Find resources / Activities / Climbing and balancing — Te piki me te whakatautika Activity

There are lots of ways to practice climbing and balancing with your tamariki. Doing so will help to improve their motor skills and their confidence.

Why do it?

Climbing and balancing are important activities for tamariki so that they:

  • have fun and enjoy some vigorous play out in the fresh air
  • strengthen their large and small muscles
  • practise and improve their physical skills
  • have experiences with the laws of physics (swing = pendulum, slide = ramp)
  • increase their confidence and self esteem through experiences, support and encouragement.

How to do it

Using chalk: 

  • Draw a line on the path for your tamaiti to practise balancing on.
  • Draw shapes along the path for them to jump between.

Around the house:

  • Use a plank and two bricks to make a low balance beam.
  • Create a simple obstacle course together. Include objects to go over, under, through and around.

At the playground:

  • Follow their lead and notice their interests.
  • Stay close by to ensure their safety and offer to help them if they need it.
  • Encourage them to solve problems themselves first, but be ready to help if they get scared or stuck.
  • Praise them for trying new things and for solving problems — for example, ‘I like how you figured out how to get down.’
  • Sing while you play. Made-up songs are great: “Look at you zooming down the slide!” 

Later on, read books about playing outdoors:

  • The children at the playground — Tracey M Cox and Dolores Costello
  • Hide and seek Harry at the playground - Kenny Harrison
  • Roll, slope and slide: A book about ramps - Michael Dahl and Denise Shea

Using more te reo Māori

Climb Piki(hia)
Balance Whakatautika(tia)
Playground Papa tākaro
Ladder Arawhata
Slide Retireti
Bridge Arahanga
Seesaw Retireti
Go up Piki(hia)
Go down Heke(tia)
High Teitei
Low Pāpaku
Fast Tere
Slow Tōmuri
Swings Tārere