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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Friday, 27 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year - 恭禧發財

This week at Kindergarten we have been discussing, researching and celebrating the Chinese New Year.  The Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the New Year (this year Monday 23rd January) and ends on the full moon 15 days later.

As we discovered 2012 is the year of the Dragon by the Chinese calendar, so we have had a lot of Dragon activity. As a group we have been watching clips of the Chinese festivities, in particular different dragon dances. Some children even decided to set themselves the goal of making their own dragon puppets resulting in our own small dragon dance.

This small video clip stars two of our creative dragon puppet designers.



Thanks to Brendon’s family we were also able to try out some delicious Chinese sticky rice. The sticky rice was stuffed with a savoury filling and wrapped in banana leaves, which is then traditionally either boiled or steamed. This was certainly a new experience for many of our children in terms of texture and taste, but many adventurous children were wanting to try the rice – some even coming back for seconds.

As this week has gone on we have looked at many of the Chinese symbols represented in art, introduced ourselves to Chinese words and have begun to get an understanding of the traditional customs at New Year. One custom is of giving 'ang pow' (Chinese red packets) filled with money to children and young people as gifts.  These packets are beautifully decorated with writing or illustrations symbolising blessings, good wishes, prosperity and good health. They have another purpose however, and that is for crafts! We decided to have ago ourselves and make some Chinese lanterns.


Problem solving

Striving for accuracy

We began by printing off the instructions and then carefully trying to follow them. There was a fair bit of trial and error at first which required us to think through our problems (how come ours looked so different!) but the children put their heads together and discovered where we had gone wrong (it was our folding of the ang pow!). What great work, although this required a little help from a teacher the children did the stapling, helped fold the packets and were fantastic at remaining focused, waiting their turn and collaborating with their friends? Don’t they look great?

Finally as the week drew to an end we celebrated Chinese New Year with a shared kai, and those of us that have Chinese clothes or costumes had a chance to wear them. We had all sorts of delicious cultural specialties from our wonderful families – this really helped to make it so special. 

Gung Hei Fat Choi – Happy New Year.

Thank you once again to Brendon’s family for your contributions, advice and tips on the Chinese culture and New Year celebrations.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Welcome back to a new year

Welcome back to a new year at Mairtown Kindergarten. We are so excited to be back at Kindergarten and are looking forward to a wonderful year.

We would like to warmly welcome back all the familiar faces of our families/Whanau and their tamariki along with several new families and children - Nau mai haere mai.

We began our first morning with a Mihi Whakatau, a traditional Maori ceremony to formally acknowledge and welcome Rachel as a manuhiri (a visitor) into our Kindergarten as our new teacher for the year.
Kim was our Kaiārihi (our leader/guide) and opened the event with a short mihi and waiata (a song). It was then the turn of Rachel as the manuhiri to respond with her mihi. This was finished with waiata from everyone, as Rachel was brought over with the help of some children, and delivered safely into our Kindergarten family. To complete the Mihi Whakatau kai was offered to all our guests.

Welcome Rachel, we are so looking forward to your time with us.
Rachel is long-term relieving for Zair who is on maternity leave looking after her new gorgeous baby girl.