Gardening in August.

This is the perfect time of the year to be out and about in the garden. Put on your gumboots, rain coat and garden gloves along with the children and head into your back or front yard.

If you have not done so already now is the time to plant garlic and onions and shallots.  Also for garden greens like cabbage, cauliflower, parsley, rocket, silverbeet, spinich and herbs.

Fruit trees.  This is the time for planting fruit trees.  Also a time for pruning fruit trees.

My apple tree in need of a prune.

Prepare your garden beds for potatoes, peas and broad beans.

Time to Mulch – which means to place dead leaves, bark, sawdust, compost,  onto the garden it also protects the soil from rain in the winter.  It also reduces watering and weeding.

The Maramataka is the phases of the moon.  You can use the Maramataka as a guide to help you to do things at certain times of the moon’s phase in your garden.

Here is a great page you should check out for gardening with children.

Sowing seeds.  It’s also a good time to be sowing seeds either directly into the soil or into seedling trays.  You could recycle plastic containers to plant seeds into too.  Even empty black pots that you may have brought seedlings in in the past are great to utilise now.

Too much rain?  If your like me and been having a lot of rain recently your garden may be flooding.  Now is the time to drain that water away from your plants.  I created channels allowing water to drain away from the plants.  Shelter small plants and seed trays out of the rain if possible.  Small tip: I have a trampoline and use as a shelter for plants, soil etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I wish you all happy gardening at this busy time of the year.  Anyone with some good tips please leave a message in the comments.




How to start a worm farm – pamu nuku.

Worm farming with children is great fun.  Children will find this activity very interesting.  How to start a worm farm is pretty easy.  I will go through the steps you will need to take to establish a worm farm at home or in your centre.

  1.   Find an old bath.  You can pick them up for around fifty dollars or even free.

    I made my worm farm in an old bath tub.  But you can use a worm farm set up from a shop or use different containers that stack on top of one another.


    Add rocks or gravel to the bottom of the bath,  Then cover with weed matting.

  3. smart

    Add shredded paper.  Get the children to rip up the paper.

  4. Add compost, coconut fibre and dry leaves.

  5. smart

    Add your tiger worms.  These can be brought online or get some from a kind worm farmer.

  6. Add food scraps and cover with wet cardboard.

  7. smart

    Add a cover I used some old wet walling and cover so water proof.

  8. Add a bucket under the bath hole to catch the worm juice and water down and add to your garden.
  9. Feed worms once a week.

Ko mahana ahau. I am warm.

Ko mahana ahau means I am warm.  It is getting rather cold and I am thinking that the children in your care have a few runny noses now and feeling a bit unwell.  Well here today I have some great ideas on how to keep warm and stay healthy.


An early morning run around is the quickest and easiest way to warm up.  Ask the children “Who can run to the fence and back?”  Soon you will have a bunch of children running to the fence and back.  Other games you can play to warm up are:

  • Tag
  • Hopscotch
  • Skipping
  • Jumping jacks or star jumps
  • Dancing
  • Jumping
  • an Obstacle course

Healthy eating.

Children will need lots food to stay warm during the winter and I have a few suggestions on what you could prepare with the children or give recipes to families.

healthy eating
Warm muffins

Healthy snacks:

  • Vegetable soup, tomato soup, chicken soup. noodle soup with croutons
  • Cheese on toast, cheese toasted sandwiches
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Warm muffins
  • Mince pie
  • Boiled eggs
  • Spaghetti bolognaise
  • Sweetcorn fritters
  • Mussel chowder
  • Fired bread or takakau – Maori bread
  • Hot chips and fish
  • Hot dogs
  • Macaroni Cheese
  • Meat Stew
  • Hot Chocolate with marshmallows
  • Apple pie or any fruit pie with a splash cream
  • Ask children what they like to eat to keep warm

Eating healthy and lots exercise is the key to keeping warm this winter.  What suggestions do you have to share please leave in comments section.



What is Matariki?


What is Matariki?  In late May early June a group of stars can be seen rising up in the sky.  The name of this group of stars is Matariki.  It is the Māori name for the Pleaides star cluster.   Mata o te Ariki or the eyes of God.  It is the beginning of the Māori new year.  It is also known as the seven sisters.

Pleaides is the Greek name.

Subaru  meaning gathered together is the Japanese word for Matariki.

Makali’i meaning eyes of loyalty is the Hawaiian word for Matariki.

Here is a utube link to watch a short story on Matariki. 

Matariki is a time for harvesting kumara and other vegetables in the garden.  You can also plant out seeds or seedlings into the garden too.  Check your maramataka to see which days are best.

Photo by Shlomo Shalev on Unsplash

There is a great resource provided by the Christchurch library that all teachers can check out here.

These are the children of Ranginui the sky:

Whetū                              star

Kapua                                cloud

Ua                                          rain

Rā                                              sun

Āniwaniwa                        rainbow

Marama                             moon

Whetū marama               planet

Māngōroa                        The milky way

Māhutonga      Southern Cross

Kōpu                                 morning star

Meremere Tūahiahi   Evening star

Matariki    Pleaides

Unenuku  God of the rainbow

Tāwhirimtea    God of the wind

Rūaumoko        God of Earthquakes volcanoes

Here are some great books you can get that children will love and learn about Matariki.

Seven Kites of Matariki

Little Kiwi's Matariki

Matariki The Maori New Year





Ngā rā o te wiki – the days of the week.

Māori of old had  figured out their own time scale which was sufficient for their needs.  Minutes or seconds were not known but the Māori had names for the day and night midnight and dawn. The time at night was known by the stars positions and through the day by the position of the sun.

Monday            Rāhina            Mane

Tuesday           Rātū                Tūrei

Wednesday    Rāapa            Wenerei

Thursday         Rāpare           Taite

Friday                 Rāmere         Paraire

Saturday          Rāhoroi           Hatarei

Sunday             Rātapu             Rātapu

The second list of words in Māori are transliteration.

“Transliteration is the process of transferring a word from the alphabet of one language to another. Transliteration helps people pronounce words and names in foreign languages. … It changes the letters from the word’s original alphabet to similar-sounding letters in a different one”

Rā is day.

Rāhina is the day of the moon.

Rātu is day of Mars. (Tūmatauenga)

Rāapa is day of Mercury. (Apārangi)

Rāpare is day of Jupiter. (Pareārau)

Rāmere day of Venus.

Rāhoroi is wash day.

Rātapu is holy day.