Part of being a New Zealander is having that do-it-yourself attitude and the knack of being able to cobble something together out of whatever you can find. That’s especially true at our kindergartens, where everyone summons up a heap of real kiwi ingenuity.
SOME OF OUR STORIES.
New Zealanders are not only renowned for being creative and determined when it comes to problem solving, but also for their down-to-earth practicality and ability to follow through and get the job done – think Number 8 Wire mentality!
By using a bit of that kiwi ingenuity Kidsfirst Greymouth managed to transform some scrap black pipe into their own telephone system. The idea came from the children using short cut-offs of pipe to talk through to each other. Using the ideas and skills of the surrounding whānau, the initiative extended into a full-blown project.
“The children learned a lot,” says Head Teacher Tim Eden-Calcott. “They have seen real tools in action, used the drill themselves (with a little help and a lot of supervision) and even been concreting in posts.”
“Together we are helping the next generation to learn that they can do anything, sometimes even with what others would deem as waste – what a great kiwi attitude that is!”
At Kidsfirst Papanui, under the strong leadership of Head Teacher Margaret Cottrell, the children have been experimenting with making all sorts of things. “We have some amazingly inventive and creative children and we work hard to foster this disposition,” she says.
ABOVE: A fly catcher from Kidsfirst Papanui.
The children have been making rugby goal posts at the carpentry table (complete with rugby ball), constructed a machine that turns leftovers into marbles, and made flycatchers out of recycled boxes. Some of the world’s most respected problem solvers came from our shores and absorbed this type of thinking into their lives.
ABOVE: A machine that turns leftovers into marbles from Kidsfirst Papanui.
Just imagine what these children will be able to achieve, thanks to the great start that Kidsfirst has given them. And, isn’t that what kindergarten is all about?
ABOVE: Kidsfirst Riccarton's homemade birdfeeders, and their visitors.
Children at our Kidsfirst kindergartens have been exercising their inventing muscles.
WHAT THE CHILDREN LEARN....
Margaret Cottrell, from Kidsfirst Papanui, links the children’s work to Te Whāriki, the Ministry of Education’s early childhood curriculum.
“Children learn through play – by doing, by asking questions, by interacting with others, by setting up theories or ideas about how things work and trying them out, and by the purposeful use of resources. They develop a perception of themselves as 'explorers' – competent, confident learners who ask questions and make discoveries.”
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.