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.

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.

What is aroha and why is it important to teach children about aroha.

Today I want to talk about the word Aroha.  Aroha has many definitions to it and today I want to explore that and look at why it is important to teach children about aroha for they themselves are aroha too.

Aroha is a very rich word and has many meanings within the Māori world.  So I will create a list of meanings that I can think of.

Aroha  means:

to love

to show empathy

to cry

to be compassionate

to support

to care

to be kind

to show affection

to be peaceful

to nurture

to help

to be respectful

And the list can continue, maybe ask what aroha means to yourself and others and add to the list yourself.

Every day we must teach children aroha,  Why?  Well lets look at that now.

Aroha comes form a feeling within you.  It is a beautiful feeling that makes you feel good about yourself.  Children need to feel good about themselves.  They need to have confidence to go about their day and lives.  They need aroha to support themselves and others through the journey of life. Aroha helps to develop the brain.

An example of aroha.  A child comes to  your centre and cries when their Mum leaves.  You as a teacher will go see the child and comfort him/her and ensure that they feel good and support that child.  This is aroha.  The child is expressing their aroha for their mum through crying and you are expressing aroha through helping the child through this tough time.  Aroha is a two way system a means of communicating with others.

Aroha can be seen through actions words and facial expressions.  A smile is a great way to show aroha.  Laughing and enjoying the company of others expresses aroha.  Crying expresses aroha.

Suggestions for activities re: Aroha.

Why don’t you look at the word aroha with you colleagues, families and the children and see how much the word really means to people in your community.  You could create a giant poster for your wall and add to it daily.

You could ask the children to create pictures of aroha, kindness, how we share etc. and display on the wall.

You can learn songs about aroha in te reo Māori and other languages.  Te Aroha, Love is like a penny, I love you. you are my sunshine, me he manu rere etc.

You can make aroha/friendship bracelets.

There are many books that talk about aroha that you can read and learn more about aroha.  Here are some suggestions:

My Happy Place: A Book of Joy, Aroha and Generosity          Aroha's Way: A children's guide through emotions   Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain

Here are some Maori proverbs about aroha.

E iti noa ana, na te aroha.  A small ordinary thing, begotten by love.  Although the present is small, it is all love has to give.

Aroha mai aroha atu.  Love toward us, love going out from us.

The Raupo Book of Maori ProverbsI got these proverbs from this book ‘The Reed Book of Maori Proverbs’ that you may be interested in getting for yourself.

I hope that you have learnt something about aroha within my post.  Thank you and have a nice day.