SPARKLERS / Identity and culture

Make a Matariki tradition!

Sharing kai is a big part of Matariki. Here tamariki create a placemat to use for shared kai during Matariki with whānau.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Matariki connects us to our past, present and future, and this activity helps whānau bring all these elements together. It could make for a wonderful new tradition.

In this activity tamariki create a placemat to encourage shared kai during Matariki with their whānau, which includes kōrero starters and activities focused on reflecting on the past year, celebrating what we have, and planning more good times for the future.

The activity encourages people to notice the positive things about their lives and how spending time thinking about these, and writing them down can:

  • evoke positive feelings and emotions
  • remind us of all the things and people who contribute to our lives
  • help build appreciation, empathy and kindness.

Tāngia ēnei tohutohu – Print me

Print Matariki Whetū placemats onto cardboard or paper, and if you can, laminate the finished product. Bear in mind though that tamariki will probably need at least two each!


Ask tamariki what they know about Matariki – you might like to take a look here for some general information or Prof Rangi Matamua’s fantastic videos.

Reinforce that Matariki is a time to look back, be present and look forward too – all of which are good for us.

Ask them how they think Matariki can help us feel good (boost our wellbeing)? Answers could include:

  • Promoting cultural understanding
  • Encouraging us to spend time with those we love
  • Getting to eat great kai!
  • Being awestruck by the amazing whetū and sky

Expand on all of these benefits, or introduce them.

Hei mahi - What to do

Print off the Matariki placemat worksheet and say these are for a shared kai during Matariki with their whānau. - This doesn’t mean there has to be special kai, or other whānau or friends invited – just having kai together during Matariki is special and makes for a great whānau kōrero.

Other ideas for whānau during Matariki might include:

  • Go outside on a clear night and look at the whetū – find the Matariki cluster
  • Learning, practising or making time to kōrero about your pepeha.
  • And we know Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori always have awesome ideas for Matariki too

What next?

Looking after you

Foster the hauora of your kaiako and team

Learn more