I am moving on…..

Just a quick update i have moved website to https://maoriresources.wordpress.com/

Please view my new website here.

Thanks to everyone for their support and continued reading of my blog.

Te Whare Kai – the dining room

Today I thought I would talk to you about the Whare Kai or dining room and the tikanga here.  The Whare kai or Kauta is the name for the dining room.  This is an essential part of the marae and of course any early childhood setting.  Here are 2 whaktauki or proverbs regards this.

Te tohu o te marae, ko te pataka.

Evidence of a good marae is the size of the pataka (food storehouse).

Kia tika mai a muri, ka nui te mana o mua.

If the back functions well, the front will gain prestige.


Often Maori will thank the ringa wera or hot hands in the kitchen.  These are the people working in the kitchen.  If the food is good and there is plenty the marae is often remembered with a good reputation.  Having a high level of hospitality is important.

The tables are always set before visitors enter the wharekai.  Visitors will have their meal served.  Sometimes there will be more than one sitting at bigger events.  If so remember as soon as you are finished leave so the next sitting can be set up and served.

Visitors will hear a karanga or call to come to the kitchen for  a meal.  You could practice this in your Early Childhood Centre.  ‘Haere mai ki te kai!”  Sometimes there will be singing of a happy song while people enter.  Tables are filled up from one end so follow the person in front of you and sit down.  Never sit on the tables at any time any where.  Tables are for eating off not for bottoms. 

Whakapaingia nga kai – the blessing of the food.

The meal will be blessed so do not start to eat until this is done.  Someone will usually bang on the table with a spoon or hand to get silence.  Then grace – prayer of thanks, will be said.  You may then enjoy your meal.  Talk to people beside you and make new friends or discover new relations-family.


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.