Whangaia ka tupu, ka puawai.
That which is nurtured will grow and blossom.

Like many topics covered in the classroom, developing positive hauora practices requires regular engagement to strengthen and consolidate the learning. Sparklers activities are modular, flexible and designed to be revisited, so you can offer tamariki many opportunities to build their knowledge and skills, across successive learning experiences.

It can help to see the activities as part of an ongoing progression of learning. Whenever you use them, you are laying the foundation for future development and growth, and helping tamariki build life-long skills. Ka pai!

Finding activities

From the activities page, activities can be accessed directly or sorted by:

  • Wellbeing Topic
  • Key Competency
  • Activity Type (i.e. games, worksheets, event-specific)
  • Te Whare Tapa Whā.

Wellbeing Topics – you can search our most used filter based on seven wellbeing areas. These include:

Activities are explicitly linked to the underlying concepts of the Mental Health Education guide (see p.13) and to mātauranga Māori (see pp. 17-21). Check out A Bit About Sparklers for full connections with this guide and the New Zealand Curriculum (2007).

Tailoring activities to meet tamariki needs

Sparklers includes a range of activities that develop from concrete to more abstract thinking, reflecting the progression of key learning in the Mental Health Education guide (pp.59-63).

Activities generally start with an inquiry-based framework to promote reflection and understanding, and prepare tamariki for learning. This is often followed by a summary of the relevant knowledge or pedagogical approaches needed to facilitate the learning, such as a discussion guide to enhance tamariki understanding, along with step-by-step instructions on what to do. Activities typically end with ways to further the learning, through the next steps or other activities to try.

While the format is relatively consistent, no-one knows your class like you, so please ‘do what you do so well’ and adapt the activities to make them fly for your tamariki!

Looking out for tamariki

Activities are designed to be positive and strengths-based, however, as part of negotiating a safe classroom environment, we’d recommend including an opt-out guideline should tamariki want or need to use it. If someone has a heightened response to a learning experience they may need a calm space to retreat or debrief. And, that’s okay.

If you have concerns about tamariki wellbeing – or their response to a particular activity – use your established school processes to respond and talk with a designated person in the pastoral support team.

Social and emotional learning

In addition to curriculum learning outcomes, Sparklers supports social and emotional learning, as framed in the Mental Health Education guide. The Ministry of Education Ata and Oho social and emotional learning resources (see the collection) provide a range of ways to enhance social and emotional learning across all areas of the curriculum.

Sparklers complements these resources, offering a range of health and physical education aligned activities that can:

  • bring calm and focus
  • warm tamariki up for other lessons or learning
  • extend sharing during circle time
  • address barriers to learning
  • support transitions from one activity to another
  • strengthen social connections
  • help with managing ‘big emotions’.

School and home

We know teachers love creating strong links with parents and whānau, as this is one of the best ways we can support high-quality education outcomes for all tamariki. These links are especially important when it comes to tamariki wellbeing, as their world is mostly made up of school and home.

We’ve created Sparklers At Home to help whānau look after their wellbeing, while also supporting the wonderful work you’re doing in class. As well as whānau-friendly wellbeing activities, there is a range of guides full of easy ideas for helping tamariki find calm, manage worries, be grateful and kind, and feel good.

Check out Sparklers At Home.

The three best ways to use Sparklers