24 June 2019

Throughout June, Matariki will be celebrated at Nurtured at Home playgroups and activity ideas shared with Educators in their homes. Here’s some ways we can celebrate Matariki with friends and whānau:

A tradition of storytelling: Matariki is a great time to encourage children to tell the stories of where they live, what is special to them, and who the people are in their whānau. Educators can document stories using the child’s own words, so they can be retold and shared with others.

Acknowledging whānau: Matariki is a great time to celebrate whānau. We can do this by acknowledging their skills and creating a star for them.  With the help of the Educator, children can create a star for each whānau member, decorate it, and write on it what the child thinks they are good at.  For example, sister might be really good at touch rugby and brother might be good at making bread.  A nice contribution is for the parents to create a star for their child and write on what they acknowledge their child is good at.  All of the stars can be displayed to create a twinkling night sky.

Growing: We can celebrate Matariki with whānau by growing our own kūmara sprouts and giving them away as gifts.  Lay your kūmara in damp sand, or suspend it in a jar of water using toothpicks. Keep in a warm place. After a couple of weeks, you will notice shoots growing off the kūmara. When the shoots are about 10 centimetres long, pull them away from the original vegetable. Plant your kūmara in yoghurt pottles and water them well.

Providing food: Matariki is a time to celebrate the food that is grown and offered for nourishment.  We can celebrate this with children in care by making vegetable soup together.

When we celebrate Matariki, we can korero with tamariki about stars and the scientific discipline of astronomy.