World Environment day,

Tena Koe welcome to this blog about World Environment Day.  This day is celebrated on the 5th June 2020 and I would like to talk a bit about what this day is and what you and the children can do to engage on this day.

Photo: Mt Maunganui NZ

World Environment Day.  What is it about you may ask?  It is about being aware of the world around us and learning about ways in which we can awhi (help)the world.  Give some Manaakitanga to our world.  There are many things we can do to help the world and reducing what we buy is one of them.

Recycling things,  Reusing things in our environment instead of throwing them into the earth.  We need to be composting our kitchen scraps and growing gardens.

Photo: My Moko in the garden.

This year the theme is biodiversity.  Biodiversity means biological diversity and it includes the diversity and life of water and land life in the world.  You could do lots of activities with children around this theme and include families and their ideas too.

Some ideas for World  Environment Day.

  • Plant a native tree.
  • Plant a Native bush.
  • Start a recycle area in your classroom or home.
  • Start a compost bin or pile in the garden.
  • Plant vegetables and flowers.
  • Make a bug hotel.
  • Make bird feeders for the garden.
  • Make up a song about biodiversity to share.
  • Engage in community plantings.
  • Do some art ir a wall display to represent the environment and biodiversity.

A Māori whakatauki.




Any further ideas or tell us what you have done please leave a comment below.



Manaakitanga what does this mean and what does it look like for children.  Mannakitanga is a Māori value that is deeply entwined in the Māori culture.  It is about looking after people and enhancing their mana/wellbeing.  It is about looking after your visitors and being a good host.  It is about sharing and caring for others in your community.

Manaakitanga in the classroom is similar.   Children can show manaakitanga by:

  • Showing respect to each other.
  • Sharing resources with others.
  • Encouraging others in their mahi and helping them to finish their work.
  • Helping others if they see they need a hand with something.
  • Developing friendships by being kind to each other.
  • Sharing food and drink together.
  • Talking with each other nicely and clearly.
  • Showing empathy towards others.  Sharing a hug.
  • Understanding others feelings.
  • Encouraging manaakitanga.
  • Caring for the environment.
  • To nurture and love.

Children will learn by watching you the teacher so ensure that you are doing these things too.  Teach Whānau/families about manaakitanga too.

Maybe make a wall display so Whānau can read and see what manaakitanga is.  Take photos of manaakitanga e.g. sharing kai(food), playing and smiling together etc.  Put children;s artwork on the display too.  Ask Whānau to contribute to the display they may have a photo or knowledge about the Māori value they can share with you and the class.

Another activity could be gardening and sharing the kai from the garden with others.  Maybe having a shared lunch and make soup with the vegetables the children have grown.

Going into the community and sharing some happiness with others. Maybe a trip to the old peoples home to sing some songs or take some baking to them.  I am sure that would bring a smile to their faces.

This is my Moko making a cake to share with the family, nice manaakitanga Moko.

What ways do you show manaakitanga in your classroom/school?  Please share by leaving a comment.






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