Workshop Pakiwaitara


  • To understand that parents are a child’s first and most important playmate.
  • To know that all children do most of their early learning simply through playing.


To prepare for this workshop you may like to visit the library and borrow a selection of appropriate books. There are many books of Māori myths and legends. Ask the librarian if you’re not sure. Bring the books to the workshop.

Invite participants to talk about the stories, legends and fairy tales that they remember from their childhood.

As a group, discuss how they might read pakiwaitara to their baby. For example:

  • make it dramatic
  • make it fun
  • point to the pictures
  • talk about who’s in the picture
  • use your own words.

Use this workshop time to practise. Choose a pakiwaitara, and working in pairs, invite them to practise telling and reading the story. Then they might read it to the rest of the group, or tell the story using their own words.

Encourage them to think of ways to dramatise, embellish or extend the story. Try using actions too — for example, paddling a waka for Māui. Whānau could show pēpi the moon in the sky when talking about Rona, or when they see trees, insects or birds, talk about Rata.

Discuss with the group how baby will not necessarily understand the story, but will love the language and reading or storytelling. This is one of the greatest gifts whānau can give pēpi. Baby learns by whānau focusing and sharing their world. Sharing with pēpi enhances attachment, stimulates intellectual development and helps with language development.

Watch and listen to the Māui app with the participants. There’s a story in the app to enjoy with children, and there are bonus parenting tips and brain facts. Discuss with the group.


  • SKIP Whakatipu booklets

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