Find resources / Activities / Making Huts — Ngā mahau Activity

Give your tamariki space to make huts around the house using whatever materials available.

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 whare, 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

Building huts

Te hanga mahau

Table

Tēpu

Chair

Tūru

Couch

Hōpa

Cushion

Kuihana

Blanket

Paraikete

Curtain

Ārai

Sheet

Hīti

Pole

Pou

Flag

Haki

Sack

Pēke

Plank

Papa

Branch

Kaupeka

Fort

Ship

Kaipuke

Pirate ship

Kaipuke tiora

Space ship

Waka ātea

In

Kei roto

Out

Kei waho

Under

Kei raro

On

Kei runga

Behind

Kei muri

In front

Kei mua

Through

Ma roto

Put the plank on the big box

Waihotia te papa ki runga i te pouaka nui

Under the tree

Kei raro i te rākau

The blanket is on the branch

Kei runga i te kaupeka te paraikete