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Children start to develop memory. They understand how things are done through simple steps. Whānau can do a lot around the house to support this.

At this stage, children are developing their memory and a sense of past, present and future. Memory for ‘process’ or how things are done happens in very simple, everyday ways for young children.

On page 15 of the Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kōhuri 2', Pēpi says: ‘Actually, I am starting to remember more and more things, like taking my shoes off when I go inside a whare. I put them nicely with all the other shoes. But sometimes when we have kai, I forget to wait for karakia.’

Ask the whānau:

  • What things has your child learned that are similar to this?
  • What tikanga do you practise in your home?





Steps in a process

On page 15 of the Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kōhuri 2', Pēpi says: ‘I am starting to understand about things called 'processes'… like, how to make a sandwich. First, I open up the fried bread, then put the jam inside, close it and eat it. It’s so yummy.’

Ask whānau to think of the steps you take when you all get ready to go out, or something else that happens regularly.

  • How do you think your child learns those things?
  • How do you help?
  • What more might you do to help the learning?

We all need help to learn how new things are done.

  • How do you learn new things best?

Talking through the steps that make up the process can help little ones. For example, we could say ‘First we’ll do … such and such … and then we’ll … and last of all … Now we’re ready.’

After a few repeats, parents might ask ‘What shall we do first? … then what? ... then what do we need? … what should we do next?’

On page 18 of the Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kōhuri 2', Whānau say: ‘We can help her to learn about processes, transformation and change by explaining what we are doing. Allowing her to help when we make fried bread or biscuits, or helping to gather puha, cleaning it and then cooking it.’


Learning can be firmed up by talking about events afterwards. That strengthens the memory for everyone. For example, ‘What did we do first? … what happened next? … what did we need to do to make it ready?’

Page 19 of the Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kōhuri 2' explains that the best way for pēpi to learn about concepts is to involve him in everyday activities.

‘Can you help me with the washing? Let’s start by getting all the dirty clothes … then we need to sort it into whites and coloured, or clothes and towels … can you put them in the washing machine? Put in the washing powder, and so on.’

Developing memory

Page 20 of the Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kōhuri 2' outlines how talking to pēpi about what he sees, hears and smells helps him to remember things. Here’s an example: ‘Let’s do some baking. First we need a recipe so we know what to do and in what order. Let’s see what we need.’

There’s a lot of learning to do, and there are lots of different games that can help develop memory.

Some memory games are suggested on page 22 of the Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kōhuri 3', Ngā mahi a pēpi.

Children love having their favourite story books read to them. And if we try to change anything or miss something out, we soon find out they have memorised the order of the story.