To celebrate the end of another year of fun, laughter and learning at Beachcomber, we invited our families to come to kindergarten to enjoy a concert of songs sung by the children, a shared morning tea, and a science show performed by Nano Girl. Thank you to all our families who came along on the day to help us celebrate another successful year.
Over the last 2 weeks the children, teachers and parents have all been captivated by the hatching of our eggs into beautiful little chicks. We all watched as the eggs in the warm incubator cracked, and the little, wet chicks emerged. At first they were not very steady on their wobbly legs, so they needed to stay in the incubator to get stronger. When we moved them into the “brooder” they were hungry and began to eat the chick food and drink water. It was fascinating to watch them, and they seemed to like it when we talked to them. Some children drew pictures for the chicks, others read stories and showed them pictures of other chickens. We read lots of books with interesting information about chickens. Each day we wrote in a diary and drew pictures about what was happening. It was very exciting when we finally got to hold the fluffy little chicks. After washing our hands we sat on the floor and the teachers carefully gave the chicks to children to hold. Sometimes they sat in our hands or on our knees, and other times they wanted to walk about on our arms or legs! We learnt that when they cheeped really loudly, they were upset and wanted to go back to their brothers and sisters. When the chicks sat quietly we knew they were happy and felt safe with a gentle friend.
Some children gave the chicks names, and we put their photos on the wall so we could remember what they looked like. Every day the chicks grew a little bit bigger and stronger. Some big brothers and sisters came before and after school to visit the chicks too, everyone loved watching and holding them.
It was a little bit sad saying goodbye to the chicks on the last day, but we were very excited for two of our families, because they were able to adopt 3 of the golden (girl) chicks. Jo, from “Living Eggs” took the yellow (boy) chicks back to the farm, to live there happily with their families.
Everyone enjoyed dressing up in bright clothes and wigs to help raise money to support families going through child cancer.
Katie and Richard shared Daniel’s story with us and showed us all the beads that Daniel has received after each procedure he has had. Evie also showed us her special beads, for being a supportive sister. Thank you to all the Beachcomber families for their kind donations. A total of $105.20 was raised and donated to the Child Cancer Foundation.
We have introduced a Korowai, (traditional Māori cloak) which is unique to Beachcomber. All tamariki and Kaiako (children and teachers) add a feather to the korowai symbolising their individual interests, stories and strengths.
On special occasions, when the korowai is worn, particularly when children celebrate their 5th birthday, the wearer feels the combined strength, knowledge and respect gathered from the Beachcomber whānau, to support them on their continuing learning journey.
One parent described it as, “A bit like getting a big hug from everyone at Beachcomber when you wear the korowai.”
Some of the strengths and interests shared/contributed by tamariki and Kaiako: Climbing trees, mechanics (fixing things), running fast, weight lifting, building things, walking, scootering, fixing things, playing with siblings, gardening, cooking & eating, climbing, painting, music, dance, caring, and family.
Today, we hung a donated planter box on the wooden post near our wormery. This allowed several different materials to be collected for insects to create their own habitat. Terracotta pots were laid on their side on the ground allowing insects to crawl in & make themselves at home.
Cutting the old, (now redundant) bamboo xylophone, created dark spaces for bugs and insects to live in. We plan to add carpet, bark, cardboard and pieces of wood that can break down to provide an interesting habitat for insects. Children can then lift up different pieces along the walkway to investigate where bugs like to live! And of course any insects needing a safe, dry home now have a “hotel” to live in.
It was an incredibly busy morning in the sandpit, with everyone using pipes, hoses, road cones, tyres, signs, hi-viz jackets, spades, trucks and diggers to get the job done. There was a massive construction project happening. The plans were on the office wall and the foremen were checking that everything was going according to plan.
It was wonderful to see the co-operation and team work as the children solved problems, shared ideas, took turns with the equipment and talked to each other about what they were building. It was a very positive and co-operative work environment for everyone. Ka pai te mahi tamariki!!
At this time of the year, the Matariki star cluster, (also known as Pleiades) can be seen twinkling in the sky just before dawn. The sighting of the stars signals the Māori New Year, which is traditionally a time for harvesting produce, telling stories about the old days, thinking about whānau and those who have passed on, it’s a time for planning and looking towards the future, and of course a time to share kai.
This year children helped get ready for Matariki by creating stars for decorations, helping to harvest our mandarins, and enthusiastically making butter for our breakfast. Our celebrations included waiata (songs), pakiwaitara (stories/legends), kanikani (dance) and our shared whānau breakfast where we invited everyone to join us. The tamariki, kaiako and some parents, wore their pyjamas to breakfast and enjoyed yummy toast and milo. There was time for parents to talk and catch up with each other. Matariki is a great time to come together to celebrate and have fun.
When we got back to kindy after “lockdown” it was time to prepare our garden for winter vegetables and flowers. One of our families donated some lovely plants, and our team of enthusiastic helpers planted them into our raised garden beds. There were broccoli, bok choy, spinach, beetroot, pansy, calendula and lobelia. The children learnt how to carefully hold the plants to take care of the leaves and tiny roots as they planted them into the soil. We will all need to look after our plants while they grow and perhaps when they are big enough we will get to eat some of the vegetables.
It was a great morning for exploring at Cockle Bay Beach with all the Beachcomber friends. We searched for crabs and other living creatures under rocks and in the muddy pools and everyone was very careful to return the creatures safely to their habitat and not to disturb them unnecessarily. There was a lot to investigate under the huge pohutukawa tree. Climbing, balancing, swinging and bouncing on the branches with friends, and making patterns by rubbing crayons over the bark, kept everyone happy and busy.
This beach experience has become an annual event for our Beachcomber whānau. Through coming together as a community, we strengthening the relationships among our families and share our appreciation of our wonderful local environment.
Today we had the opportunity to go on a little excursion to the park. We set off walking, holding hands with our teachers and along the way we saw and heard lots of interesting things that we chatted about. Once at the park we had a picnic then enjoyed exploring the playground. There were things to climb, swing, slide and see-saw on. We finished with some running races before heading on the short walk back to kindergarten.