Session note Session notes

Session notes for Play at home: inside Stages: 3 to 5 years


Look at the session notes Play (3–5 years) and Self-control (3–5 years) for additional helpful information that relates to inside play at home.

Home is the best learning place!

Look at Whakatipu booklet Te Māhuri 1, pages 12 and 13, where you’ll see Maka and Heru busy playing with each other, playing with things from around the house and helping with simple jobs.

Pātai atu ki te whānau:

  • What do you think they might be learning while they’re involved in these types of play and learning activities?
  • Have you helped your tamaiti to do anything like this?
  • What did you notice?

Affirm whānau when they:

  • encourage their tamariki to get involved in any play and learning activities
  • provide resources for them as they play around the house
  • guide and support tamariki to share and take turns.

What whānau can do to encourage and support free play

  • talk — to ask open-ended questions and share their thoughts and ideas
  • have fun with
  • listen to
  • guide and keep safe
  • encourage and support
  • sing and dance and share stories with.

 Helping with simple jobs at home

Just through helping around the home, tamariki are learning more than useful skills — they are also having a relationship-strengthening experience where they can make a contribution to their whānau alongside a more capable person.

Pātai atu ki te whānau:

  • What have you tried doing together with your tamaiti?
  • Do they like to help?
  • How does that go?
  • What else could you try together?

Playing with others

In both Te Māhuri 1 and Te Māhuri 2, check out the purple pages 10–17 titled ‘Ngā mahi a whānau’. They show tamariki playing and learning on their own and with other tamariki. Ask the whānau:

  • How is your tamaiti getting on playing with others?

Between 3 and 5 years, a lot of learning about playing co-operatively together starts happening. Ask:

  • Have you noticed how they’re getting on with playmates or siblings?

Through play they can learn how to take turns, share resources, wait, talk and listen, and cooperate.

They’ll continue to need the adults who love and care for them to support, encourage and guide them towards playing peacefully most of the time.

Ngā tohu whānau

The ‘ngā tohu whānau’, or ‘six principles’ can really help whānau to build and strengthen relationships with their tamariki.

In Te Māhuri 2, pages 18–19, there are some ideas on how to promote (and maintain) the best relationships between parents, whānau and tamariki.

This ensures that tamariki can grow up to be capable, confident and happy.

Pātai atu ki te whānau:

  • We’ve talked about these ‘tohu whānau’ or ‘six principles’ before. What can you remember about them?
  • Which of the tohu do you find easy to implement?
  • Are there ones that are more difficult for you?

Suggest to whānau that you could go through each of them together to see if there is any area that might be worthwhile exploring further. This might help whānau and their tamariki as they spend time together at home.

The Ara mātua (parenting pathways) section also has many ideas for strengthening relationships and supporting tamariki in their learning and development.

How does this relate to the SKIP resources?

Baby wall frieze - Tukuna ahau kia mahi, kia mōhio ai ahau me pēhea te ako.  Let me do things over and over again — because I need lots of opportunities to practise playing with others, to make mistakes and to learn from themOpens in new window

Six things children need - Te aroha me te mahana.  Love and warmth — we can do this by encouraging and helping our tamaiti to be involved in work around the house and by showing our appreciation when they’re helpful (or try to be)Opens in new window

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