Why we love Making a Matariki Tradition

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

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

All of this encourages us to notice the positive things about our lives, even when it can be challenging, and the research says that spending time thinking about these things, and writing them down:

  • evokes positive feelings and emotions
  • reminds us of all the things and people who contribute to our lives
  • helps build appreciation, empathy and kindness.


Check-in with your child about 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.

Kōrero about how Matariki can help us feel good (boost our wellbeing) by:

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

Hei mahi - What to do

Using pens and paper you can easily copy this Matariki placemat design, or print it off. Make sure you create enough for small groups of your whānau to work together on them.

Invite whānau over for a shared kai during Matariki or just having kai together with whoever is in your household during Matariki is special and makes for a great kōrero!

Other ideas for this Matariki shared kai time might include:

  • Going outside to at the whetū (stars) – find the Matariki cluster!
  • While you're there, evoke your senses - see the whetū, hear the night time, feel the cold on your cheeks, smell the coldness and watch your breath in the cold air.
  • Make a Matariki Wish
  • Have some SKIP Tiny Adventures - there's even a new Matariki extension pack