Water play promotes curiosity, language acquisition, fine and gross motor development, communication skills and eye-hand coordination. As tamariki explore outdoors they learn about science and maths and their connection to the world is strengthened.
Why do it?
Playing with and in water is a great way for tamariki to:
- participate safely in an activity that can be enjoyed in a variety of places by a range of whānau members of different ages
- enjoy being outside with whānau at the beach, river or lake, which is sure to be a rich sensory experience that they will remember vividly
- participate in and learn about traditional practices with whānau
- strengthen language by expanding vocabulary, asking and answering questions, and sharing and discussing ideas
- build their physical fitness and strength at the same time as their skills and confidence.
How to do it
- Ensure tamariki are always safe when playing near or with water, through careful supervision.
- Involve tamariki in the whānau tikanga tikanga Correct procedure, custom, protocol Maori | Noun for the moana moana Sea, ocean, large lake Maori | Noun , awa awa River, stream, creek Maori | Noun and ngahere ngahere Bush, forest Maori | Noun , especially where safety is concerned.
- Talk about what tamariki show an interest in and what you are both doing together.
- Explore rock pools and talk about the different children of Tangaroa Tangaroa Atua (god) of the sea and fish Maori | Personal name who live there.
- Paddle in the shallow waters at the beach, chasing the waves in and running away from them as they return again.
- Build sand banks to create small pools or to direct the flow of the water. Float or race sticks or seaweed along your water track.
- Show tamariki how to skim stones across the surface of the water.
- Help tamariki develop their rich language by using open-ended questions that start with ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Using more reo Māori
|Te reo Māori||English|
|Tātahi tātahi The beach, seaside, riverside - a location word, or locative, which follows immediately after particles such as ki, i, hei and kei. Used when referring to the beach from an inland perspective. (Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 15-16;) Maori | Location||Beach|
|Tai tai Tide, sea - used as a noun. Maori | Noun||Tide|
|Ngaru ngaru Wave (of the sea), corrugation Maori | Noun||Wave|
|Kōhatu kōhatu Stone, rock Maori | Noun||Stone|
|Mākohakoha mākohakoha Smooth. Maori | Modifier||Smooth|
|Taratara taratara To be prickly, spiky, rough, coarse Maori | Verb||Rough|
|Kirikiri kirikiri Sand Maori | Noun||Sand|
|Karoro karoro Seagull, southern black-backed gull, Larus dominicanus - a common large gull with a heavy bill. Body plumage entirely white except for wings and back which are black above. Bill is yellow, eyelid orange-red and iris white. Legs and feet are olive. Young bird in its first winter has a black bill, dark brown feet and is mottled below and barred above grey and brown (see illustration) Maori | Noun||Seagull|
|Angaanga angaanga Shell Maori | Noun||Shell|
|Kai moana kai moana Seafood, shellfish Maori | Noun||Sea food|
|Ika ika Fish, marine animal, aquatic animal - any creature that swims in fresh or salt water including marine mammals such as whales Maori | Noun||Fish|
|Pātangaroa pātangaroa Starfish, sea star - a general term Maori | Noun||Starfish|
|Rimurimu rimurimu Seaweed - a general term Maori | Noun||Seaweed|
|Kina kina Sea egg, common sea urchin Maori | Noun||Sea egg|
|Pāpaka pāpaka Paddle crab, swimming crab, Ovalipes catharus - a large strong crab with brownish-grey shell and legs. Common on shallow, sandy beaches Maori | Noun||Crabs|
|Mātaitai mātaitai To be brackish, tasting of salt, salty Maori | Verb||Salty|
|E haere ana mātou ki te tātahi ki te kohi kai moana||We’re going to the beach to get seafood|
|Nāku i kite ētahi angaanga||I found some shells|
|Awa awa River, stream, creek Maori | Noun||River|
|Ākau ākau Shore, coast, rocky coast, bank of a river or stream Maori | Noun||Stream|
|Manga manga Branch (of a river or tree), bough, creek, watercourse, ditch, drain Maori | Noun||Creek|
|Hōpua hōpua Pool of water, swimming pool, diving pool, puddle Maori | Noun||Pool|
|Taha taha Side Maori | Noun||Side|
|Māniania māniania Slippery Maori | Modifier||Slippery|
|Whakaretiretitia whakaretiretitia To slide, ski, surf Maori | Verb||To slide, slide down|
|Pāpaku pāpaku To be shallow, low Maori | Verb||Low|
|E noho ki roto i te wai pāpaku||Stay in shallow water|