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Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.


21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Our Easter ritual



There are many things I love about Mairtown, one of them being how there is always something special to look forward to.  Last week kindergarten was a hive of activity and excitement with the build up to Easter.  Over the years making decorative Easter eggs has become one of those special rituals.

 















It is wonderful how our older tamariki often remember and ask if we are going to be making Easter eggs again this year.  What’s really special is when the older children explain to their younger or new e hoa what they remember and share about their egg making experiences.


Rituals play an important role in society.  Rituals remind us of what is important and provide a sense of stability and continuity in our lives.  (Cathy Stucker, 2009)


 
Our Easter egg tree ritual started when a past German family introduced the concept to us several years ago.  The creation of the eggs is a process that requires several steps over many days, which is great as it offers children the opportunity to revisit their work through to completion. 



 
 

The first step of the process was to mix the papier-mâché then form it into egg shapes.  This was a very sticky job, however there were plenty of smiles as they all looked happy with their work.
 
 

This process requires lots of patience as the eggs can take a while to dry (particularly with our rainy Northland days).  Once the papier-mâché was dry we set about painting the eggs with a base of colour. 



The next step always seems to be our children’s favourite part as this is when we use the gold or silver pens and coloured sequins to decorate the eggs with stunning details.
 









 
Our Easter egg tree ritual was inspired by a previous family’s German connections. Now we have another family who originate from Germany and who also celebrate Easter by decorating trees with eggs.  It was lovely to talk to Maximilian’s family, who shared the special significance of having an Easter tree and what it means to them.  Maximilian brought in an egg from home to show an example of how they had decorated it, making these connections in such a meaningful way supports their sense of belonging.








 

The finished products are gorgeous indeed and I hope they beautified our children’s homes over Easter. 
 

















 
Mā te wā
Susie

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Wheel-A-Thon 2016


There are many aspects of my work that I love, yet I feel truly privileged and fortunate when I am able to spend time with the families and friends of the children I work alongside. In early childhood education we are especially blessed, as we recognise the importance and value for everyone, when children, whānau and teachers enter into trustful and sustained relationships, and for us at Mairtown our families also recognise this.

Family involvement makes a difference…the family seems to be the most effective…system for fostering and sustaining the child’s development.  Urie Bronfenbrener

Of course, family participation happens everyday at Mairtown, but a true reminder of just how wonderful our whānau and community are in supporting their children was our yearly wheel-a-thon last week. The wheel-a-thon is a very special time for us, a time when family, children, teachers, past (and soon to be present) pupils come together in a wonderfully fun community event.



Although the wheel-a-thon began life several years ago as a fundraiser for Mairtown, it has become a bit of a ritual, something we all look forward to each year. The support and turn out this year was the highest I have ever seen. It was fabulous to see all the effort families had gone to in decorating bikes and scooters, to notice how many friends of children attended, and to see whānau catching up with each other and enjoying each others company.






"Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches." Wanda Hope Carter


Of course after the event, back at kindergarten, the children have been doing lots of talking (and drawing) about their evening. For instance, Nika told us she liked riding her bike best, Pippa.L. said her favourite part was ‘when we lined up and the ice blocks’ while Alex told us all that ‘bringing my tool box’ was his favourite part.

Through this drawing Aurelia tells us, 'This is me and my sister at the wheel-a-thon. We have pink bikes, we had flowers on the bikes.



Whilst Danielia explains, 'This is me on my bike, I went really fast. I goes that way and round and round and round'.


And as a reminder to my earlier comments about our wonderful whānau contributing to our programme at Mairtown, many have also left us some great comments that we can share.
‘It was such a beautiful event. Love seeing the Mairtown kindergarten community coming together…was cool to hang out with other parents and see the kids outside kindy…love it! Well organised and got some great photos – especially of a proud little girl with her medal…we had a wonderful time.’



This year the money raised from the wheel-a-thon is going to buy resources for kindergarten including a new set of ukuleles. It will be marvelous for the children to know that it was their hard work along with the support and dedication from their families, that will enable these new instruments to be enjoyed by so many, and for years to come.



Thank you once again for everyone’s support. Extra big thank you’s have to go to those people who helped with the jobs of chopping onions, preparing bread, transporting the BBQ, cooking the sausage sizzle, taking great photos and for the donation of the sausages – thank you!


Here is a little video clip of some of the photos we captured:



Until next time,
Christine





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