Opportunities to repeat experiences help children learn and develop. Increasing physical movement balanced with safety, like kapa haka or action songs are good.

The Tākai baby frieze picture ‘I love to learn’ can refer to just about every part of a child’s life. Small children grow quickly and learn a lot about many different areas of life.

Repetition for strong brain connections

Repetition is key to learning and development. Whether it’s learning language, problem-solving or social skills, each area is strengthened through opportunities to repeat experiences.

Bigger muscles

One area of development whānau will notice most is a child’s motor skills (muscle) development — their ability to move, and to ‘get up and go’.

In the Tākai Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 3 (page 3), under ‘What’s happening’, pēpi says: ‘I’ll be moving freely, maybe crawling, pulling myself to stand, walking holding onto things – furniture, people!’

Ask whānau:

  • What stage of independent movement is your child at?
  • What does that mean for what they can reach and find?
  • What can they learn about now that they couldn’t a few weeks ago?
  • What might that mean for safety in and around your home?
  • Do you need to move some things for your child’s safety?

Exploration and safety

On page 3 it also says, ‘I might be walking without help. I like to get in and around things. Crawling under tables and chairs, getting into boxes and anywhere I see an opening.’

  • Is your child showing signs of exploring?
  • What difference might this make for your family?
  • What does it mean for you?

Help whānau to think about ways for their child to enjoy moving and learning but still keep safe.

Kapa haka – a rich learning experience

Pages 19 and 20 talk about the many benefits gained through participation in kapa haka. There are repeated opportunities to sing, copy movements, keep a beat, use te reo Māori, co-operate and listen to others.

Toddlers may be too young to be an official member of a kapa haka group, but they’re always watching and listening. When others perform haka or action songs, whether in person or on TV, children may try to copy what they see and hear.

  • What have you seen your child copying?
  • How did you feel about that?

Look at the cartoon on pages 24 and 25 together with the whānau, which illustrates the idea of copying.

Finding opportunities and inspiration to move

Help whānau brainstorm ways to increase their child’s opportunities to enjoy moving to music.

There are many examples of little children dancing, running, climbing and grooving to music on YouTube and Facebook.

Gather and share the details of local opportunities for music and movement groups that parents might be interested in.

  • What does your child do when you and other members of the whānau dance around to your favourite music?
  • How could you increase opportunities for them to participate in music and movement?

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Waiata mai – Sing to me

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

Helpful resources for whānau