Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Thursday, July 31, 2008


The courses we attended in the holidays went well, I brought back lots of great ideas from the week long one in Auckland, and found a cool new free art program for children at the two day one in Napier (plus saw children using it on interactive whiteboards in Auckland).
Check out ArtRage2 (starter edition) at
It's a New Zealand programme.
While you're checking artrage 2 out you might like to search for software avaliable on line at
This is a government education site that'll search you out lots of cool stuff.

One of the new ideas I brought back that we're keen to try is to put up our children's art onto the blog. There's lots of wall space on the web.

Another idea is making movies, already one family has taken the video camera home and a short dvd about riding a bike without training wheels has been produced.

Then following on from the bike movie, one of the children watching it talked to me about making a fairytopia dvd, so together we made up a story board drawing pictures to represent her story, then I improvised a script for her and her volunteer actors as they acted it out. Add in some editing and we had our own fairy movie.
Maybe we'll make costumes and re shot it, maybe the children will create their own scripts and more movies, who can tell what will happen as we get more experienced.

We also recorded onto DVD some of the great thinking going on as a group of children set out to catch a mouse they had decided was under the shed and various other places.

If you're wondering about browsign the web with children (never a good idea to push the next blog button I'm told) go to, this is a non profit group doing great stuff.

If you're wondering what other kindergartens do check out, they where one of New Zealand's first kindergartens to blog and they also have some advise about safe blogging.

safe blogging everyone and remember to post a comment!

Tricky the clown

Hopefully you will have heard our kindergarten association is celebrating it's 80th birthday this year. As part of the celebrations Tricky the clown has been visiting all the kindergartens.

Here he is when he came on Monday, put on his clown suit and taught us to juggle, (well done Adele) and played some tricks on us.

The associations wasn't the only birthday we celebrated so Claire got a lovely present as well.

visit ricks website at or email him at rick @ (you'll need to take out the spaces.)

Te wiki o te reo Mäori

Tënä koutou e hoa mä, as last week was Te wiki o te reo Mäori I thought I’d add a quick pronunciation guide to the blog. It should be fairly accurate as I’ve borrowed most of it from the NZEI building the Reo series.
Each word in broken into syllables, each syllable ends after the vowel
So Köhungahunga
Is ko-hu-nga-hu-nga.
Ko-as in core
Hu as in hoo
Nga as in singah
Hu as in hoo
Nga as in singah

Try and catch repeating syllable combinations as this can help your pronunciation, in this case, hunga-hunga.

The macron above a vowel eg ö indicates it’s a long vowel with an extended sound.

Here’s some common sounds, unless a part is underlined it’s said as if for the whole word.

Ra as in rah
Re as in rare
Ru as in roo
Ri as in Regard
Ro as in raw

Ta as in tar
Ti as in tea
Te as in tear
To as in tore
Tu as in too

Ka as in car
Ko as in core
Ku as in koo
Ki as in key
Ke as in care

Me as in men
Ma as in mah
Mo as in maw
Mi as in me
Mu as in moo

Ha as in hah
He as in hear
Hu as in hoo
Hi as in he
Ho as in haw

Ö as in or
E as in air
A as in ah
I as in ee
U as in oo

Nga as in singah
Wha as in far
Hea as in hair
Täu as in toe
Kau as in co
Nei as in neigh

And some phrases

E hia ö matimati? –How many fingers/toes/digits (matimati) do you have?
Tekau ö matimati – You’ve got ten fingers
He tekau nga matimati ahau –I have 10 fingers (my own phrasing)
Me kaute täua ke te tekau – Let’s count to ten


You might like to visit
Or an online dictionary and phrase guide.

Have fun and enjoy te reo Mäori

Friday, July 4, 2008

Roastie Warm

After our Matariki feast Adrianne was really keen to do a roast dinner to mark the end of term two.

What a great idea.

The children glazed the leg of lamb, cut potatoes, carrots and kumara, prepared peas, silver beet and fruit kebabs for dessert.

A debate broke out between two of the boys on whether or not to keep the white bit on the silver beet.

"you eat it all"

"No you don't you cut the white bit out."

Then Adrianne roasted some potatoes and mashed others for variety.

One of our dads accepted the open invitation to join us much to his daughter's delight. "It was all she could talk about," said mum. Remember you're all welcome.

Having helped prepared it we were really impressed with how well the children all ate it, even reluctant children were prepared to give new things a try.

Naturally Adrianne recycled the scraps and the worms got a good feed too. Must be some good vermajuice there now, as we've made the second story.

Adrianne is keen to continue with the special dinners once a term, with different ideas each time. So far it's been international food, Matariki and roastie warm, what will be next? If you have an idea remember to share it with us

Fire and Ice

Last Thursday we had a real downpour at 2:31, torrential rain followed by hail. I saved some of the hail in the freezer and brought it out for the children to investigate today. We examined the little pellets, felt them melt into water, I talked about how they were made. Then one of the children picked up the magnifying glass for a better look, before offering it around.
When it was my turn I used the glass to focus the winter sun onto the stones and melt the ice. As it melted the water vaporized, then hitting the cold air in the cave that had formed it condensed straight back into a miniature snow storm. The snow whirled around and glistened in the magnifying glass’s solar beam.
It was so cool and hot at the same time.
The children carefully investigated the hot spot with their fingers, while others watched. “It’s hot!” They exclaimed. –David

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Reminder about pickup times

Remember latest pick up time is 2:30pm not 2:35pm. By picking up your children on time, it helps us to get all those jobs done that we need to do once the children have gone. If you want to talk about your child we'd love to chat, come in at 2:00-2:15pm, but try to park down the hill so you leave the top carparks free so people aren't held up waiting for a park.

Last Friday 27/6/8 we all got a good reminder of pick up time the other day when on the dot of 2:31pm the heavens opened up and we had hail, floods and rain, "see what happens when you get here late." :)

That said if you're going to be late, don't rush to get here, we'd rather you just get here safely.
Let us know if you can when you do get held up and but don't worry about running in on days like this, just stay in you car till the downpour stops, just try not to make a habit of it.

As to Friday we had a number of brave parents who came in only to be trapped in the building by the rain, but it wasn't a problem, it slowed down eventually.
And remember to please help yourself to tea and coffee, while waiting.

Hair Cutting

Following on from the children's interests Monica set up a hairdressing saloon, she reminded the children about moderation, but ...David's hair still got a bit wet.
One of our parent's who is a Hair dresser may be able to come in soon and give a demo.

Aquarium Trip 2008

Here's some photo's from the trip.


Boxy the box tortoise -Honu whenua and Fluffy the terrapin (honu tai honu uta-not sure on this one had to make it up.)

Blue tongued skink mokomoko

Shark seven gilled, tuatini

Sea Turtle -Honu

Sea horse - Manaia

The puppet shark form the story we heard about Hinemoana. Thanks to a creative communities grant a few years back we were able to put our own sea puppets out the next day, for the children to reinact the story.

Clown fish -Ika hako (made this one up too.)
Nemo, or nemo's dad Merlin. (One of the children brought in a dvd case of Nemo to share for news after the trip.)

Kiwi- And guess what the mother kiwi had just laid an egg, but as she was a bit young it was underweight it probably won't be fertile. (Under weight = not the normal 1/3 of her body mass, "like a human giving birth to a ten year old.")

Then we discovered a dinosaur exhibit at the top of the stairs and turn left. The one from the museum. Mosasaur? Mokoweri

Shark teeth, from a shark as long as a bus!

Eel -Tuna
She was called "Big Mama"

Water Dragons -moko

Dory from nemo

Crayfish -Koura
"Andy" the diver Kairuku

Our trip to the Aquarium on the 26th of August went really well, a big thankyou to everyone who helped out with food and coming along to ensure we had enough adults.
Great learning for us as well, David Finally managed to make a DVD of the trip and promises to make a better one next time.
We will really need to look at whether and how we can go about providing copies of trip videos for families to take home. Perhaps a parent could take responsibility for burning them off it they get too popular, with a charge that covers costs or for fundraising.
We also need to examine how this works for our permissions everyone signs to take photo's and video for kindergarten purposes. Does this extend to sending home digital images via email, disk, does it include other families bringing a camera along on trips, to birthdays and blogging photos of kindergarten trips.
Any ideas please, views, advice let us know.