Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Friday, June 26, 2009

A Fire Volcano for Jack

Jack asked if we could have a fire volcano today.

Well it was, not to wet, not to dry and rain was forecaste for the afternoon.

Also due to illness, infection and holidays we only had eighteen children and with Claire on hand we had five adults.

Alright Jack let's check with the others.

It's been a year since our last fire volcano so when we asked everyone was keen to do it again.

Back to the sand pit we first asked Jonty V if we could use his. (He's spent the last two days building it and had been keen to explode it.)

Jonty said no, he wanted one with a hose (which it was still to cold for), so we build a new one instead, away from his so it won't get damaged.Once built I hollowed it out and added a flue, explaining what I was doing while the children checked my work.As we worked I talked about fire safety and the children shared their knowledge of it.Sharon had the hose on standbye and I had cold wet sand and a spade.

Ready to go and safety cones in place I lit the fire and we watched our volcano burn. From time to time we would have to move to avoid the smoke, a good oppertunity for more fire safety talk. So as we watched the children shared their fire stories and I reinforced the fire safety message.

Once it died down, the children brought me leaves which I took into the red zone to fire it up again. In the end all that was missing was the marshmallows. Photo's by Jonty M, Thanks for documenting our volcano Jonty.

(Video by Sharon. )

Finished I stirred the embers and made sure all the fuel was burnt and then we extinguished it completely with the hose, before leaving it in to soak.

Hope you liked your volcano Jack.


Baby Cooper's Bath

Lily's mum, sister and nana came in today with baby Cooper, so baby Cooper could have a bath at Kindergarten, like Eden and Lily had before him.

Lily sung a special song about little sharks in the water, using the wash clothes for sharks.. Cooper was (mostly) well behaved, and we all loved giving him a bath. Lot's of stories about babies came out from the children and the adults.

All dressed again, time for us to say goodbye for now to Cooper. Thanks Sarah, Lily, Eden, Gran and Cooper.


Photography and Art

We had four cameras in constant demand today, here are some of the highlights.

Plus I couldn't resist including Adrianne's photo's of when Ollie and Jimmy found a new art space to paint on together on top of the easel.

Meanwhile Jack's photography took on a new twist as he worked hard to get a new perspective using height.


Matariki Lunch

Working hard over two days we prepared our Matariki lunch.
We postponed our meal for a day due to staff absence.

The main dish was Matariki pork and vegetables from a recipe in the Sunday star times 7 June 2009, but also included foil baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and apple crumble in custard. Yum, all ready to be served, time for our karakia kai, which one would the children pick today?
"Whakapainga enei kai."Opening the potato parcels was like a special Matariki present.
It was different to have lunch with knife, fork and spoon.
Annalise's dad John and her sister Katie came and joined us and enjoyed the tasty flavours of our kai. Caleb wanted two helping, James thought it was delicious.

Isobel couldn't join us in person but skyped us instead from her aunty's house in Australia.

Sharon made rewena bread, but it wasn't quite ready, so we had it Friday with toasted cheese as a lunch time extra. We had to watch it rise filling with air like Kate's balloon and test it's springiness.



Monday, June 22, 2009

More balloon experiments

Jo and Kate have been doing more experiments with balloons, and another favourite straws. Baking soda and vinegar inflate a balloon.
It works even better with a jug of hot water.
Today with Jo away sick, I built a helicopter spinner before Kate arrived and let her know what I had done. (She had expressed a desire for one to Jo last week, and I didn't think there would be much time to help Kate build her own later in the day.) After she finished sculpting a playdough bug, Kate came and got me and asked if we could go outside and try it. I started the ball rolling and then she began to experiment. My design however wasn't how Kate imagined her one will look, so though she became very attached to it, I suspect she'll be building her own soon.
Meanwhile I'm having fun with our second oldest camera (takes smallest size video) and some rather basic software I found for editting movies. It's main advantage is it lets me save it in a format other than dvd, (naming avi, mpeg or wmv) perfect for uploading. But with 1 hour upload times on our broadband for a five minute 48mb movie, I'll keep them small for now. (New faster broadband due in area sept 2011). (Any tips welcome. )


Other happenings

The playdough, is always a great place to start the day. Jo lead our bears on another bear hunt. Kate's discovered a new way to make whistles, this time using a straw.
Up the Feijoa tree.

Josh, Caleb and Caleb find their own balance board using the seesaw, Jessica and Isobel made many years ago, before they were born?

Art break

I thought it would be nice to break up the flu talk and science with some art.

Purerehua works with Jo on her own take on a tokotoko as she learns to use the glue gun safely. Kate chooses the PVA for her tokotoko, very similar to her friends.
Meadow described this as her playhouse, having heard Erin describe hers. When Erin pointed out it was all black, Meadow commented "Yes it is."

Erin's playhouse up a tree, featuring a ladder.

Purerehua's ladder, painted alongside Erin and Meadow.

Another Purerehua she carefully labelled for her "mum".


General Info on Influenza

Karyn sent us this she got from the health centre.

General information about influenza

What is influenza?
Influenza (the flu) is a highly infectious illness caused by a virus. It is much more serious than a common cold and will leave you ill for up to 10 days.

It may take up to three days to feel symptoms after you catch influenza (incubation period). Symptoms include:
*a high fever
*muscle aches and pains
*sore throat

Influenza can be a mild or severe illness depending on the type of flu virus causing it, and the age and general health of the person affected. Anyone can get influenza – being fit active and healthy does not protect you from getting the virus.

How do you care for yourself and your family during an influenza pandemic?

*stay at home if you are sick and keep away from other people – avoid visitors and visiting other people
*Wash and dry your hands after you cough, sneeze, wipe or blow your nose ( or your childs nose), use the bathroom or toilet. Wash and dry your hands before you prepare food and eat, and when you are looking after sick people.
* keep coughs and sneezes covered. Tissues are best. Put the tissue in a rubbish bin.
*Give people who have a fever and/or diarrhoea plenty to drink.
*Give paracetamol or ibuprofen for fever. Do not give aspirin to children under 16.
*try to keep well people and sick people apart.
*Make sure sick people get plenty of rest.

Have a plan for a pandemic
Make a plan with family and friends, which includes:
*Who could help with food and supplies if you
and your household are sick
*The telephone numbers of people who live near
you, as well as your doctor’s ph number.

If you have prescription medicines (eg for blood pressure), renew your prescription well before you run out.

Build up your emergency supplies.

Have a supply of food and drinks to last for at least a week.

Paracetamol and ibuprofen are good for bringing down a fever and reducing aches and pains.

Masks worn by sick people can stop the spread of germs. You can buy masks from the pharmacy.

Have tissues or toilet paper and plastic bags. Supermarket bags are good to put used tissues into.

Think about things to do if your family have to stay home for a couple of weeks. Books, games and videos.

If you feel unwell and have questions please phone the doctors surgery or healthline for advice.

Doctors Surgery phone 06 8587767

Healthline phone 0800611116

Friday, June 19, 2009

Zappo- Flew in to see us today.

We love it when our friend Zappo flies in for a visit.

He offers special insights into all sorts of things.Nga Tae, (the colours) Super good manners!

Oral hygiene. And he always makes us laugh!!!!!! He even brings his special friends to see us too.We love Zappo!

Thanks Zappo.

Swine flu update from ministry

Pandemic – Moving to the next phase

19 June 2009

The Minister of Health announced this morning that New Zealand is transitioning to a “manage it” phase in its Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu strategy. The containment phase has helped restrict the number of cases and slowed the spread of the virus.

The slow spread has been due to the efforts of border control, public health services, schools and early childhood services in identifying and responding to cases as they emerged. The continuing aim is to reduce the impact of the virus on people, communities and the health system at a time when they are already managing the usual winter flu increases.

What does moving to the next phase mean?
Public health authorities in Wellington and Christchurch have announced that they have moved into the new phase today. Auckland is also planning this shift by Monday and it is likely that most other areas of New Zealand will follow very shortly. You can read the Ministry of Health media release here

It is unlikely that early childhood services or schools will be advised to close if they have suspected or confirmed cases, unless they are in an area still in the containment phase. The Ministry of Health advises that there is no need for any restrictions on people returning to work, school or their early childhood service after an overseas trip, unless they have symptoms.

Gatherings such as parent teacher evenings, sports tournaments can continue, with the usual precautions.
Students or staff with symptoms should stay at home in line with normal practice.
Hygiene measures should continue including hand washing before and after eating, keeping hands away from mouths, and covering mouths when coughing or sneezing.
Care should be taken that students who have particular medical conditions or who are susceptible to infection avoid contact with people who have symptoms.

The Ministry of Health wishes to acknowledge the responsiveness of early childhood services and schools, and the measures they have taken to slow the spread of the virus. The Ministry appreciates the additional workload this has meant for everyone involved.

The Ministry of Education has been continually updating its website and will continue with daily updates on Medical information is on the Ministry of Health website Travel information is available on

Thursday, June 18, 2009


The last few weeks we've been getting ready for Matariki, learning about what it means and tying into this terms virtue of idealism, resilience, trustworthiness and enthusiasm.
Watching Kapahaka on YouTube has been a great way to learn about enthusiasm, and has been giving the children a taste of what they'll be able to see free at the A.W. Parson stadium on Friday night.
Amongst the books we've been reading has been Dot Meharry's "The Talking stick." Sam was very impressed by Hohepa's idealism following his dream, not to mention his resilience overcoming the obstacles, his enthusiasm in speaking and the trust his father and family placed in him when they handed him back his tokotoko.
So Sam decided to make a tokotoko of his own. With only three days before school, it still needs work, but he' industriously shaved the bark, sanded from p60 to p120 (learning about sandpaper grades and sanding in the process) and oiled it. (All with a lot of support from Sharon.)
Unlike Hohepa who choose Kauri, Sam choose willow. As well as being amongst what we had, it's traditionally been used in walking sticks and by bards and storytellers.
Sam also made himself a face mask, because you have to be careful with dust while sanding and to emphasis the point, brought us "Harry the builder" out of the library to show us how Harry wears a mask while sanding as well. I think Phil and the team at Flemington will need an upgrade of their carpentry gear next week.

Balloon Science

Kate and Purerehua have an on going love of balloons and sound. Today for instance they were experimenting with using balloons to make sounds as they let the air out, and feeling the air inside them. To help them find out about what was making all that noise and making their hair blow, Jo helped them to set up an experiment to weigh empty balloons against full ones, and full balloons against partially inflated ones.
As they worked (practising their fine motor skills in the process) Jo asked them question and they started to predict what they thought the outcomes would be. Having made observations of their first experiment they were soon able to deduce what would happen in their later ones.

So what good is air pressure? Well to find out more Jo helped them tie two balloons alongside each other and blow in between them.
Purerehua "They go up again and they kissed."
Kate "They touched"
Annaliese "When I blowed it they jumped together."
A feather helped them see the effects of their breath and gauge direction and velocity.
In the early parts of the day, they freezing air has helped them find out more about what's in their breath as well. They've blown up the balloons and shown Jo the condensation that forms as their warm breath touches the cool outsides of the balloon under pressure.

Kate (who has a family relationship with helicopters) has decided she would now like to make a balloon powered rotor. One balloon on each end we think, to spin the rotor around a central pivot. I wonder if this came from her knowledge from home, her research in our science books and online with Jo, from her own vivid creative imagination or a combination of all three?
I'm sure we'll find out more as the experiments continue.

Happy Birthday

We farewelled two of our children off to school to day and had another birthday to celebrate as well.
And what does Jo like to do on her Birthday? Same as she does every day at Kindergarten, run, jump, hop, skip, swing and have fun with her friends.

Bowling Challenge

We we got dressed up ready for the challenge.But the competition were fierce and scary looking!We eyed up the pins.And had a lot of fun!

Sharon turned out to be a demon bowler, getting the prize or the most strikes of the night. We're still waiting for the final results.
Update the final results have come out, here are some of them.
Group scores:
Frimley 817
Camberley 760
Hunter Park 706
Mayfair 659
Peterhead 651
Raureka 643
Irongate 571 (only 4 not 5 on team)
Group score top four only:
Frimley 695
Camberley 660
Hunter Park 607
Peterhead 588
Irongate 571
Mayfair 554
Raureka 534
Top individual score over two games was 209, Sharon at 200 got the fourth highest of the night.
Our team scores:
Monica 147
David 140
Adele 120
Adrianne (bad shoulder after a promising strike on the first ball) 99