The 12 pictures on the poster show easy ways to build a strong relationship between whānau and pēpi up until around 2 years.

A loving relationship is the key to laying a healthy foundation for all future learning. It ensures a baby has a strong, positive emotional basis to build on, and helps in the wiring of a strong brain.

Through simple, everyday interactions, babies’ brain cells can be stimulated to connect into neural pathways. And by repeating the interactions, the pathways in the brain are strengthened.

The 12 pictures on the wall frieze show easy ways to build a strong, loving relationship between whānau and pēpi.

Image of the Tākai baby wall frieze
Image of the Tākai baby wall frieze

Order free copies of the baby wall frieze(external link)

Most of the pictures are relevant at any time during the first 2 years, or even longer.

So, what are the pēpi in the poster trying to tell us?

Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau – Tell me you love me

  • If I’m crying and you try to comfort me, I learn to trust you (and other adults) and my world.
  • When you hold me and feed me, I learn to trust you and my world.
  • When you sing to me and rock me gently, I learn to trust you and my world.

Tell me you love me

Waiata mai – Sing to me

  • I like the words, the tune, the rhythm, the movement and the repetition.
  • Did you know that singing releases endorphins (‘feel good’ hormones)?
  • Singing helps me learn language, it helps my memory, I learn about our culture and I learn about rhythm and patterns. I learn best when I’m interested and when you make my life interesting.

Sing to me

Tāruatia taku reo – Copy my sounds

  • When I talk to you and then you talk to me, I know we belong together.
  • I learn that people take turns when they’re talking. You’re teaching me about conversations.
  • My brain makes connections for language best when we talk face-to-face.

Copy my sounds

Pānuitia taku tino kōrero, anō, anō – Read my favourite story again and again

  • I love it when you hold me and we read a book — I hear your voice, I feel you close and we share the story together.
  • I like hearing my favourite story over and over, because I know how it goes and I like how it’s the same every time you read it.
  • Connections in my brain for understanding language work better when I see the pictures and hear you talk about them at the same time.

Read my favourite story again and again

Kōrerotia mai mō taku whakahirahira – Tell me I’m wonderful

  • At birth, my brain prefers the sound of human voices above all other sounds, and I can recognise voices I heard when I was in the womb — I’ve made connections for that before I was born.
  • When you gaze at me and I gaze at you, I know I’m loved.
  • When I hear your voice talking softly to me, I know you’re near and I feel safe.
  • When you tell me I’m wonderful, I feel wonderful and I think our world is all right.

Tell me I’m wonderful | Tākai

Whakarongo mai – Listen to me

  • I try to tell you how I’m feeling using my face, my body, my cries and other sounds.
  • When you keep trying to understand what I’m trying to tell you, I feel okay about who I am.
  • If I cry, I need you to try to fix something.
  • When you respond lovingly to me, it helps my brain make connections for handling my emotions, and I learn to trust my world.

Listen to me

Homai ngā mea hei tākaro māku – Give me things to play with

  • Whenever I’m playing, I’m learning.
  • My brain gets information as I explore things with my senses. I learn a lot in my first year about what things are by putting them in my mouth.

Give me things to play with

Tukuna ahau kia mahi, kia mōhio ai ahau me pēhea te ako – Let me do things over and over again

  • Repeating experiences makes those pathways in my brain stronger.
  • Because of all those new connections my brain is making, it’s growing bigger.

Let me do things over and over again

Whakarangatiratia ahau – Make me feel special

  • I need to know that someone loves me, no matter what.
  • If I’ve learned to trust my world, I will be much more curious and confident to explore.
  • Stress is toxic to my brain, because stress hormones can destroy the connections I’ve made.

Make me feel special

Kōrero mai mō tō tātou whānau – Teach me about our family

  • Then I know I am not alone.
  • I learn best from the people who love and care about me – I’ve learned to trust them.
  • When I’m born, I can easily learn 2 or more languages – as long as I hear them spoken to me regularly.

Teach me about our family

E aroha ana ahau ki te ako – I love to learn

  • Everything I see, hear, smell, touch and taste helps my brain cells to connect into pathways.
  • At birth, my brain is unfinished. It needs lots of input from my world to connect and develop.

I love to learn

Ka taea au ki te mātakitaki – I can watch

  • I’ll copy what I see you do and what I hear you say.
  • Much of my learning comes from what I see.
  • By 12 months, my eyes, my hands and my brain are working together, and I can see as well as most grown-ups.

I can watch

Helpful resources for whānau