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 dumpt

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Waiata mai Sing to me
Whakarongo mai Listen to me
Turn around
To stamp your foot
Action songs
E oma Run
E noho Sit
E peke Jump
E huri Turn
E piu Skip
E tū Stand up
E kata Laugh
Huri atu Turn away
Huri mai Turn to me
Entertainment, dance
Pleasure, amusement