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.

Tracing with leaves

Tracing leaves:

This is a fun art activity you can do with your toddler that doesn’t involve much mess!  All you need are some leaves, paper and crayons.


Collect leaves of various shapes and sizes. You can use fresh leaves or dried fallen ones.


Place a leaf with its bottom side facing up.


Put a sheet of paper, preferably thin or lightweight, over the leaf.


Rub the side of a crayon gently on the area over the leaf.   As you do this, you’ll see the coloured areas start to take the shape of the leaf.


Remove the leaf from under the paper. This completes the basic steps for making a leaf tracing.


Make more leaf tracings using other colours and different leaf shapes.

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.  

Transitioning to Primary school.

Transitioning to Primary school can be a bit scary for both children and parents, but the idea is to make sure that the children are ready. You can make sure that they have a great start by following a few of these tips.

1 – Being independent with their self help skills. One thing that will help your child is making sure that they have great self help skills. This means that they are able to dress and undress themselves. To be able to put their own shoes on, and to know how open their packets or containers that are in their lunch box.

2 – Being able to go to the toilet independently. This also includes being able to wipe themselves, and washing their hands afterwards. This is small, yet with the ratios in the classroom, it helps the teachers when your child is independent and can take themselves off to the toilet without help.

3 – Being able to recognise letters and write their name is also great. The teachers don’t expect children starting school to know how to do this, but if they do, its awesome. Taking ownership of their own work in the classroom is a huge responsibility, however making sure that they write their name on their work is a good way to settle in to the class.

4 – Having good fine motor skills, such as being able to use scissors, is where your child can work independently, following the instructions from their teacher.

5 – Make sure that you have been for some visits, so when your child does start, its not such a foreign concept to them. Having a lot of conversations around school and how fun it will be is also helpful.

Going to your local Primary school is a nice way for your child to meet new friends, in which they will be able to go through their schooling years with familiar faces, which in turn, can build life long friendships!

School can be an anxious time for you both, but it will definitely make the situation easier if you are able to these things.

Fun with Cutting and Collage

Kia ora .
I would love to share an idea that is easy to set up at home and I have seen children enjoying this activity at the centre.

All you will need is old magazines, scissors, glue, paper or small boxes. Encourage your children to tear or cut pieces of images from the magazines and then glue them onto the paper or a small box.

Children can choose their favourite pictures from the magazines, cut them out and then paste them on a card. They will love to arrange the images to create a special pattern. This is called collage painting and children really like doing this. There is lots of learning happening with this activity,
where children are developing skills like cutting, gluing and sticking, being
creative and learning about design, pattern-making, dimension and
If you want to make this activity more challenging, draw a simple pattern like a heart shape, butterfly or a tree. We can make it look interesting by cutting out lots of small pieces and pasting them onto the paper. We need to be more patient for doing this, but it is great to be creative and practise on their attention span, as well as their fine motor skills, such as where to place their pieces of paper.

Don’t worry too much about the end product. It is more about the process and how they got to the end!