The safety matting in our playground was nearing the end of it's life so it was time to upgrade it. We were so keen to watch as the men arrived in their huge big truck and started pouring on the materials to make our new matting. It prompted lots of discussion and many children thought the green part looked like broccoli. The workers pressed down hard on the materials to stick it together and flatten it. After a couple of days it was ready to play on. It feels soft and a bit bouncy and is perfect to help keep us all safe in our playground.
Today a group of children went for a walk to Grace Campell Reserve. It is a short walk from our kindergarten and we all wore our bright jackets to help keep us safe. At the park we looked for special treasures from Papatuanuku (the land) and collected some to take back to kindergarten. We noticed some rubbish on ground and we carefully put it into the rubbish bin to help keep our world clean. The playground was lots of fun and we climbed up very high. When we arrived back at kindergarten, we shared our adventure with our friends.
Our four year old children have all been very excited in the lead up to our trip to Te Whare Wananga O Owairoa Marae in Howick. We have been practising the waiata (song) Tutira Mai many times and have been thinking about what might happen at the marae.
On the day of our trip we met by the gates and waited for a member of the tangata whenua to welcome us onto the marae. The powhiri (welcome) was a new experience for many of us and we listened carefully to the rolling sounds of the te reo Maori we could hear being spoken. In the wharenui (meeting house) we each introduced ourselves and were told that our names are now part of the marae and we are welcome back any time.
After the official welcome we were called to the wharekai (eating area) for a delicious morning tea, yum!
Next we headed on a walk amongst the beautiful native bush. It was a magical place and we were told about the Maori beliefs that Tane created the forest, birds and insects. We looked carefully at the underside of ferns to find the silver fern and saw kawakawa that one of our families makes into creams for skin. We saw huge big tall trees and lots of amazing plants and bushes.
Next we headed to the whare taonga (museum) and saw different artefacts and photos. When we were back into the wharenui we had lots of fun with poi and flax balls before singing more waiata.
What a great experience for all the tamariki (children), whanau (families) and kaiako (teachers) involved. We look forward to returning again next year with another group of four year olds.
Over recent months we have struggled with our shrinking old sandpit cover and neighbourhood cats sneaking in to use the sand as their toilet (eeewww!). We are thrilled with our brand new purpose made sandpit cover, it keeps the cats out and our sand clean and ready for playing.
Today we had some special visitors come and see us at Beachcomber.....
Andy from Howick Library read us some funny books and sang songs with us at group time. Some of our children recognised Andy from going to Rhyme Time at the library. Later in the day Theresa's dogs Bonnie and Wolfe came in to say "hello". It was very exciting to have furry friends join us at kindergarten.
There has been a surge of interest in finding insects at Beachcomber. We have been busy watching bees hard at work collecting pollen, looking for praying mantis in our mandarin tree and finding spiders in dark corners inside our climbing boxes. We have enjoyed using magnifying glasses and posters to find our more about the creatures that share our world.
A Giant Centipede was brought into today to show the children. It was about 16 cm long and had 36 yellow legs. The front legs had spikes on them, and out in front it had 2 very long feelers. It was amazing!!
MUD, MUD, MUD! Our mud kitchen is a very busy play area with so much exploration, creativity and messy mucky fun. Our children enjoy driving the great big trucks in the muck and creating busy road constructions as well as making sand cakes and mud pies, fixing drains and pipes and creating muddy lava pools. Such endless fun and opportunities for learning.
We are excited to have lots of yummy vegetables ready to pick and eat from our garden. We have enjoyed trying cucumbers, radishes and tomatoes and have collected the seeds to plant again later in the year.
As part of our Chinese New Year celebrations one of our families taught us some Chinese words and a "Happy New Year" song.