“Kei te Pehea Koe? How do you feel?”

Have you asked your 4 year old recently how they feel? It is important that as parents and caregivers we are able to help our children identify their feelings and learn to understand there they come from and why.

This is the question our kaiako asked tamariki at mat time in the Tui room. When it came to Maia’s turn, she looked down to the floor and replied with a tiny voice, “I’m feeling sad because I miss my nana.”

“Would you like to have cuddles from me and your friends?” I asked.

Maia nodded her head so all of the other children and I gave her the biggest cuddles. She looked much happier afterward and went back to her seat with a smile on her face.

“Kei te Pehea Koe? How do you feel Maddy?” I spotted Maddy sobbing on the corner. 

“I am feeling frustrated” Maddy replied, half crying.

“Take a deep breath”, Amelia, another four-year-old girl, offered her advice to Maddy.

Maddy breathed in deeply through her nose and then breathed out through her mouth. After taking three deep breaths, she seemed much calmer and was ready to talk about what was happening to her.

In the Tui room, we frequently ask children how do they feel. It is a simple but powerful tool to teach children to identify their feelings and to help them feel they are loved and cared. If someone is feeling down, we then talk about what we can do to make them feel better, such as taking deep breaths, squeezing the stress ball, talking to the teachers or a friend, going for a walk and so on.

Being able to recognise different kinds of feelings is the foundation for emotion-regulation skills, which is one of the most important life skills to teach children. In doing so, the children learn that it is totally OK to feel sad, angry, nervous or frustrated, and there are ways to clam themselves down instead of having a meltdown or losing control over their emotions.

Once children master emotion-regulation skills, they can not only use this knowledge to regulate their feelings, but also are able to support others with empathy and other strategies. Our Tui tamariki have been asking their parents, kaiako and friends, “kei te pehea koe? how do you feel?”, and modeling deep breaths and other techniques to help calm them down.

In the link below there are some recommended books you could read with your 4-year-old/ pre schooler.


The benefits of having a routine

Routines are an important part of our curriculum at Play Learn Grow childcare centre. Each day our meal times, mat times, play time and transitioning to school programme take place roughly about the same time.  The reason our children love to have a routine is because they know what to expect next and this helps their day run smoothly.

Maintaining a regular routine at home will help to create an organised and predictable home environment, which makes children feel secure, calm and gain a sense that they are in control.

When children are following a regular routine, they are learning skills like time management and self-regulation. They are becoming more independent while doing tasks like dressing themselves with less help or supervision from parents. 

Another benefit of having a routine is to build a healthy lifestyle from a very young age. When  children get used to brushing their teeth, exercising regularly, washing their hands before meal times and after using the bathroom, it is very likely that they will maintain these habits into their adult life.

Making a picture routine clock will give young children visual clues which can make it easier for them to follow.  They will enjoy creating a routine clock with parents, contributing their ideas about how their days are going to work. 

Pros to Lockdown

Life doesn’t completely stop when a lockdown occurs if anything it gives us more time with our loved ones in our mini bubbles. Under the restrictions of level 4 and 3 we can find it difficult to keep our bubbles busy and healthy. It is important to keep our minds healthy, and happy during this time and ways to do this is by being busy with our little ones.

What to do during lockdowns with children.

–          Make food/smoothies (bake with your children)

–          Make Te Pees and tents from materials around the home

–          Make a home theatre experience and watch a movie that your child wants to watch

–          Enjoy the fresh air and take walks – visit the (parks) fields and kick a ball around

–          Spend quality time together

–          If you have projects around the home and the child is confident enough to be there alongside, get them involved.

–          Wash the car! Kids love water

–          Do arts and crafts

–          Have a Pj day – on a windy and wet day

–          Remember to stay safe and have fun.

Māori days and months

Tēnā koutou katoa

Haere mai, nau mai, whakatau mai from Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu ECE. Hello, welcome and please be settled at Play Learn Grow Early Childcare Education Centre. We are are proud to deliver the best all round early childcare education for pre-schoolers in West Auckland. It is fun to share and celebrate the beautiful language of te reo māori. As it is Māori Language Week we share further mātauranga (knowledge) with māori days and months.

Days of the week

Ngā Rā o te Wiki

Kupu Arotau (alternative names)






















You can even sing these in a waiata (song). We will next move onto the months of the year. This is a bit trickier, so if your tamariki is struggling, please don’t pressure then or do too much. Feel free to come back later to this useful resource. Learning is meant to be fun!

MonthsNgā MaramaKupu Arotau

Days of the week Ngā Rā o te Wiki Kupu Arotau (alternative names / loan words)
Monday Rāhina Mane
Tuesday Rātū Turei
Wednesday Rāapa Wenerei
Thursday Rāpare Taite
Friday Rāmere Paraire
Saturday Rāhoroi Rāhoroi
Sunday Rātapu Rātapu

Ngā Tau – Māori Numbers with Play Learn Grow ECE

Ngā Tau are the māori numbers. We will give the māori kupu (word), then the number and english word for each number.

tahi1 one
rua2 two
toru3 three
whā4 four
rima5 five
ono6 six
whitu7 seven
waru8 eight
iwa9 nine
tekau10 ten
rau100 hundred
mano1,000 thousand
eword which precedes numbers 2-9 when counting objects
tua-prefix to numbers 1-9 to create ordinal numbers: first, second, third etc.
toko-prefix to numbers 2-9 when counting people

Lets hear from te reo māori master Professor Scotty Morrison on how to pronounce and use ngā tau correctly with these three audio links:

Numbers – Part 1
Numbers – Part 2
Numbers – Part 3

All numbers from 11 and onwards follow a basic pattern. For example to say thirty-seven, simple say toru tekau, which means 30 and then mā whitu, Toru tekau mā whitu (37).

So with Play Learn Grow early childcare education learning the māori numbers is so easy. Know you know that all you need to do is to learn the numbers from 1 – 10 and then the words for 10, 20, 30, 40 and so on.

  • 11 – tekau mā tahi
  • 12 – tekau mā rua
  • 13 – tekau mā toru
  • 14 – tekau mā whā
  • 15 – tekau mā rima
  • 16 – tekau mā ono
  • 17 – tekau mā whitu
  • 18 – tekau mā waru
  • 19 – tekau mā iwa
  • 20 – rua tekau
  • 21 – rua tekau mā tahi
  • 22 – rua tekau mā rua
  • 23 – rua tekau mā toru
  • 30 – toru tekau
  • 40 – whā tekau
  • 50 – rima tekau
  • 60 – ono tekau
  • 70 – whitu tekau
  • 80 – waru tekau
  • 90 – iwa tekau
  • 100 – kotahi rau
  • 101 – kotahi rau tahi
  • 159 – kotahi rau rima tekau mā iwa
  • 200 – rua rau
  • 300 – toru rau
  • 400 – whā rau
  • 500 – rima rau
  • 600 – ono rau
  • 700 – whitu rau
  • 800 – waru rau
  • 900 – iwa rau
  • 1000 – kotahi mano (one thousand)
  • 1993 – kotahi mano, iwa rau, iwa tekau mā toru
  • 2000 – rua mano
  • 2021- rua mano, rua tekau mā tahi
  • 3000 – toru mano
  • 4000 – whā mano
  • 5000 – rima mano
  • 6000 – ono mano
  • 7000 – whitu mano
  • 8000 – waru mano
  • 9000 – iwa mano
  • 10000 – tekau mano
  • 1,000,000 – kotahi miriona (one million)
  • 2,000,000 – rua miriona
  • 1,000,000,000 – tahi piriona (one billion)
Scotty and Stacey Morrison write te reo language book Maori at Home - NZ  Herald
Scott and Stacey Morrison and their tamariki

Te Pū Taka Māori (the Māori alphabet)

At Play Learn Grow early childcare we teach our preschoolers about Te Pū Taka Māori (the Māori alphabet). This gives them the best start when they get to school as well as many years of happy learning. Te Pū Taka Māori consists of 10 consonants and 5 vowels, as opposed to the English alphabet with its 21 consonants and 5 vowels.

In alphabetical order they are

a, e, h, i, k, m, n, ng, o, p, r, t, u, w, wh

There are

five vowels: a, e, i, o, u

ten consonants: h, k, m, n, ng, p, r, t, w, wh

Two of the consonants are digraphs (two letters that combine to form one sound): wh, ng

We acknowledge that there are a number of iwi that have their own different dialects (e.g. Ngai Tahu in the South Island replace ‘ng’ with ‘k’). The focus is on mainstream te reo māori.

Stacey and Scotty Morrison's Māori at Home book an 'up-and-go survival  guide' | Stuff.co.nz
Professor Scott Morrison and Stacey Morrison – Authors of “Māori Made Easy” Books

Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission) have helpfully funded a number of great resources. This includes Professor Scotty Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa iwi), well-known presenter of current affairs programmes Te Karere, Marae, OneNews and numerous other programmes, talking about pronunciation:

Part One (Tahi) on Te Reo Māori Pronunciation with Professor Scott Morrison
Part Two (Rua) on Te Reo Māori Pronunciation with Professor Scott Morrison
Part Three (Toru) on Te Reo Māori Pronunciation with Professor Scott Morrison

Ka rawe (awesome)! Well done on practising your Te Reo Māori pronunciation whānau. We are so proud to share our passion for our beautiful language of Aoteoroa.

Mauri mahi, mauri ora; mauri noho, mauri mate.
Industry begets prosperity (security); idleness begets poverty (insecurity).

This is a great waiata that you can teach your children how the vowels sound in Te Reo Maori

Play Learn Grow Love Māori Language Week

Tēnā koutou katoa

Haere mai, nau mai, whakatau mai. Hello, welcome and please feel settled here at our pre-school centre of excellence. At Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu (Play Learn Grow) early childcare education centre we are proud to celebrate the beautiful language of te reo māori. We have māori kaupapa (values) and whakapapa (ancestry) and identify as a māori organisation. So being Māori Language Week expect to see a few posts and mātauranga (knowledge) māori being shared.

Last year with COVID Play Learn Grow early childcare education centre still participate virtually by submitting mihi (talks) on what Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu (Play Learn Grow) teach about te reo and also tikanga māori. This strengthens the ongoing Māori language movement and helps embed social change across our West Auckland community. Our diverse staff, our quality education and cultural competence are what qualities are our whānau tell us, make us the best early childcare education and daycare centre in West Auckland. We really appreciate this feedback and praise, and drives us to serve you.

This Māori Language Week sees Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu (Play Learn Grow) ECE take part in a world record attempt as we try to set the record for the biggest single, simultaneous celebration of an endangered language on earth. Play Learn Grow early childcare education centre is proud to one of the few daycare centres participating in Māori Language Week, with whaikōrero and the Kohungahunga ko Tākaro Ako Tipu karakia.

Kia kaha te reo Māori. May our language be strong.
Kia kaha Aotearoa. May our country be strong.
Kia ora Aotearoa. May our people be well.