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Tākai resources you can use with whānau to explore play and learning with their child.

Playing is a child’s ‘work’ – it’s how they learn, and it’s important for their brain development.

The value of love and time together

In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 3 on page 23, ‘Love and warmth’ reminds whānau of the value in ‘sharing lots of love and time with our tamaiti, playing, talking, reading, singing and having fun together’.

Some other places in Te Pihinga 3 to explore with whānau are:

  • Page 4 — ‘Pēpi says: When I want something, I let my whānau know by pointing to it and they watch me and work out what I want.’
  • Page 8 — ‘Te hinengaro mīharo: Baby’s experiences build new connections in their brain. These become memories. The more positive the experiences, the happier the memories.’
  • Page 10 — ‘Ngā mahi a pēpi: Let pēpi take the lead when you read pukapuka together.’
  • Page 16 — ‘Pēpi says: I love playing in my own home, it makes me feel safe. My whānau know that playing and lots of love is exactly what my brain and wairua need.’
  • Page 17 — ‘Whānau say: We try and make playing together a regular part of every day.’
  • Page 20 — ‘Kaitiaki pēpi: Try and learn a haka with your pēpi now. It’s amazing what they already know.’
  • Page 21 — ‘Te hinengaro mīharo: Their brain will process information better if they feel safe and secure.’
  • Page 21 – ‘Waiata kōhungahunga: Through this interest in watching and copying other people pēpi learns so much. Encourage this by giving them lots of opportunities to see, hear and join in waiata-ā-ringa, poi, and haka.’

Connecting through positivity and activity

The Thinking about Parenting booklet, page 6, reminds parents to focus on the positive: ‘Try and say five positive things for every negative one!’

In the World of Under-fives booklet, the messages on pages 4 and 6 encourage parents to use everyday activities to connect with their children.

  • ‘Try to do something they like with them every day’ (page 4).
  • ‘Involve them in what you’re doing. Ask them to hand you the pegs, or get the mail’ (page 6).

Ask whānau:

  • How do these ideas match your child’s behaviour at the moment?
  • What changes have you noticed?
  • Why do you think that’s happening?
  • How has this affected you and your whānau?
  • What new things are you seeing your child do recently?
  • How do they respond to your involvement with them?
  • What sort of things do you think you could try to encourage their play?
  • What times with your child have been exciting, fun or made you celebrate?
  • Have you had challenges with your child?
  • What would you like to talk about?
  • What more would you like to find out about?

Helpful resources for whānau