Akoranga Preschool

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Matariki Celebrations

As our celebrations of Matariki come to an end, we want to share with you some of the activities that the tamariki (children) have enjoyed over this time, linking them to one of the traditional stories we have enjoyed about the Matariki stars.

In this story the seven stars are a family: the whaea (mother) surrounded by her 6 kōtiro (daughters) Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupa-ā-rangi, Waipunurangi, Waitī, Waitā and Ururangi.  The family are travelling across the sky to visit their tupuna wahine (great grandmother) Papatūānuku (earth mother) and help her as caretakers of the natural world.


The eldest daughter, Tupu-ā-nuku, is responsible for tending to the plants used for kai (food), rongoā (medicine) and kākahu (clothing).
With the tamariki here at Akoranga Preschool we have been linking this to  ingredients used in our process cooking and the weaving process traditionally used to make clothing from plant fibres.
Tupu-a -rangi, the second daughter of Matariki helps to care for the animals of the forest, especially the manu (birds) and enjoys singing with them too.

In a direct link to this part of the story we made bird feeders to hang in our tree at Akoranga Preschool which the birds really appreciated in the snow - you may have seen a story on this in The Ensign newspaper too. Just like Tupu-ā-rangi the tamariki have also enjoyed singing, dancing and listening to a variety of Matariki songs and have practiced using poi (ball on a string) and rākau (rhythm sticks).

The third daughter of Matariki, Waipunarangi, looks after our waterways - oceans, lakes and rivers.  She prepares the kai moana (seafood) to feed the people and collects rain water for people, animals and plants to drink.As a fun way of linking this part of the Matariki story, the tamariki have been catching fish with our magnetic fishing rods.Water conservation is also discussed regularly as we use the rain water collected in our water barrel to water the plants in our garden.

The fourth and fifth daughters of Matariki are the twins Waitī and Waitā.  These two stars work together and support each other, just like the insects that they help to care for.Encouraging children to support each other and work together is something that we do all the time at Akoranga Preschool.  Here are just a few recent photos of our children helping each other to achieve their goals ...

Matariki's sixth and youngest daughter, Ururangi, helps her kuia (grandmother) by giving her a big awhi (hug).  This reminds us that whānau (family) and aroha (love) are important as we prepare ourselves for our work in life.

Last, but not least, is Matariki herself.  As a mother/caregiver she is watching over her tamariki (children) providing her support and encouragement so that they can give their best effort to all they do.

For our children, making connections between their loved ones at home and their time here at Akoranga Preschool is one way to support the learning that is their work.

This is one of the reasons we have invited you to share a photo of your child's whānau for our new Whānau Tree and/or join us for some shared kai (food) today.

The children have been very excited to see familiar faces from home on the Whānau Tree, so if you haven't already we would love you to send/bring us in a photo of your child's loved ones to add to it.

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