Nga karakia timatanga – Welcome songs/prayers.

In the mornings it is good to have time to meet together with the children and welcome them to the centre for the day.  As part of the daily routine children usually look forward to this group time.  If you have younger children that will not sit still in a group sometimes it is best to do at the table before morning tea.  This is a good chance for you to teach children some welcome songs/prayers – nga karakia timatanga.  Today I will go over a few that you can sing or say with children.

Tēnā koe.

Tēnā Koe hello to one

Tēnā Kōrua hello to two

Tēnā Koutou hello to all

Haere mai everyone

Welcome everyone.

E te atua tenei matou

e inoi ana ki a koe

mo ngā mahi o tēnei ra



He Karakia Timatanga

He Hōnore he korōia ki te Atua

He maungārongo ki te whenua

Whakāro pai ki  ngā tāngata katoa

Hanga e te Atua he ngākau hou

ki roto ki tēna, ki tēna o mātou

Whakatōngia tōu wairua tapu

Hei awhina  hei tohu tohu i a mātou

hei ako hoki i ngā kupu

I roto i tēnei Atarangi

Ake ake ake Amine


Mōrena ki a koe

Mōrena ki a koe

Mōrena ki a   ……………………….(child’s name)

Kia pai to ra

(tune of happy birthday)

I hope these are of use to you this week.   The more you repeat them the more the children will start repeating them with you.  After a while you can change to a different one to learn.


Eco friendly products -help save our earth!

Today we are all aware that being eco friendly and using eco friendly products is something that is becoming the norm.  Children are learning about how to reuse, recycle and learning how to look after their world with the assistance from you.  You are the biggest role model when it comes to helping to save our earth.  Your actions will be followed by children and adults that you are connected with each day.

plastic So let’s start promoting products that are going to break down in the environment.  Did you know that it takes 50 years for a margarine container to break down and a plastic bag takes 40 years and we use them once.  Newspaper but will break down in 3 months and brown paper bag will take 2 months to break down.  STOP BUYING PLASTIC!

I want to look at alternative products that you can buy and use over and over and if you need to they will compost.  The eco warehouse provides environmentally friendly and sustainable products.  These are some of the products that I think would be great to buy.

    • compostible zip lock bags
    • sandwich paper bags
    • honey wraps
    • wooden toys
    • eco friendly face paint
    • beeswax crayons
    • recycled pens and pencils
    • seed bombs
    • compostible bin liners
    • kids bamboo toothbrushes
    • leak proof lunchbox

Go check out what they have to offer here click the box.


What are the learning outcomes for children using sustainable products?

  • allows children to be responsible for their actions
  • develops thriftiness
  • allows children to help create a better future for themselves
  • increase children’s awareness for their environment and what goes into the landfill
  • develop knowledge about composting and gardening
  • develop understanding about kaitiakitanga
  • developing knowledge about papatūānuku
  • developing knowledge about recycling and what can be made from recycled stuff
  • developing knowledge about protecting the environment
  • engaging in recycling of your own rubbish is fun



Fun with Flax – Book Review.

Fun with Flax by Mick Pendergrast.


Overview of Book: 50 different projects that are made from flax.  This is a much loved book by a lot of teachers.  It contains knowledge of the basics of plaiting skills.  Traditional Māori plaiting or rāranga is a skill that requires a lot of practice.  You can not expect to create a kete from flax in your first week.  Practice, practice and more practice is the key to mastering this Māori craft.

Price:  $24.60


Fun With Flax: 50 Projects For Beginners


Excellent for beginners of using flax.

Great step by step pictures of how the projects are made.

Several of the projects can be accomplished by young children.

It shows different projects from New Zealand and other countries in the world.

This book gives you information about the flax plant , it’s history and traditions.


Most projects are too hard for young children.2-5 years olds.  Adult supervision is required.

It does take a lot of practice to accomplish some projects but this is normal.

Not really any cons with this book review.


This is an excellent reference book for those who are wanting to learn how to plait flax and make  a lot of different objects.  Children are able to learn to make some of the projects and it gives children some insight into the world of flax.  Fun With Flax: 50 Projects For Beginners is a must have book for teachers within all ece centres and will give you a lot of projects to teach and learn over your time as a teacher.

My Rating: 5/5


How to make play dough – the recipe.

Play dough is so much fun and so easy to make.  Today I will talk about play dough and give you an easy recipe.

Lots of people ask is play dough appropriate to play with is it a waste of food?   The answer is Yes play dough is play dough and that’s what it is made for allowing children to create and learn from it.   And no it is not a waste of food.   It is up to individuals to use play dough or not.  I myself do not find it culturally insensitive.

So let’s look at how to make an easy play dough recipe.

multi colours

(Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels)

Play dough recipe.


2 cups flour

1 cup of salt

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 cups of cold water

2 tablespoons oil

extra flour

extras you can add separately:  rosemary leaves, lavender, lemon finely grated, vanilla essence, food colouring


In a bowl add water from the tap, oil and vinegar mix.

Add salt and mix thoroughly.

Gradually add flour and extras if needed.

Mix then turn onto a floured surface.

Knead for five minutes.  The dough is now ready to use.

I used to use the recipe with cream of tartar but it was not always available so I found that this recipe worked fine.  I always make a new dough when required.  I throw out the play dough at the end of the day.  This is because by the end of the day it is been well used and is dirty.  Play dough can be stored in the fridge after making it if you want to use the next day.

The learning outcomes of play dough.

  • develops fine motor skills
  • develops language skills
  • develops sharing and turn taking skills.
  • develops hand eye co ordination
  • develops social skills
  • develops colour recognition
  • develops imagination
  • develops maths skills
  • develops senses



Māori Bread – yummy!

Māori have made their own bread for a long time.  Takakau is the word usually used for bread made with flour and water only.  Today I will give you a Māori flat bread recipie that I have followed with success for many years.


6 cups of flour

6 teaspoons baking powder

500 ml milk

pinch salt


Turn oven on to 200 degrees celcius.

Sift flour and baking powder together.

Add salt.

Lightly mix in the milk.

Turn mixture onto a floured surface and knead lightly.

Flatten with hands or a rolling pin.

Place onto a greased oven tray.

Place in oven for twenty minutes

Once bread is cooked remove from oven and place into a damp teatowel.



This is an easy recipie and is great for children to help make.  Ensure they have clean hands before joining in.