Monday, May 11, 2015

Glorious Mud

8th May, 2015

Today was a wet autumn day at kindergarten. After a little bit of encouragement from Lisa, our reliever Cole, Natalie and Jayde decided to try out the slippery new hill. What great fun you had testing out sliding down on your bottoms, then your tummys and then rolling down on your sides.
Research tells us that unstructured outdoor play is a natural attention builder, is known to reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and leads to overall increased health - both mental and physical.

At Manaia we believe a connection with nature provides for the children’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of the earth. This was evident today with the huge smiles on these children's faces and all the laughter we could hear.  Ka pai tamariki ma.Sally

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Relationships are a source of learning, empowerment and identity for all of us. This is reflected in the concept of whanaungatanga. A fishing interest grew from seeing live Mullet swimming in the estuary and catching sprats on our weekly nature programme down at Kiteone beach reserve. This interest continued to grow with children creating representations of their ideas of fish using art materials, using books to research, gutting and smoking Mullet, having Jayde's Dad, Cam come and fillet fish he had caught, making fishing lines at the carpentry table, singing fish songs and the children preparing battered pieces of fish fillets to share and enjoying at the family Fish and Chip night. These experiences provided the children with many learning opportunities where they could work together, share their knowledge and learn from others, which provided them with a real sense of belonging at their kindergarten.
Cameron, Caleb and Carys fishing.

Preparing the fish for smoking- This provoked many questions.

The amazement of what had happened to the smoked Mullet.
Sofie, Kafka, Lily and Cole crumbing the fish for the Fish and Chip night.

Paige - the Master chef!

Zoe paints a dolphin.
Carys paints her fish.

Noah, Lola and Jayde enjoying the sensory experience of the Snapper.

Cam filleting the fish with Meg, Paige and Jayde looking on.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Caterpillar study

With the donation of a small swan plant and the eye of one of the teachers spotting the first young caterpillar, a group of children showed a keen interest in learning more. The following video expresses the different ways the children problem solved how best to care for our precious new caterpillar. Their interest then ignited a larger study into the life cycle of caterpillars which is ongoing.

"Butterfly Meg"

Jono notices the caterpillars can make letters with their bodies 

Savanah and Eva explore being a butterfly

Lola makes a protective sign "don't touch
the caterpillar'

Carys explores the shape of the butterfly through
representational art

Jayde and Paige keep a watchful eye
on the caterpillars progress

Molly creates a protective sign

Eva joins in

Zoe creates a butterfly at home and brings
 it in to share in the news circle

Jono explores the life cycle of a caterpillar through puzzles

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Exploring Nga Manu (Birds)

At Manaia Kindergarten we participate in the national 'te kupu o te wiki' (word of the week) programme. Recently our kupu o te wiki was manu (bird). As the children reflected on all nga manu in their experience, they illustrated how integrated their growing understanding of a concept such as 'bird' is, and how many 'languages' (using the Reggio Emilia term) they use to explore and express such an understanding. The following photos and videos explain this idea further.


Before a trip to Kiwi North, children created kiwi in response to provocations in the art area. Henry drew his kiwi with pen and then cut it out.

Zoe created her kiwi in pen and wrote a story about it around the edge using the letters she knows best Z-O-E-L-O-V-E. She used leaves and feathers for the body.

After listening to the story "Manukura the White Kiwi" Molly, Jacob and Meg used shredded paper to create their "Manukura".

Having chickens at the kindergarten provides many opportunities for the children to build their understanding about these manu.

 Eva and Cole collect weeds from the garden to throw over the fence for nga heihei.

Ayva, Natalie, Grace, Eva and Lily collect the chicken eggs, wash them, and write the date on them.

Ayva stands proudly beside the eggs for sale sign she has helped to write with eggs she and her friends have packaged to sell to the whanau.

Max and Lucy cook pikelets  that they have helped make with eggs from the chickens.

A recent trip to Kiwi North gave lots of opportunities for the children to extend their knowledge of birds.

Bo took her toy kiwi on the trip to Kiwi North so it could "meet the real kiwi."

Nga manu puppets at Kiwi North were enjoyed by many children as they brought the birds to life with sounds and movements.

 Back at the kindergarten Molly, Thomas, and Meg use the beanbags (carefully sorted by colour) to make nests for  their imaginary play as birds. 

After her bus trip to Kiwi North, Meg drew this picture and told her mum this story.

 Lily and Carys used pen and paint to create their kiwi.

Unfortunately, the video of Grace's wonderfully tuneful singing will not upload here but at least you can enjoy the words of her  "KIWI SONG".   

“I love kiwi
Because they’re my favourites
I love kiwi
Because they’re my favourites
Kiwi are my favourites
Because they love me
I like kiwi
I love kiwi
I like them so much.”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Work begins on Stage 1 of Playground Upgrade

The children arrived back from holiday to Shaun, Aaron and Shane from Manaia Excavators busily working on our bank to replace the old water feature and create a new bank offering lots of open ended play opportunities.


Monday, January 19, 2015

A fun filled Term 4, 2014!

Thank you to all our kindergarten whanau and community for the wonderful support you show our tamariki at Manaia. Here are a few photos to show you just how much fun we had in 2014. Happy New Year everyone.Here's looking at another action packed fun filled year in 2015!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kiwi Artist inspires our tamariki 10/12/14

A huge thanks to Heather Hunt who gave up her morning to come and share her Backyard Kiwi signs and kiwi illustrations from 'Kiwi, the real story'. Heather talked to us a bit about the Backyard Kiwi project at the Whangarei Heads and then mentored some of our keen artists in how she sketches kiwi.
Heather currently has an exhibition of her artwork at Newday Café in Parua Bay with all proceeds going to the Backyard Kiwi Project.
Heather told us about the different ways kiwi move, how they protect themselves and that Dad is the main caregiver after Mum lays her egg.
 Grace told Heather she has kiwi at her house
 Oliver worked out different ways he could protect his sign from the elements creating a plastic cover
 Devon wanted to create a post for his sign
 Some great theories and questions about why there are kiwi signs at the heads
 Theo was very proud of his kiwi and wanted to show Mum as soon as she arrived.
 Scott talked about how he can hear kiwi at his house.
 Heather showed us how she goes over her outline several times adding extra detail each time.Look at that wonderful concentration, ka pai tamariki.
 Scarlett, a very keen artist was very focussed on her kiwi outline alongside artist friend Madison
 Our Kiwi exhibition at Manaia Kindergarten with new artwork arriving daily!
A small message from Heather Hunt:
"With the annual summer influx of visitors Backyard Kiwi are raising awareness locally about the number of wild kiwi free ranging around the Whangarei Heads Peninsula- over 700!!
The much loved Backyard Kiwi signs dotted around the district are an indication that there are kiwi living nearby – we urge local and visitors, to:  tie your dogs up at night time and watch out for kiwi on the roads you might just see a live kiwi and save kiwi lives!

There is Backyard Kiwi Exhibition at Newday Cafe (Parua Bay Shopping centre) until the 5th of January. The Free Range Kiwi reflective sign and kiwi prints are on display along with lots of information about the Backyard kiwi Project. Please encourage people to take their visitors to see this and visit the backyard kiwi website"