Play is fun and lets tamariki develop their bodies and learn.

All through the Whakatipu booklet Te Kōhuri 1, there are hints that a toddler needs lots of space and time to develop their ‘big muscles’.

On page 3 of the booklet, pēpi says he just can’t stop himself from boogying. Ask the whānau:

  • How does your toddler react to music?

Perhaps you could try the waiata Tohora Nui in the Te Kōhuri 1 booklet (page 9).

Follow the translation of the waiata and create some actions for big whale, long whale, fat whale, spouting out its blowhole, waggling its tail, and swimming in the sea.

Page 8 of the Whakatipu booklet Te Kokuri 1 is about haututu – the playful explorer. It explains how this child is learning through explorations, and that it's up to whānau to keep them safe and to ensure they've got a 'yes' environment to explore in.

Getting tamariki interested in active play

Children need space to run, skip, jump, crawl, roll and play.

Explain to the whānau how active play helps children gain control and awareness of their bodies and to understand space and distance. It’s important that they exercise their big muscles so they can practise running, climbing, jumping, and throwing.

Ask the whānau:

  • What sort of changes are you noticing in your tamaiti in their strength and physical ability?
  • How do you help them ‘let off steam’?
  • What do they like to do with balls?
  • What sort of things do they like to do at the park, beach or playground?
  • What ways have you found to help your toddler safely climb and explore?
  • Have you tried toys that they push or pull along?
  • What does your tamaiti like to do with big empty boxes?
  • How do they deal with steps and stairs? Even kerbs and little steps might be tricky for them.
  • How about crawling, rolling, throwing and kicking?

The key to providing a ‘yes’ environment is to be aware of safety and to keep an eye on their toddler at all times.

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Homai ngā mea hei tākaro māku – give me things to play with 

Six things children need – Te hanga ao tōtika, ao haumaru – structured and secure world 

Helpful resources for whānau