Create a hut with tamariki, inside or out, to support problem-solving and imagination. Building, climbing and hiding supports coordination and muscle growth. Whānau can support maths concepts by using words like over, under, beside and through.

Why do it?

Making huts is a great opportunity for tamariki to:

  • enjoy creating little enclosed play spaces both indoors and out
  • have fun and extend their play
  • practise cooperation
  • pretend and problem-solve
  • practise using prepositions — words like in, out, on, under, over, behind, in front of, through and next to.

How to do it

  • Indoor huts can be made using tables, chairs, couches, cushions, boxes, sheets and blankets.
  • Outdoor huts can be made using planks, tree branches, logs, crates, poles, sticks and old curtains.
  • Ask tamariki for their ideas about what else they might use.
  • Always check any materials for possible dangers, especially when building huts outside.
  • Help them to gather materials to use, and be around to help or get more construction materials if needed.
  • Old sheets or curtains can make roofs and provide shaded areas.
  • Extend the pretend play by ‘inviting’ toys in to eat or sleep.
  • A hut could be any type of waka, a ship, a rocket, a tanker or any type of , a hospital, a school or a fire station.
  • Share books about building huts — for example, Sally’s Secret by Shirley Hughes

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Te hanga mahau Building huts
Kaipuke tiora Pirate ship
Kei roto In
Kei waho Out
Kei raro Under
Kei runga On
Kei muri Behind
Kei mua In front
Ma roto Through
Waihotia te papa ki runga i te pouaka nui Put the plank on the big box
Kei raro i te rākau Under the tree
Kei runga i te kaupeka te paraikete The blanket is on the branch