Kia pai to ra



Poi making fun.

poiKia ora – Hello.  Today I will be introducing the art of making poi. Poi are used in Māori performances usually by females.  There are two types used a pair of long poi and a pair of short poi.  Poi are for swinging and are used in different patterns and keep in time to the rhythm.  Poi are a great Māori  resource for teaching and learning.   Children love to swing the poi and have lots of fun with poi.  Both girls and boys can enjoy this activity of doing poi and making poi.  Poi are made using soft materials for inside the poi material or plastic for outside the poi and a braid of wool for the cord.


Making poi instructions.


Stuffing -I use pillow stuffing.



Material or plastic  for outside covering cut into 2 squares say 20cm x 20cm.

To make the cord:  First measure your wool from the tip of your fingers to your wrist. Add about 5cm for tying into the stuffing. Cut as many lengths as you want.  The more lengths the thicker the cord.  Tie the lengths together.

Start plaiting the strings using either a three plait or a four plait.  once you have got 4-5cms to the end stop.

Next get a handful of stuffing and roll into a ball shape about the size of an average orange.  Attach the cord to the stuffing by tying the wool around the stuffing ball.

Cover the stuffing ball with a square cloth and use some wool to tie around the top of the cord.  Some cloth will be sticking out.  Trim.poi

They now should resemble something similar to the picture here.  now hold the cords and twirl.  There you are your poi are now ready to have fun with.  I will make some and put the photos onto this post in the near future for you to see the steps more clearly.

Learning outcomes of using poi with children:

  • its fun
  • it develops spatial awareness
  • it is good exercise especially on cold mornings children can warm up doing poi
  • It is an easy activity for all age groups to participate in
  • It develops strength in the wrist and arms
  • sharing poi with your friend develops social skills
  • it helps you to keep in time to the song or music
  • it is  a skill that you can develop throughout your life
  • children can assist in making poi with an adult or by themselves
  • learning Māori waiata songs whilst doing poi
  • developing memory
  • developing fine motor skills and large motor skills

I hope that you have enjoyed this simple activity.  Please leave your suggestions below.

Kia pai to ra





Taonga for children.

What is a taonga? A taonga is a treasure or a gift.  It is natural.  The sea is a taonga, the land is a taonga, my moko-grandson is a taonga.  A taonga has a significant meaning to it, it may be cultural, it may link to your whanau. It may be something you can wear, it may be an object, it may be a person.   A taonga may be given as a gift to you from another person or group of people.  There are lots of other taonga too.

Today I want to talk about the greenstone I was given.  I worked for many years at an early childhood centre and as a leaving gift they gave me a pounamu-greenstone pendant.  These are now my taonga.  They remind me of the centre and all the wonderful children, families and teachers that I met in my time there.  There are four etchings on my taonga and I decided that each of these linked to my three daughters and my moko -grandson.  I treasure my taonga and I feel good when I wear it.

These are good for children to wear and last a very long time if looked after.  They are a beautiful gift that you will treasure for life.  I know I will.  I’ve looked for taonga for children whilst in my teaching journey to gift to children.  I have attached a link where you can go to to source out taonga for children and adults.  The place is called The Bone Art Place.

Please Note:  Children and infants should not wear pendants or carvings to bed.  The cords that are attached are strong and may cause harm if they tangle in bed clothing.  It is also advised that children where the adjustable strings. 

Ask to change to an adjustable string when you buy a taonga for chiidren.  The chunky  stones or carvings are more suitable for children as they do not break like the more delicate ones.

I hope this was useful for you. Do you have a  taonga story and want to share it?  Please leave in the comments box.

Kia pai to ra


Teaching children how to speak te reo Māori.

keaToday I will be looking at teaching children how to speak Māori.    Pronouncing or saying the words correctly is the first step to speaking Māori.   Te reo Māori means the Māori language.


The Māori alphabet.

a    e    h    i    k    m    n    ng    o    p    r    t    u    w    wh    are the letters of the Māori alphabet.

The Māori vowels are said as below:

  • a as in baa
  • e as in pear
  • i as e in eagle
  • o as in oar
  • u as in you

There is a simple way to learn the Māori alphabet.  Teaching children to speak Māori is fun and you can sing the Māori alphabet.  You will find the tune to this song on YouTube.

A ha ka ma na pa ra ta wa nga wha

E he ke me ne pe re te we nge whe

I hi ki mi ni pi ri ti wi ngi whi

O ho ko mo no po ro to wo ngo who

a e i o u

U hu ku mu nu pu ru tu wu ngu whu

So try saying the Māori alphabet and repeat several times.  Get the children to say it several times and learn it off by heart.  If you can pronounce the sounds first then you are ready to learn words.

I hope that you will have fun learning the Māori alphabet.

Kia pai to ra