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Play ideas and activities Climbing and balancing — Te piki me te whakatautika Stages: 3 to 5 years

Why do it?

Why do it — He aha e mahi ai?

Climbing and balancing are important activities for tamariki so that they:

  • have fun and enjoy some vigorous play out in the fresh air
  • strengthen their large and small muscles
  • practise and improve their physical skills
  • have experiences with the laws of physics (swing = pendulum, slide = ramp)
  • increase their confidence and self esteem through experiences, support and encouragement.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

  • Draw a chalk line on the path for your tamaiti to practise balancing on.
  • Draw chalk shapes for them to jump between.
  • Use a plank and two bricks to make a low balance beam.
  • Help them to create a simple obstacle course. Include objects to go over, under, through and around.
  • At the playground, follow their lead and interests.
  • Stay close by to ensure their safety and give help if they need it.
  • Encourage them to solve problems themselves first, but be ready to help if they get scared or stuck.
  • Praise them for trying new things and for solving problems — for example, ‘I like how you figured out how to get down.’
  • If they aren’t ready to try something new at the playground, let them give a toy a turn first.
  • Sing while you play. Made-up songs are great:¯“Look at you zooming down the slide!”¯
  • Later on, read books about playing outdoors. Suggestions might include:
    • The children at the playground — Tracey M Cox and Dolores Costello
    • Hide and seek Harry at the playground - Kenny Harrison
    • Roll, slope and slide: A book about ramps - Michael Dahl and Denise Shea

Using more te reo Māori

Climb

Piki(hia)

Balance

Whakatautika(tia)

Playground

Papa tākaro

Ladder

Arawhata

Slide

Retireti

Bridge

Arahanga

Seesaw

Retireti

Go up

Piki(hia)

Go down

Heke(tia)

High

Teitei

Low

Pāpaku

Fast

Tere

Slow

Tōmuri

Swings

Tārere