Exercise your body and mind

Coronavirus Rhapsody

Legendary rock band Queen had its number 1 hit Bohemian Rhapsody parodied in these COVID challenged times. At Play Learn Grow ECE we enjoy teaching through music and for some light hearted relief we enjoy Coronavirus Rhapsody:

We miss you all so much. Kia haumaru te mahi (play it safe) whānau. Keep well, keep watching our daily emails and this blog for tips on how to engage with your pre-schoolers this lockdown.

Kia kaha whānau from your community team at Play Learn Grow Early Childcare Education Centre.

Benefits of keeping our tamariki active

If you think about it, our tamariki are very active. They are always running, jumping, dancing, and moving about all of the time. Keeping them active now while they’re young and doing fun workouts and games, there is a high chance that they will continue to include this in their day to day routine as they grow older.

There are so many games, dances, and workouts that you can partake in and learn to love. The benefits of keeping active are bountiful. It helps strengthen our tamariki hearts, lungs and brain. It can also help strengthen their muscles which help support their joints and improve their metabolism. Staying active on a daily basis can improve the strength of their bones. The more active they get, the more that helps them keep their balance and stops the tamariki from falling over. It helps build their immune system so they get sick less often. It also great for keeping their brain sharp and onto it by helping control their behaviour more and maintains their memory. It helps expands their attention span and learn better through out the day. Tamariki will be able to get a better nights sleep that can really benefit them with functioning better, be a lot calmer and controls their moods and help with the development of their brain. This is will help increase their confidence, even if they’re not the athletic type and will encourage them to keep active with and alongside others. Below I have attached some links to YouTube for dances  that you can also do with your tamaiti and a photo of a workout for our tamariki, that you can join alongside your tamaiti/tamariki. If you can please take a photo or a video of you doing it together or just your tamaiti (child) doing it and send it in to us. We would love to see it.

Song to learn your vowels

Many of our wonderful children have challenges initially at memorising the vowels in the alphabet. We teach a number of techniques to supplement handwriting them, and one is the A E I O U song:

There are some special letters
And vowels are there name-oh
A – E – I – O – U
A – E – I – O – U
A – E – I – O – U
And sometimes y!

Play Learn Grow early childcare education centre

Try this rhyme at to help progress your kids with numeracy and song. Your manaaki (care and support) helps the partnership with the kaiako (teachers) at Play Learn Grow early childcare education centre to give these future stars, the very best start with their education. Try singing this to the tune of B-I-N-G-O!

Mā te wā, from your loving educators at Play Learn Grow ECE Centre

Fun things to do during the school holidays

Usually during the school holidays, money is tight especially having all the tamariki home with you. There are plenty of things throughout Auckland to help entertain the kids and have an awesome Whanau day out. There are multiple beautiful nature walks all over Auckland and ones that have stunning waterfalls that you can swim in and cool off after a nice walk.  

We have our Museum in the Auckland Domain in Parnell. Where you can go for free if you are living in Auckland, just make sure you have something with your name and address with you for proof. It is a great place for you and your whanau to take part in exploring the different areas they have available there. The tamariki will have a variety of activities that will keep them occupied and have them confidently develop an understanding of the world around them by exploring the history, cultures, the arts, science and the environment. 

We have Western Springs in Point Chevalier where you can go for free and ride your bikes or scooters around the park, feed the ducks, play on the playground, go for a nice walk along the lakes and enjoy watching the ducks and swans swim and enjoy their environment. You could also pack a picnic and make the most of your time there.  

We have some beautiful beaches and water parks that you can make the most of the sun and the water. As well as some awesome playgrounds all around Auckland. In Avondale, there is a bike track where you can take your tamariki to learn to ride their bikes or just go along for fun and play on the tracks.  

A few of our local parks in West Auckland have groups of whanau who hide some rocks they have painted and hide them waiting for the next person or whanau to come along and find them. Once you find them, you collect them and then find somewhere else to hide them and take a photo and upload your photo to their Facebook page (Westie Rocks).  

I hope these are some ideas that you can enjoy with your whanau during these school holidays. Feel free to send through some photos to share with us, so your tamariki can share what an awesome time they’ve had with you.  

Building positive relationships with peers and kaiako music and movement and benefits of free play.


Te Whariki  

Well Being| Mana atua  

The health and wellbeing of the childcare protected and nurtured 

Ko tenei te whakatipuranga o te tamaiti I roto orange nui, runga hoki I tona mana Motuhake, mana atuatanga. 

Kaiako anticipate tamariki needs for comfort and positive feelings in an environment that is calm, friendly, intimate, has warm interactions and also open communications. There are small steps to nurturing positive relationships. It is not an easy task and requires consistency, commitment alongside, with their Whanau to this process.  

 Ideas for Kaiako to strengthen positive relationships. 

  • Build positive relationships based on a foundation of trust and respect. Trust is earned gradually through persistence to do everything in your power to help with Tamariki especially difficult Tamariki, who needs massive amounts of support, attention and caring. 
  • Tamariki rights by acknowledging feelings and individuality taking Tamariki fears, and concerns seriously, and responding sensitively. 
  • Demonstrating caring Kaiako to role modelling important positive social relationship skills 
  • Flexibility in Kaiako’s routineto help settle young/ transitional Tamariki in a comfortable setting. 
  • Kaiako allow tamariki  to make choices to exercise the freedom to say no in appropriate ways to show tamariki Kaiako respects their rights 
  • Kaiako making play more effective, surprise tamariki when they arrive by wearing funny hats, costumes, wigs. The playfulness serves to keep all tamariki engaged and motivated so that they continue to be happy, safe to belong at Play Learn Grow Ece. 

 Ideas to promote positive relationships with peers through music and movement and benefits free play, 

  • This Respect is essential of developing a positive trusting relationship therefore Tamariki and their peers will have the freedom to explore the activities that are offered with an increase in independence, communications, takes risk, engage with wide range of free play both inside and outside, enjoy movement to freely sing out loud, and fun dancing to music, with the support of Kaiako. 
  • Tamariki -directed play with peers and Kaiako, to be engage in play activities instead of Kaiako in charge of what tamariki and peers must do, and tamariki with kaiako all have fun together. In this situation, the Kaiako will follow the tamariki lead. This shows reciprocity, and cooperation. It is important to remember that tamariki and their peers learn through play. Therefore, extended learning will be implemented to try out ideas, take risks, try on different roles, share feelings, and be intimate, also provides a safe context for tamariki to learn. 
  • Positive Actions To Show Tamariki You Care By: 
  • Giving them a personal greeting each day when they arrive and go home 
  • Asking about their life outside of school e g. Who helped you get ready this morning? 
  • Spend time playing with them during free play or play their favorite song e.g. baby shark dance with them have lots of fun. 
  • Getting to know their parents and report their tamariki accomplishments. 
  • Listening to them 
  • Recognizing birthdays 
  • Positive Actions To Show Tamariki You Believe IThem By: 
  • Positive self-talk  
  • Communicating your beliefs that they can succeed 
  • Helping tamariki to appreciate special talents 
  • Following their lead, listening carefully to their ideas 
  • Positive Actions To Show You Trust Them By: 
  • Inviting tamariki to help with daily tasks 
  • Encouraging playing nicely 
  • Encouraging tamariki to help each other 

Kaiako, remember to stay positive! stay calm, and be patient. 

Fun with Music

At Play Learn Grow early childcare we pride ourselves in teaching children in a wide variety of areas. This includes music. The fun we can have with music is amazing. Music provides all areas of child development including skills for school readiness, including:
Social-emotional (mental wellbeing),
language, and
overall literacy.
It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words.
There are so many different genres of music and types of instruments. I love the ukelele for its versatility. One of my favourites is part-Samoan and part-Hawaiian ukelele artist Taimane. She started playing the ukelele at just five.
Check her out in this youtube video below Led Zeppelin meets Beethoven:

Then fitness is very important for everyone to clear the mind, release positive endorphins, feel happier and bull a few calories. So why not dance inside to happy songs like Can’t Stop This Feeling by Justin Timberlake, featuring cameos from New Zealand’s own comedian Rhys Darby (Flight of the Concords), and Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect movies and Cups song). It was in the hit family movie Trolls:

Is Yoga Just for Adults?

I have been practising Yoga for years and I have found that Yoga helps me a lots with gaining a peaceful state of mind, improving flexibility and balance, strengthening my core and muscles. Since my first year of teaching, I have been introducing Yoga to children with different age groups, and trust me, they are loving it.

How does Yoga benefits children?

Yoga is a magic trick to clam a roomful of children down especially in the rainy days when they are not able to run outside. It provides a physical outlet for children to express themselves in a way that is mindful and calm. By going through different Yoga poses in a slow pace that combined with simple breathing exercises, children learn to be in the present moment, stay concentrated, gain a sense of calmness and relaxation. These skills ultimately improve children’s emotional regulation and anxiety management once they master the techniques of relaxing the body and reducing stress.

Yoga also has positive impact on children’s physical development. It helps children learn about their bodies and increase their body awareness. It builds physical strength by encouraging children to use muscles in new ways. It improves coordination, balance and flexibility and this will help to build self-esteem and confidence in and control of their bodies.

Can Yoga be fun?

The answer is YES. An effective way is to print out different yoga pose cards and empower the children to observe the body movement and choose the poses they like to do. Encouraging children to use their imagination such as standing tall like a big tree, stretching like a dog, balancing like a flamingo and breathing like a bunny.


Another fun and simple way is to use a Yoga dice so that the children can take turns to pick a yoga pose. It only costs four dollars to get it from Kmart and it is fun! I love to stand back as a facilitator rather than a teacher while watching a group of children playing with the dice. One child will take a leading role and the other are learning to cooperate. It is a great opportunity to practise leadership skills, cooperation and social skills.