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Tangata ako ana i te kāinga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana

A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society

Benefits of playgroups


  • support children’s learning and development 
  • are a way to meet other parents and share experiences
  • provide a space for babies, toddlers, and young children to play and learn.

Playgroups usually cater for children from birth to school age, along with their mums, dads, grandparents, extended whānau and other caregivers. With a local focus, they can be a great way for families to connect with one another and their community.

Many playgroups play an important role in promoting and supporting the languages and cultures from their community.

Certified playgroups

Certified playgroups in Aotearoa New Zealand are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Te Whāriki provides a framework of principles, strands, goals, and learning outcomes to support the holistic development of all children.

In Te Whāriki children are positioned as confident and competent learners from birth. They learn by engaging in meaningful interactions with people, places, and things – a process that continues throughout their lifetimes.

Learn more about certified playgroups at the following Ministry of Education website links:

What children learn at playgroups

Important things children can learn:

  • how to play with other children of different ages
  • how to interact with adults other than their own parents or caregivers
  • language and cultural knowledge.

A group of children playing with orange coloured slime.

Playgroup activities

Playgroup activities may include:

  • A range of toys, books, and resources that support children’s interests
  • Art experiences
  • Playdough and sensory play
  • Sand and water play
  • Singing, dancing, and music-making
  • Blocks and construction
  • Dressing up and role-playing
  • Physically active play
  • Gardening and exploring the natural world

Playgroup coordinators and whānau likely have lots of great ideas for setting up their playgroup environment already.

There are playgroup play idea cards and other resources to give further ideas for playgroup programmes.