Playing is a child’s ‘work’ — it’s how they learn, and it’s important for their brain development.
In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 3 (page 23), ‘Ngā tohu whānau’, under ‘Love and warmth’, it reminds whānau of the value in ‘sharing lots of love and time with our tamaiti, playing, talking, reading, singing and having fun together’.
Some other helpful places in Te Pihinga 3 to explore with whānau are:
- Page 4 — ‘Pēpi says’:
‘When I want something, I let my whānau know by pointing to it and they watch me and work out what I want.’
- Page 8 — ‘Te hinengaro mīharo’:
‘Baby’s experiences build new connections in his brain. These become memories. The more positive the experiences, the happier the memories.’
- Page 10 — ‘Ngā mahi a pēpi’:
‘Let pēpi take the lead when you read pukapuka together.’
- Page 16 — ‘Pēpi says’:
‘I love playing in my own home, it makes me feel safe. My whānau know that playing and lots of love is exactly what my brain and wairua need.’
- Page 17 — ‘Whānau say’:
‘We try and make playing together a regular part of every day.’
- Page 20 — ‘Kaitiaki pēpi’:
‘Try and learn a haka with your pēpi now. It’s amazing what they already know.’
- Page 21 — ‘Te hinengaro mīharo’:
‘Her brain will process information better if she feels safe and secure.’
- Page 21 – ‘Waiata kōhungahunga’:
‘Through this interest in watching and copying other people pēpi learns so much. Encourage this by giving him lots of opportunities to see, hear and join in waiata-ā-ringa, poi, and haka.’
Connecting through positivity and activity
In the Thinking about parenting booklet (page 6) it reminds parents to focus on the positive: ‘Try and say five positive things for every negative one!’
In the Tips for under 5s booklet the messages on pages 4 and 6 encourage parents to use everyday activities to connect with their children.
- ‘Try to do something they like with them every day’ (page 4).
- ‘Involve them in what you’re doing. Ask them to hand you the pegs, or get the mail’ (page 6).
Ask the whānau:
- How do these ideas match your child’s behaviour at the moment?
- What changes have you noticed?
- Why do you think that’s happening?
- How has this affected you and your whānau?
- What new things are you seeing your child do recently?
- How do they respond to your involvement with them?
- What sort of things do you think you could try to encourage their play?
- What times with your child have been exciting, fun or made you celebrate?
- Have you had challenges with your child?
- What would you like to talk about?
- What more would you like to find out about?
How does this relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby wall frieze - Kōrero mai mō tō tātou whānau - Teach me about our family
Then I know I am not alone becasue my brain learns best from the people who love and care about me.
Six things children need - Te hanga ao tōtika, ao haumaru - Structured and secure world
We need to keep being patient with her because she is learning and we are all her ‘kaiako’.