Why do it?

  • Young children and whānau enjoy sharing songs together.
  • Waiata and rhymes are great for building a child’s memory and confidence.
  • Experiences with rhythm and rhyme help promote language development.
  • Singing and using actions at the same time is a complex activity and involves different parts of the brain. This means rich learning happens when children are enjoying waiata-a-ringa (action songs).
  • Singing is fun.

How to do it

Look through the Whakatipu booklets for waiata to enjoy.

  • Te Kōhuri 3, page 21 — Haere, haere, hikoi haere
  • Te Kōhuri 2, page 9 — Mā is white
  • Te Kōhuri 2, page 21 — Tahi is one
  • Te Pihinga 1, page 33 — Mēnā harikoa koe

Search for these other songs from the collection of rhymes and songs on this website. Follow the actions or make up your own.  

  • Here is the beehive
  • Ring around the rosy
  • Three little monkeys
  • Row row row your boat
  • Sa-vali-valiI
  • I’m a little teapot
  • If you’re happy
  • Humpty dumpty.

Using more te reo Māori

Waiata mai Sing to me
Whakarongo mai Listen to me
Ūngeri Rhythm
Kanikani Dance
Pakipaki Clap hands
Hurihuri Turn around
Takahia Stamp feet
Waiata ā-ringa Action songs
E oma Run
E noho Sit
E peke Jump
E huri Turn
E piu Skip
Titiro Look
E tū Stand
E kata Laugh
Huri atu Turn away
Huri mai Turn to me
Ngahau Entertainment, dance
Rēhia Pleasure, amusement