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, 29 April 2015

Room on the Broom provokes imagination and creativity

The book titled ‘Room on the Broom’ written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, would be one of our children’s most favourite and frequently requested.  At the end of last term I was working with a group of children, and I thought I would share their learning with you.

Room on the Broom is truly a special story that seems to really capture children’s attention from the first page to the last; as well as foster their curiosity, excite their imaginations and spark a full spectrum of feelings from joyful, sadness, and even slightly scared.  It is one of those books that children seem to absolutely love to listen to, and explore the story over again and again.  It’s wonderful how some of the children fully immerse themselves into taking roles of the characters and complete the sentences from the book.

“Adults should read and tell stories, provide books, and use story times to allow children to exchange and extend ideas, reinforcing developing concepts of, and language for, shape, space, size and colour as well as imaginative responses.”
Te Whāriki p.73

One of our children explained how they had a DVD of Room on the Broom at home, so they brought it along to share with the other children who were interested to watch.  It was fascinating to observe the children’s reactions as they watched the story come to life in animation on the big screen.  Afterwards they were keen to share what they most enjoyed and remember about the story; Emma said “The best part of the story is the monster it says, ‘buzz off that’s my witch’ to the dragon and then the dragon gets a fright then let’s go of the witch, then flies far, far, far away.”  Peter said “I love the dragon and he has fire coming out.”  Kayla said “I like the witch flying on her broom stick.  I’m not scared of the monster or dragon; I’m not scared of anything.” 

While discussing with the children what their favourite parts of the story were, my attention was drawn to the children’s attention.  I could clearly see they were enthralled with the ending of the book where it reads “Iggety, ziggety, zaggety, ZOOM!  Then out rose… a truly magnificent broom”.  This part of the story seemed to really captivate the children, which subsequently led them to design their own magical brooms sticks.  I love how a story like Room on the Broom provokes imagination and creativity amongst our children.

The imagination is energetically deployed and reaches its peak in children’s early years of life; however, it gradually declines as children grow older.  But, imagination is precisely what is needed to keep us intellectually flexible and creative in modern societies.”  Wright, 2010

Here are some examples of the children’s work;

Miller: “Mine is a superhero broom.  The black bit is the thing that makes it go really fast.  This is the wing so it can fly.  I’m going to do dots; these are going to scare away the meanest dragon of all.  This is the light so they can see at night time.  I have giant seats and a roof so they don’t get wet.  This is a rope so they can rescue people if they have to.  Here is the superhero window.  This red button is to make it go super fast.”

Mia:  “That’s the witch, that’s the dog Zippy, that’s my cat Bingy and that’s my bird.  This is nice and round so the bird doesn’t touch the roof.  The bird is so tall on this perch.  These fairy lights sparkle in the night, only at night.  They don’t sparkle at the day time cause it will make the batteries ran flat.  The roof is so they don’t get wet and they will always have a home.  You’re not allowed to touch in there or you will get fire on your hands.”

Tyler:  “This seat is for the witch, this one for the cat, this one for the dog, this one for the bird, and this one will be for the frog.  That is for the petrol so it will go.  These are magic flowers that magic the broom to go.”

Reese:  “One seat for the bird and a shower for the frog.  That’s a door for a special place to put stuff in.  I’m making a bus broom, so it can fly and have wheels.”

Emma:  “This is my broom stick, here is my purple chair and I have a light at the front and light at the back so I can see.  I’m going to put on a roof on mine.  My broom stick can be a boat, submarine or bus.  This me on my chair, I’m going to have a pet mouse, this is going to be its chair.  Now I need a blanket for the mouse.  I’m going to draw a dog and this is its chair.  I got a roof so nobody gets wet from the rain.  This is my frog.  This is my bowl of strawberries so I can eat them.  I need a magic wand and heaps of little lights with a little house for the fairies.  I’m drawing heaps of wings to help it fly.”

Taika:  “That’s me and that’s Noah and Mummy and my Dad.  It has a steering wheel to drive and it has lights.”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”  Albert Einstein

Ngā mihi nui

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Our extended playscape

Nau mai haere mai. Welcome to term two at Mairtown Kindergarten.

In our absence over the term break, a year of visioning, planning and teamwork came to fruition when Cole from Stoneworks came in to re-develop our grass mound area.

Our vision was to add some extra natural features to our current mound to transform it into a more inviting and challenging space for children’s play and engagement. This would be created through the addition of volcanic boulders and a pole-climbing wall.

We are absolutely chuffed with Cole’s work and his ability to create an extension of our playscape that looks like it’s always been there!

Whilst the additional features are quite simple, as anticipated they have been a key focal point for children’s play and exploration over the past two days. This beautiful natural landscape has become another space for our tamariki to challenge them-selves, test out physical and motor skills and most importantly take new risks.


Taking risks allow children to learn at the very edge of their capabilities. Risk taking allows children to push themselves further and to extend their limits. Risk taking in play allows children to vary the familiar, to try out new ideas (Tovey, 2007)

A big thank you to our wonderful parent support group for fundraising the money to support our curriculum initiatives, and to our kindergarten community who recognise the importance of developing their children’s ‘can-do’ attitude by allowing them to explore and learn in an enabling environment.

Ka kite ano

(If you are interested in contacting Cole Jobe from Stoneworks his number is 027 2262 046)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

'Awhi is good medicine'

We are currently enjoying the term break here at Mairtown and will return on the 20th April. I hope that you all had the opportunity to get out and make the most the Easter weekend's glorious weather and if you are lucky enough to be having an extended holiday with your tamariki, we wish you a refreshing and inspired break.

Recently on my visit's to other kindergarten's in NKA I had the pleasure in reading this little phase about hugs at Tikipunga. It's a beautiful reminder for us all...

Awhi is good medicine.

It transfers energy and gives the person hugged an emotional lift.

You need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs for maintenance and 12 for growth.

Scientists say that hugging is a form of communication because it can say things that you don't have words for.

The nicest thing about an awhi is that you usually can't give one without getting one back.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Pai tou ra