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Compliment musical freeze!

A combo of dancing and giving compliments - double the fun and wellbeing boosts!

Firstly, the science...

Straight from Berkeley Greater Good Science Centre - "Research suggests that tamariki are more likely to make kindness a habit if they are praised for being kind people rather than just for doing something kind. For example, saying, “You’re such a helpful person” may be more effective than saying, “That was such a helpful thing to do.” Praising 'character' encourages children to see kindness as an essential part of who they are and seems to be especially effective around age eight, when children are forming their moral identities."

Why this activity?

We’re big fans of ‘what you pay attention to, you get more of,’ which means we need to focus on kindness, friendship and connection with our tamariki. Compliment Musical Freeze is a great place to start the kōrero and form some new, positive and fun habits - giving meaningful compliments

You'll need

  • Your amazing tamariki, Spotify and your speakers.

What to do

First up, it’s worth doing a few 101’s around what is a compliment, and then what makes a good compliment. Here’s our thinking:


  • Kōrero with tamariki about: 

    • What is a compliment?

    • What makes a good compliment?

    • How do we feel when we get a great compliment?

    • How do we feel when we give a great compliment? - Iterate the science of wellbeing for tamariki - it’s good to get compliments, but feels great to give them too! Everyone wins!

  • Some iti notes about compliments:

    • Ask tamariki to think about “I ams” -  that is, things we can’t change - our eye colour, our ethnicity… so while it’s cool to receive compliments on these things, they’re as powerful as the “I cans…”

    • Kōrero with tamariki about the “I cans” which are the skills and talents we can work on, can improve, can change - these are the meaningful compliments and make the difference in us continuing and improving what we know, do and try.

    • The “I cans” are the deeper level compliments  we want to focus on.

    • And compliments always come from a place of kindness (rather than trying to impress someone, be noticed…) So there’s a couple of things we can ask ourselves when we compliment someone - is this compliment supporting this person to ‘grow’ and am I being genuine? If the answer is ‘āe’ and ‘āe’ then kei te pai!


And then you might want to practise! Pair tamariki up, ask them to share a compliment with each other and kōrero about how it has felt to give and receive the compliment. Make adjustments as needed, but hopefully, this is a really positive experience.


Examples of “I can compliments”

  • You’re working really hard on that picture, I really like the way you…

  • You were brave today when you helped out with … Good for you.

  • I really like hearing you sing, seeing you dance or do gymnastics

  • You were dynamite running so hard today at sports. That was impressive!


Now comes the funner part!


Play Compliment Musical Freeze! So easy! Turn up your favourite tamariki tunes and when they music stops they fist pump or high five the person closest, e noho and swap (meaningful!) compliments! And continue for a few rounds. 

Kaiako card

To make things easier, refer to or print the kaiako card for this activity.

Whānau engagement

The best way to engage whānau with this activity would be to video it as a short clip and share it with them. They will love it! You might also want to ask your tamariki to record how giving and receiving compliments today has made them feel and add that to their Class Dojo or Seesaw which shares with their whānau.

Add the science quote above to a Facebook post or your newsletter. Ask that they also reflect on their compliments and up the number. The rule is generally 10 connections to 1 correction!

And to add to this...

Now your tamariki have complemented each other with Compliment musical freeze you should take a look at Compliment launchpad which is another compliment activity awesome for creating whanaungatanga within your tamariki

Curriculum Links

Health and PE Curriculum  

Personal health and physical development: A2 - Regular physical activity

Personal health and physical development: A4 - Personal identity

Movement concepts and motor skills: B1 - Movement concepts and motor skills 

Relationships with other people: C1 - Relationships

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