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.



Stick game – Titi torea.

Children’s Māori games are fun and easy to play.  There are many types of games that traditionally were played by Māori children back in the old days. The game that I will look at today is titi torea using rākau sticks.

This is an old game that all ages play.   You have two sticks each one in each hand.  You will have another person to play with you and they will be sitting facing you opposite you. The sticks can be made from rolled up magazines if you have no wooden sticks.

You will then start singing the song e papa waiari.

You will each tap the sticks together to the beat of the song.  You can make up your own combination of use of the sticks.

Waiata – song.

E papa

E auē. ka mate au

E hine hoki ma rā.  (Chorus)

E papa waiari

Taku nei mahi

Taku mahi

He tuku roimata


Māku e kaute ō hīkoitanga

Māku e kaute ō hīkoitanga


Tangaroa – God of the sea and sea creatures.

Oh how I am missing Tangaroa the sea and beach.  I bet that the children are missing this too if they go there usually.  Some of you may even live near tangaroa.  Tangaroa for Maori is the God of the Sea.  Also God of the sea creatures.  SO I have thought about how we can remember the sea and beach and what it is like there. These activities are easy for all ages.

A favourite spot in the Hokianga.

Tangaroa Mural activity.


Large piece paper or cardboard.

Marker pens    scissors  glue

Paint    shells   tape

Paint the background of your paper in colours of the sea.  Let it dry.

Draw sea creatures on paper and cut out glue onto sea.

Paint shells and attach to mural with glue or tape.

Let your imagination take you the rest of the way.

Shell mobile.


String    thin rope

Drift wood scissors

Join your dift wood together with string or thin rope.

Attach shells to strings and then attach to drift wood.

Hang up inside and let the memories of tangaroa come to you.

Picture from Quick nature crafts.


Horoia ō ringaringa – Wash your hands.

Tena Koutou.  The latest international news about the coronavirus pandemic  has got everyone concerned about this new disease.  And we as parents/caregivers and teachers of young children need to and will be addressing these concerns within our environments.  Today I will give you some ideas on how to maintain a healthy environment for tamariki – children.


  • Ensure that your centre is clean.  This is of utmost importance.  You should already have a cleaner that attends to cleaning every night after your centre is closed.  But  during the day there are always going to be areas that need cleaning.  Ensure that wash areas and toilets are kept clean to prevent the spread of germs.  Especially floors as those little feet travel far and wide.
  • Hand sanitisers are not the only option for adults to keep hands clean.  Make sure there is plenty of soap, liquid soap near taps for hand washing,  And to ensure that germs are gone dry with paper towels and dispose.  Towels are ok but these can also spread germs from person to person.  An automatic hand dryer would be an excellent addition to you washing areas.
  • Have a lesson with small groups of children in the hand washing areas and actually show them how to wash their hands properly.  This is important for children to actually see the process not just listen to you telling them to wash their hands.  Children will catch on much quicker through watching then doing themselves.  Help them to do the hand washing so they know how to wash the soap around their little hands.

Make hand washing a fun experience and teach the children a new waiata on hand washing  or maybe have stickers to give to children after hand washing.

Here is a little song I made up you may like to sing along with children at hand washing time or make your own song up with the children yourself.

Wash your hands song.  (tune to are you sleeping?)

Wash your hands wash your hands

With soap and water soap and water

Dry your hands, dry your hands

I am well I am well.

Horoia ō ringaringa

horoia ō ringaringa

ki te  hopi me te wai

ki te hopi me te wai

whakamaroke ō ringaringa

whakamaroke ō ringaringa

kei te pai kei te pai

handwashing photo from Curology

Rewana Bread

Here is a great bread popular with Māori.  It is similar to Māori bread but it has a starter made from potato called rewana.  This will be a good cooking and science activity to do with children of all ages.  You will have to make the rewana a few days before actually making the bread.

Rewana Bread

To make rewana:

1 potato peeled and sliced
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
Half cup flour

Make the Rewana mixture by boiling the sliced potato in the cup of water (don’t add salt) until it is a soft enough to mash. Leave it until lukewarm. Pour it into a large preserving jar and then add the sugar and flour and stir hard until a smooth paste is formed.
Leave the jar, covered with a clean tea towel, in a warmish place ( the hot water cupboard is ideal) until it is full of bubbles
This will take 1-2 days. Don’t let it get too sour and ‘off’ smelling though.

8 cups of flour white or wholemeal)
Half-1 cup sugar (to taste)
2-3 cups cold water
Salt to taste

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the rewana mixture. Mix it in well and add enough water to make a smooth dough. (Take a tablespoon off this dough for your next rewana). Knead dough for about 10 minutes on a floured board until it is smooth and firm.
Grease a large loaf tin, a camp oven or a large round cake tin. Place the dough in the baking tin and leave it until it rises half way up the sides.

Bake at 200 C for ten mins.then reduce heat to 150 C and bake for another 60-90 minutes or until shrunken from sides of tin and brown all over.

                  Photo by Stephen Walker (Unsplash.com )

To make a new rewana, take a tablespoon raw dough and put into a clean jar with a teaspoon sugar, some flour and some warm water mixed to a smooth paste. Let it work in a warm place until bubbly and ready to use.