Updated: December 2, 2021 8:34:42 pm
With the school holidays right around the corner, parents will be rushing to find activities for their kids to indulge in and keep them busy. Sometimes, the simplest of activities are the most memorable. Perhaps one of the countries that first made “edutainment” popular, the Kiwis have a plethora of childhood games designed to hone new skills and stimulate the mind. This holiday, Tourism New Zealand shares some traditional Māori games to introduce to your kids and teach them a thing or two about New Zealand culture.
Here are four traditional Māori games that are easy-to-play and sure to keep your kids entertained during those cranky afternoons!
Boost hand-eye coordination with Tītītōrea
Tītītōrea, played with wooden sticks called tītī, is a two-stick game that dates back hundreds of years and is commonly played amongst the Kiwis even today. A traditional game played by warriors to improve hand-eye coordination, the game involves two or more players passing the sticks according to rhythmic music. Replace the traditional tītī with any stick of choice from home and put your own twist to the game by using your favourite playlist!
Take a look at this video:
Sharpen your memory with Takaro-a-ringa
Proving that you don’t need much to have fun, Takaro-a-ringa is a memory game that only requires your hands. Players take turns to come up with their own movement made with their hands (get creative and use your thumbs, fingers and elbows!), the partner then copies the hand movement before introducing his own addition to the sequence. Bring back some nostalgic school camp memories and challenge yourself to see how long you can play until someone forgets the sequence!
Sharpen manual dexterity with Whai
The origin of Whai is accredited to Māui (Yes, the very same from Moana!), a demigod and hero of the Māori. In the series of string games, each player creates patterns using a loop of flax string held between their hands. Similar to our local Cat’s Cradle game, players compete to create the most complex patterns in the most elegant way. Teach your children how to create unique patterns with just a piece of string, and sharpen their manual dexterity! Start with a simple diamond and move on to a complex Parachute
Improve speech with Kai
Kai are traditional Māori word games that take the form of tongue-twisters that had to be memorised and recited word-perfect in one breath. Encourage better enunciation by challenging your little ones to a famous tongue twister in our mother tongue languages! (For example, in English: She sells seashells by the seashore)
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