He Ngohe – Activities

How to celebrate Matariki at home and Playcentre

Me pēhea te whakanui i a Matariki i te kāinga me ngā whānau tupu ngātahi.


Matariki - Celebrate the cluster

  • Twinkling in the sky just before dawn, Matariki (the Pleiades) signals the Māori New Year.
  • Fairy lights around the Centre.
  • Space and constellations learning especially around Pleiades – Matariki cluster.
  • Large box, painted black inside with holes poked in the top to mimic stars, , creating a star grotto in a dark space.
  • Black Matariki Playdough or Black Slime, uku with stars and glitter in it
  • DIY Lantern or torch making from old plastic bottles or jars
  • Make a waka and korero about the great voyages using the stars as a guide
  • Rocket ships from old small plastic bottles and orange cellophane flames
  • Make a solar system from papier mache balloons of different sizes

Whānaungatanga - Celebrate the sense of family connection

  • Traditionally, Matariki is a time to share kai from the pātaka – the storehouse, harvested from past seasons. It’s too cold for planting instead use this opportunity for cultivation, prepare ngā hua whenua –vege gardens or prepare your centre.
  • Enjoy a mid-winter feast with whānau
  • Centre whānau day, night, or week
  • Gifting to our tamariki – A photo of themselves, a learning story
  • Tamariki gift something to others – Their old books, toys, clothes to charity
  • Tamariki make a gift for friends and whānau – Clay handprints
  • Celebrate you living walls – Photo wall, Pepeha wall, Whānau wall
  • Marae visit/ noho
  • Visit another Centre – Learn how the centre was named
  • It’s a great time to relax, eat, and enjoy good company.

Maumahara - Celebrate remembrance

  • Matariki is a time for remembrance. Remembering our life members and past alumni members. Upon moments of reflection, you may light a candle to remember loved ones who have passed away, or to farewell unwanted memories.
  • Light a candle (battery operated tealight).
  • Revisit Centre stories or read profile books to tamariki
  • Pūrākau – Story telling from life members and elders
  • Inviting current, alumni members, grandparents etc to a special session
  • Tamariki bring in an old photo or special toy from home for your Child to share with fellow members
  • Make a 3D model of your Centres Maunga, Awa, or even your Centre from card and sellotape
  • Talk about local Māori history
  • Myths and Legends

Te Tau Hou - Celebrate the new year

  • What do you want to achieve? What do you want to see? Record thoughts like these and return to them later – how did you do?
  • Write down your ngā matana, hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the year ahead
  • Prepare the garden by turning soil over for the year ahead – What will you plant?
  • Plant something – An idea, a seed, herbs in a yoghurt container to take home
  • Pulling out your Māori resources and bringing them to the forefront during Matariki
  • Updating displays like your living resources with the pikitia of new members i.e Pepeha or whānau wall
  • Learn about the Māori gods like Haumia tiketike and Rongonui
  • Tamariki paint rocks to start a rock garden
  • Revitalise you poi and tī rakau resources for the year ahead
  • Start a group activity that tamariki add to every session, i.e Paper mache moon, leaves for the whānau tree

Te Taiao - Celebrate the outdoors

  • Look up at the stars can you see Matariki?  Explore astronomy or become a kaitiaki – guardian by showing environmental awareness. Go for a walk in your community and get to know its streams, rivers, and trees. Listen to the birds out in the taiao. 
  • Recycling in Centre, watch it be collected or take to refuse 
  • Composting – Environmental awareness, set up a worm farm 
  • Repurposing – What could this become? 
  • Clean up the community -a beach or road walk to pick up rubbish 
  • Sand, mud, and water play   
  • Talk about Papatūānuku 
  • Learn about local flora and fauna with a bushwalk

Mātauranga - Celebrate learning

  • Traditionally, Māori were keen observers of the night sky, determining from the stars the time and seasons, and using them to navigate the oceans. Matariki is about having fun with your loved ones by sharing ngā pūrākau – stories with your whānau.
  • Perhaps you could learn to play a new kemu – game.
  • Stories and Games from home
  • Hire a Weaving Tutor or Kapahaka tutor to come in on session