The importance of wai
At a Puna Reo in the Waikato, upholding Tainui tikanga by recognising the status of the Waikato awa/river to the people of the rohe/region informs their learning priorities. They explore the importance of water with pēpi and tēina.
The significance of water to the education and learning of pēpi and tēina is also reflected in whakarite/practices such as utilising water and karakia to physically, spiritually, and emotionally heal and support wellbeing.
This involves placing a ‘oko wai koiora’ or water bowl in a central place within the centre and encouraging toddlers to sprinkle water on themselves when feeling sad, lonely, or hurt.
Interactions with Ranginui/Sky Father are also encouraged with opportunities for infants and toddlers to experience and make connections to the ua/rain as a means of supporting the physical and spiritual connectedness with Ranginui.
Small groups of toddlers also take trips to the Waikato awa as a way of acknowledging their tūpuna/ancestors, whakapapa, and spiritual connectedness.
This is part of a story of practice on the Infants and toddlers page.