SPARKLERS / Identity and culture

Poi Rākau

A traditional, fun and energetic challenge for tamariki.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki take part in a traditional Māori game that involves co-operation and co-ordination.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

This traditional game combines coordination, working together as a team, concentration, fun and te reo.

We love this game because tamariki do! It combines learning some new skills, with a bit of activity, a bit of being in the moment and connecting with others – so many of the components that contribute to positive wellbeing.

Hei mahi - What to do

You can use broom sticks, hockey sticks or metre rulers to play this game. We suggest working in small groups of around eight – eventually challenging your class to do this as a whole class activity!

The simplest way to learn poi rākau is to check out this What Now version. We would suggest a couple of changes in order that it is kept as a ‘team’ game, rather than competitive. These include:

  • having the person calling mauī (left) and matau (right) stand in the middle with their rākau
  • getting this person to switch places with whoever drops their rākau, so everyone stays involved in the game.

What next?

Ngā mihi nui

Warmest thanks to Haeata Community Campus for suggesting this activity. We so appreciate your mahi and all it brings to Sparklers. Many times, ngā mihi.

Looking after you

Foster the hauora of your kaiako and team

Learn more