It's a hands on commitment.
Hei Hei Kindergarten opened on the 22nd of May 1961. Above, is some of the children at Hei Hei getting their hands dirty with paper mache.
Kidsfirst has always encouraged a hands on approach to learning, but when kindergartens like Hei Hei were first setting up, that concept had a whole new meaning for teachers and parents alike.
Carol Eggleston who taught in the 1950s, remembers being taught in teacher training, to make toys and equipment for the kindergarten.
"We needed to have practical experience and also we made things. In our training we made puzzles, posting boxes, we made wall posters, because none of this was commercially available."
Woodwork was a standard part of teacher training back then, but even with the teachers' creative endeavors, crafty fathers were often called on to help boost the kindergarten's toy box.
Below is an exert from the 1956 Kindergarten Handbook which emphasised how important home-made toys and father help was in creating the tools and toys that was used in kindergartens in the past.
"Home-made toys (big carts, strong boxes on strong axles and wheels, trucks etc. for two or three children to play in, several dolls' beds etc) are strongly advised and could be made by a capable local tradesman or by interested fathers. This method of obtaining toys is strongly advocated by the Free Kindergarten Union to save expense and to provide variety, individuality and stimulation among Kindergartens."
Kindergarten Handbook 1956
Our website uses material from the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association's own archives, Kindergarten Chronicles and other CWFKA publications, and those sourced from the kindys themselves. Unless otherwise noted, we believe all photographs are those of the kindergarten association and sincerely apologise if we have used any images inadvertently, without appropriate credits or permissions. If so, please advise us so we can rectify the situation.
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.