Haere mai! Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

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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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

International Day

What a colourful and wonderful selection of costumes we had for our 'International Day' today, our children looked fabulous. It was so exciting for us all to watch the children arrive and see how the costumes that they chose to wear reflect the cultural diversity of our families and Whanau at Mairtown.

A small video of the costume parade held at group time.

As parents/whanau and friends arrived for our shared kai, we were overwhelmed by the amazing assortment of delicious food. This was a great opportunity for both the children and adults to sample traditional dishes from areas of the world that are culturally important to our children and their families.

Congratulations to the winners of our raffle, we hope you enjoy the prizes.

We were also fortunate enough to have Rona join us from the Heart Foundation. As a Kindergarten we are working towards achieving our 'healthy heart award'. Today Rona was able to provide us with information on healthy eating choices and demonstrate a quick and easy recipe for hummus.

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

Thank you to all the Whanau, parents and friends that joined in with our International day today, for all your hard work with both costumes and food - it was a wonderful.


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Our new gate

On Thursday this week we excitedly took delivery of our new gate. We had the gate commissioned by local artist 'Jeff Andrews' who designs/makes furniture and enjoys working with recycled materials.

Jeff begins to remove the gate and the old Mairtown sign.

A few months ago we gave Jeff our new logo (here) that Jasmine kindly designed for us, and left the rest up to him. His final design shows the chatty Tui bird in front of Mount Parihaka, (the bush clad mountain which dominates our local landscape) all above the beautiful yellow blooms of the Kowhai tree.

We all really love it  and think Jeff has done an amazing job.

 Jeff also made a smaller sign to attach to our side entrance gate.

 Jeff had some keen observers, eager to ask him lots of questions about his tools and watch the whole process unfold.

Some comments from our parents/Whanau and children:

Brearna "I've been waiting for this moment"
Briah Rose "its so cool"
Megan "I think its beautiful, it looks awesome"
Aimee "that's cool"

Please add your comments we would love to know what you think.

The gate is up and ready to use.

Jeff told us the gate was made from a section of recycled steel sourced from an old grain silo.

For anyone interested Jeff's details are,
Jeff Andrews- Atomic Furniture,
1342 Whangarei Heads Road, Parua Bay, 09 436 5698


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Making mouse traps

Today Donna and the children made  some ‘mouse traps’, a great way to warm us up as it was so cold! Daniel, Hvar and Brendon were todays main chefs in our kitchen.

What great concentration the children demonstrated as they listened to and followed the instructions (recipe).

All our chefs had a go at carefully grating the cheese.

Cooking enables children to use and become familiar with new tools and equipment and helps master skills. When all the mouse traps were made we met outside for some shared kai, served by Donna our waitress!

Cooking at Kindergarten encourages children to try new foods and learn about nutrition.

It also enables children to learn that cooking is a process and requires a systematic approach.

Through cooking children learn about the relevance of maths in relation to real life e.g measurement, quantity.

Cooking helps build and grow relationships as children can be the teacher or learner and as they cook for and share the food with others.

Mouse trap recipe:
Heat the oven to 220c and heat the oven tray at the same time, as it needs to be hot.
Use a thin scrape of margarine on a slice of bread, add a thin spread of marmite, and top with a little grated cheese.
Place on hot oven tray and bake 8-10 minutes till golden and crunchy.
These can keep in an airtight container as well and are great for lunch boxes.


Sunday, 14 August 2011

Our new cargo net

On Friday an exciting package arrived at Kindergarten - our very much awaited brand new cargo net. Obviously the children were all extremely keen that we put it straight up so they could try it out.

    The children demonstrated great patience as they waited for their turn.




Some of the children's words as we unpacked and began to assemble the cargo net:

Eva "that's a climbing thing"

Hvar "Its a spider web"

Juliet "We haven't done this for a long time. We've never done it - but we will soon"

And as they started to climb the cargo net:

Juliet "I want to do it again as I did it so well"

Finn "I can't do it. It's too scary for me"

Brearna "Its hard. I'm going to have another turn. I made it. It's real hard"

Hui-Nathan "I thinks its good because I climb up to the top. Look I'm up to the top. Look I have strong muscles"

Grace "I'm using my muscles, my arms and my legs. I can't get over yet. It will be so much fun to go over. One more turn, I want one more turn. I don't think I can go over. I'll try tomorrow again, I'll keep practising".

What a challenge this is going to be - I wonder how many children will be able to climb right up to the top and back down the other side?

Links to learning:
- Children will gain increasing control and awareness of their bodies and what they can and cannot yet do.
- Self-esteem grows as children engage in new challenges and recognise their own growth and accomplishments.
- Fosters a positive attitude about physical activity and healthy lifestyles.
- Refines existing motor skills and develops new ones.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Mixed media art

Over the last couple of days at Mairtown Kindergarten we have been looking at combining art and photography. Initially we were inspired by artists such as Andy Warhol, famously known for his captivating ‘pop art’, and this lead us on to create our own versions.

We began with the children posing for a few photos. After they selected which one they liked the best we used the computer to change it into black and white and printed it off into a block of four photos.

Experimenting with colour and having fun

Of course painting on black and white photographs is almost as old as photography itself – old photographs were often enhanced with paints and dyes. With this in mind and after looking at, examining, and discussing some of Andy Warhol’s work the children began.

It took concentration and lots of forward thinking for the children to decide what colour dye they should use for their eyes, faces and the backgrounds – so that all the colours individually stood out.

Juliet – “When my red dries it turns to pink. All my mouths are purple; all my necklaces are going to be red”

Grace - “I’m going to make all my eyes the same”

Abbey – “do you like my two faces?”

Emma – “I want all my crowns to be the same colour”.

The photographs enabled the children to play close attention to the detail of their faces; to the contours and outlines, the curl, length or texture of their hair.

When the dyes had dried many children decided to build on their work. Using pen they added details such as eyelashes, lips and eyebrows. What a great idea, this added depth and focus to their art work.

 Some of the finished masterpieces.


“There is more to art than just drawing a picture that looks like something. The process of creating a piece of art is precious, especially when you make something relevant and make a bold, personal and contemporary statement” Source unknown


Monday, 1 August 2011

Mud pies?

Kia Ora, welcome back to term 3. It is great to have all our children and their whanau/families back after a two week break.

We were straight into it this morning with the children spotting the changes that have happened over the holidays. No doubt everyone noticed the huge deck that is in the process of being built – this will be a wonderful, valuable space for us when it is finished (hopefully the end of this week!).

Christine and Kim were busy over the holidays building a new mud kitchen for outside. The children had an amazing amount of fun exploring this today, creating lots of mud pies and mud soup.

Shinayah “I’m making some yummy food

Briah-Rose “you know this isn’t fun. We’re having to work really hard on this

 Finn “We’re making mud pies, would you like to try some

Today we had this outside near the building, however we have designed this so it can be moved around our outdoor space easily; thereby introducing different materials for the children to use in their outdoor baking. We hope soon to add a blackboard so the children can also write or draw their favourite mud recipes – delicious.

A Mud Pie Kitchen is an incredible way to encourage imaginative play, leading to creative thinking, curiosity, and experimentation.

Gooey, gooshy, squishy, gushy mud! 

Playing with mud is “not only loads of fun, but blends together science, art, math, social studies, sensory input, and language by providing opportunities to accomplish, communicate, conserve, cooperate, create, count, facilitate, differentiate (size, shape, amount, colour), discover, explore, express, converse, initiate, and be gleeful” (Zavitkovsky, 1996)