Matariki Activities for Kids: Crafts, Games, and More
Matariki is the Māori New Year celebration that takes place in New Zealand during late May or early June. It is a time to reflect on the past, celebrate new beginnings, and spend time with family and friends. It is also a great opportunity for kids to learn about Māori culture and traditions through fun and engaging activities. Here are some Matariki activities for kids that will help them learn and celebrate this special occasion.
Make Matariki Stars
Matariki is named after the Matariki star cluster, which appears in the sky during the Māori New Year. Making Matariki stars is a fun and simple craft activity that kids can enjoy. All you need is some colored paper, scissors, and glue. Here are the steps to make Matariki stars:
Cut a strip of colored paper about 1 inch wide and 8 inches long.
Fold the strip of paper in half and make a crease.
Cut small slits along the folded edge of the paper, leaving about ¼ inch at the end.
Unfold the paper and bend each strip of paper towards the opposite direction.
Glue the ends of the paper strip together to form a star shape.
Kids can use different colors and sizes of paper to create a variety of Matariki stars. They can also add glitter, stickers, or other decorations to make them more festive.
Play Matariki Games
Matariki is a time for celebrating with family and friends, and playing games is a great way to do so. Here are some Matariki games that kids can play:
Ki-o-rahi: This is a traditional Māori ball game that is played with a ki (a small ball) and a ra (a circular target). The objective of the game is to score points by touching the ra with the ki. Kids can play this game with a soft ball and a hula hoop or a cardboard circle.
Poi: Poi is a traditional Māori dance that involves swinging a ball on a string. Kids can make their own poi by filling a small balloon with rice or beans and tying a string around it. They can then decorate the outside of the balloon with markers or paint.
Whai: Whai is a traditional Māori string game that involves creating patterns with a long piece of string. Kids can learn how to play whai by watching online tutorials or by asking someone who knows how to play.
Learn Matariki Songs and Dances
Music and dance are an important part of Māori culture, and there are many Matariki songs and dances that kids can learn. Here are some examples:
Tutira Mai: This is a popular Māori song that is often sung during Matariki celebrations. The song is about unity and working together towards a common goal. Kids can learn the lyrics and sing along.
Haka: Haka is a traditional Māori dance that is performed at many special occasions, including Matariki celebrations. Kids can learn how to do a simple haka, such as the Ka Mate haka, which is the haka performed by the All Blacks rugby team.
Waiata-ā-ringa: Waiata-ā-ringa is a type of Māori song that is accompanied by hand actions. Kids can learn how to perform a simple waiata-ā-ringa, such as E Rere Taku Poi.
Cook Matariki Treats
Food is an important part of any celebration, and Matariki is no exception. Here are some Matariki-inspired recipes that you can try with your kids:
Matariki Star Biscuits: Use star-shaped cookie cutters to make biscuits, then decorate them with icing and edible glitter to make them look like Matariki stars.
Matariki Pies: Use puff pastry to make mini pies filled with your favourite Matariki-inspired ingredients, such as pumpkin, kumara, and bacon.
Rewena Bread: This traditional Māori bread is made with a sourdough starter and potato. It’s a fun recipe to make with kids as they can get their hands dirty kneading the dough.
Kumara Chips: Kumara (sweet potato) is a staple in Māori cuisine. Cut them into thin slices, season with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven for a healthy and delicious snack.
Create Matariki-inspired Artwork
Art is a great way to get kids involved in celebrating Matariki. Here are some ideas for Matariki-inspired artwork:
Starry Night Sky Painting: Use black paper and white or silver paint to create a night sky filled with Matariki stars.
Flax Weaving: Flax is a plant that is native to New Zealand and is commonly used in Māori weaving. Use flax to create bracelets, headbands, or even a small basket.
Matariki Collage: Cut out pictures of Matariki stars, kites, and other Matariki-related images from magazines or print them from the internet. Glue them onto a piece of paper to create a Matariki-themed collage.
Whakairo (Carving): Using soap or clay, let your kids get creative and make their own carvings inspired by Māori culture.
Watch Matariki-Related Movies or Shows
Watching movies or shows related to Matariki is a great way to learn more about Māori culture and traditions. Here are some options that are kid-friendly:
Maui’s Hook: A fun animated movie about Maui, a legendary Māori hero who fished up the North Island of New Zealand using a magical hook.
Pūkana: A popular Māori language children’s show that features Māori songs, legends, and games.
He Paki Taonga i a Matariki: A documentary that explores the cultural significance of Matariki and how it is celebrated by Māori communities in New Zealand.
Matariki Activities for Kids
Matariki is a special time of year that provides an opportunity to learn about and celebrate Māori culture and traditions. There are many activities that kids can participate in to mark the occasion, from creating art to cooking traditional Māori foods. By involving children in Matariki celebrations, we can help them develop an appreciation for Māori culture and traditions, and foster a sense of connection to the natural world.