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Let’s take our time

Shared experiences can be really connecting and remain as our memories. You'll hear: “remember when we…” - these are really important for us. Sometimes it's the emotions associated to that time, and often the humour!

Take time to play, laugh and explore together whenever you can.

Firstly, the science...

Research shows that if we feel like any kind of ‘outsider’ in our environment, our brain functions in fight, flight or freeze mode (tuning into our amygdala) and we use loads of our mental energy to produce cortisol (a stress response) to monitor threats. This then leaves little opportunity to engage our higher cognitive processing and actively and meaningfully learn.

We now know that academic outcomes correlate with feelings of belonging (Osterman, 2016).

This tells us that whanaungatanga is the best base for learning you can ever create for tamariki, especially if things have been or are tough for them outside of your school environment.

Why this activity?

Whānaungatanga is crucial to our tamariki learning, and includes that we feel we belong and are part of this group. Contributing to this are shared experiences and memories as a group.That's what this activity is all about. - creating some positive and fun shared experiences and memories to support tamariki connection and sense that they belong too.

You'll need

  • There's a few options in this activity but what you need is included in the instructions below

What to do

There’s a few ideas here that will support your tamariki shared experiences with the aim to create some awesome memories. Do as many as you like!


  • Take your phone or ipad with a speaker outside with some great kanikani music and kanikani together. Ask tamariki to then whakarongo as you call out some emotions. Tamariki then need to kanikani while showing that specific emotion. Try - whakamā, hōhā, amazed, bored and disgusted to get the party started! Be sure to join in, a nd laugh loads!

  • Head outside and gather under a tree or on the field.  Ask tamariki to share what they know about specific. topics you give them. They are also allowed to make something up! After tamariki share, the others decide if it’s fact or fiction. Topics might include:

    • Kiwi

    • Your school history

    • Rāmere (Friday)

    • The number whetu

  • Head to the field and stand in a circle with a ball or wool or string. Ask tamariki to share a bit about their whakapapa and what they love doing. One ākonga starts by holding the ball of string as they kōrero. Then when another ākonga shares something they’ve said the say “Kō tāua tahi!” (me too!) The ball of string is then thrown or passed to this next ākonga leaving a string line between the pair, then they share while others listen for their in-commons. Continue until everyone has shared and the string has created a connected web between all tamariki and a chance for you all to kōrero about this.

  • Or, extend on ‘The whenua we share’ activity asking tamariki to introduce their special places at school to their peers and invite them to do some of the activities they do there - read pukapuka, stare at the sky, kōereo with friends, have kai together, play their game…

Kōrero and reflect

Include as part of your end of day practice with tamariki:

  • What will you remember from today that was fun?

  • What's helped you connect with your friends and peers today?

This might give you some great feedback on new things to try or extend on.

Kaiako card

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

Whānau engagement

Email or add a Facebook or Instagram post to your school or whānau page saying that: tamariki thinking about the importance of shared, positive memories. Ask whānau to share with their tamariki their own fun memories - from their childhood, or with their tamariki. Tamariki will find these really connecting, even if they don't seem that interested at the time! It might be a good kōrero for kai time this week.

And to add to this...

Another amazing activity that could bring some whanaungatanga into your learning space is Random Acts of Kindness Bingo

Curriculum links

Health and PE Curriculum 

  • Personal Health and physical development: A4 - Personal identity

  • Relationships with other people: C1 - Relationships

  • Relationships with other people: C3 - Interpersonal skills.


  • Making meaning of ideas or information they receive (listening, reading, and viewing)

  • Creating meaning for themselves or others (speaking, writing, and presenting).

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