Friday, October 11, 2013

Enviro-kindergarten Workshop at Manaia

It was wonderful to host the Enviro-Kindergarten's at Manaia Kindergarten. Although we are not on the Enviro programme, the teachers of Manaia have been attending some of their workshops. It has been inspiring to learn about new ideas to continue our commitment to environmentally friendly practices. Manaia Kindergarten is situated in a community that is environmentally aware and our people continually share and promote sustainable living practices. 

Karen from Kerikeri kindergarten shared environmental ideas from tikanga perspective, and deepening our understanding of Papatuanuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father) whakapapa (family) including their children - Tanemahuta (forest) , tangaroa (sea), tawhirimatea (wind) to name a few. She shared the Maori creation story. We discussed the nature and influences of Ira Atua (the first family - sea, wind, stars, sun, earthquakes)  on our learning environment.

Paula and Anna from Comrie Park introduced us all to The Bug Hotel. We received the generous gift of a Bug Hotel and began assembling the 'rooms' in the hotel. Paula talked with us about location, working with the children, and setting up a bug hotel environment with the natural resources typical to our environment. We look forward to working more on this project with the children at the start of term 4.

Nerida and Lynda from Portland Kindergarten drew our attention to our senses. We stopped and listened to our environment with our eyes closed. The Cockerel who had competed with every presentation suddenly went silent!! However we were able to locate and identify almost 6 different bird species in our small outdoor play area. We were also surprised at the almost constant sound of traffic which is unusual for our rural kindergarten. We were also guided on a blindfold test as we explored our sense of touch and dipped our hands into bowls of unknown ingredients. We explored the bug-like texture of lavender flowers, the clamminess of wet sand, the bitty texture of soil - but we were rewarded after a bowl of ice cubes, with the peaceful touch of tepid water and lavender scent.

Thank you to all who came to the workshop and for sharing such inspiring ideas which we hope to develop further during term 4, with the children of Manaia.

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