Bream Bay Kindergarten Video

Thursday, September 9, 2021

A Little Bit of Happiness

It was great to catch up with some of our tamariki and whānau on Zoom last week and hear about what everyone has been doing to keep themselves busy, as well as the highs and lows that being in lockdown presents. Some expressed enjoyment towards the challenges that have been offered. So, collaboratively another challenge was made...

 'Show us in photos three things that make you feel happy.' 

We know how important it is to find the little things that make us feel good and find the bright parts in our days during these times. Appreciating happy experiences is a mindfulness practice that can help with our wellbeing, helping to manage feelings and calm minds.

"Focusing on the positive is not just a 'sentimental idea' but is actually grounded in current neuroscience. Our brains release dopamine (a feel good neurotransmitter) when we remember a happy moment in the same way as if we were actually experiencing it. Nurturing this practice overtime actually changes the way our brains are wired and impacts how we feel, think, and behave" (MindUp)

Rowan got the ball rolling by sharing her three: beach walks at sunrise, spending time with her family, and her new chickens...

It was awesome to see that some of our tamariki were up for the challenge!

What makes Aria happy is playing with her kindergarten friends. But other than that she loves to play with Spike (cat), doing baking and playing family games...

Yum! They look so good!

Playing with bubbles, playing and listening to music, and swimming and playing with water is what makes Alexis happy.

For Kendall it's all about her favourite people, like her 'nan nan'!! Grandparents have the best hugs don't they Kendall. Her mum and dad got a mention as well.

Tahuhu found it hard to narrow it down to just three. Happiness is... 

1. eating kai and doing his mahi

2. sharing with Jessy (the neighbour's dog) 

3. exploring the sand dunes and looking at his baby photos. 

Tahuhu, you're as happy now as you were as a baby.

Aiden's list of things that make him happy include playing tractors with his sister Hazel, tractors (I think I see a theme emerging here!), and playing outside on the deck on both wet and dry days. (Is that another tractor that I can see?)

Three of Tai’s favourite things to do include baking with his mama (especially licking off all the yummy), cuddles with his baby cuzzies, and helping outside in the garden.

Looking smooth in his sunnies!

Sandy's always going on about her sheep so it's no surprise that they made it onto her list of 3 things that make her happy. Her flowering ranunculus bulbs made it too. And she took a leaf out of Tahuhu's book for her last thing: a cup of tea and a good book to read.

Only Molly was nosy enough to come see what was going on!

Amiria loves going for walks and picking flowers. She has just learnt how to ride the quad and this is now her favourite thing to do. 

Clara finds happiness when she's bouncing on the trampoline, doing puzzles, and colouring in.

Evie had a really hard time to narrow it down to 3 things but after numerous discussions with her family some of the things that fill up Evie's bucket of happiness are baking, mixing and chopping (both in the kitchen and water/garden play outside), playing with Willa, Mummy and Daddy (especially horsey rides), as well as daily bike rides to the beach (Evie loves riding through the tunnel to get to the beach. There are also so many things to see, smell, hear and feel at the beach which is why it makes her so happy!)

Archer also found it difficult to choose only 3 things that make him happy but he narrowed it down to his family (especially spending so much time with his sisters), his favourite teddy named Foxy Foxy, and sleepovers in the lounge (which he asks for these every single day.)  

Irirangi says "My best part of the day is shooting hoops with my dad and brother. I am happy swinging high. I am happy because my car goes so fast on my track and it has lights".

It's been amazing to see all the different things that make us happy; our people, our pets, our places, and the things we enjoy doing. Revisiting or reminiscing about the things that make us happy strengthens our connections to them. Remember...

"Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions"

(Dalai Lama.)

Thanks for staying in touch and sharing with us over the lockdown period. We're looking forward to seeing you and being with you at kindergarten soon! 

Arohanui from all of us at Bream Bay Kindergarten.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Ephemeral Art at home

This week we invited tamariki to join us from home as artists to create beautiful pieces of ephemeral art.

The great thing about ephemeral art is that anyone can do it and the materials needed to accomplish this can be found right at your fingertips and borrowed from nature.  

And of course, the process of creating ephemeral art is wonderfully calming experience for both children and adults to be involved in, and a perfect antidote to combat lockdown blues. 

Zoe draws on her artist talents to create a gorgeous rainbow.  The three dimensional aspect of ephemeral art allows the artist to become part of the art.

"The practice of ephemeral art draws on this capacity to observe, the desire to understand, to connect, to be in awe of the beauty of nature and to become aware of it's transience. The process of creating a piece can become deeply immersive, requiring full concentration and presence in order to capture the peak moment, which maybe very brief... Practicing ephemeral art is in a way another version of mindfulness" (Caroline Hawkins, 2020).

Olivia uses a giant leaf of the Monstera deliciosa or Fruit Salad plant as the backdrop for her artwork. 

Bonnie takes her art to a different level, using a layering effect, moving upwards and outwards to create her stunning 3 dimensional artwork.  Ataahua...beautiful!

Straight lines, curved lines and circles.
Archer and his sisters use found treasures from nature to create their pieces.  Notice the empty snail and cicada ongoing interest in insects shining through!

Khan, Dad and Nana get busy's exhausting work...
need rest ah Khan!

Beautiful objects inspire beautiful patterns!

Love it!

Opportunities for ephemeral art abound at the beach...wind can create some problems but this doesn't deter Evie...her solution; dig little holes for the flowers to sit in!

A walk to find the perfect spot for ephemeral art...

As far as creative spaces go, the beach is pretty awesome and very inspiring!

The whole family gets involved...everyone is an artist at the beach!
And what a great way to spend the day.

Flowers from a Flame tree provide stunning colour in a winter landscape and Heidi pays pays particular attention to repeated patterns in her artwork.  Gorgeous!

Jack has always loved's a visual symphony for the eyes!

"Art is a harmony parallel with nature" (Paul Cezanne).

"At its essence, ephemeral art accentuates the way in which we experience artworks of all types, with one significant aspect highlighted and placed in primary position. When we see anything which elicits a sense of wonder, or which we consider to be beautiful or profound, the impact exists firstly in the present moment, then to be preserved in the memory and heightened through contemplation. Ephemeral art is, at its best, this essence epitomised, explored, and refined" (

Sandy and Ngatiira get creative with moving lines.

"The beauty of ephemeral nature art is that it can teach your child that not everything we value has to be material. Not everything we create has to be taken home or even returned to. The process of making art is fulfilling enough to be the focus at times. Creating ephemeral art teaches kids about the impermanence of life and nature, as the most beautiful things such as a winterscape or a sunset aren’t permanent. More than an image seen with our eyes, ephemeral artwork is an actual moment in time" (

Notice repeated patterns in Annabelle's work, which she has framed with flowers.

The process of ephemeral art provides opportunities to soak up and enjoy nature.

Brothers share the journey...

Foraging complete...James assesses his treasure trove of goodies and makes a start.  

During this experience, Mum and big brother are close at hand to role model this new activity for James.

"We got out this afternoon to collect our things for our art, lots of excitement collecting. It took James a while to get some inspiration and Brodie and I to do ours first but he did pull something together in the end 😊" (Mum)

Beautiful James!

Sandy and Ngatiira work in circles.

Lillian gives us a different upside down artist!
Just gorgeous Lillian.

"Creating art inspired by nature helps children express themselves, tune into the natural world, and also to express their own appreciation of nature. Nature art can also enhance nature connection in a child." (

“When children have repeated opportunities to use materials and resources’ to engage with new ideas or knowledge’ and to develop their skills and understandings’ then learning is likely to be richer, deeper and more meaningful.” (Luke Touhill, NQSPLP e newsletter no 46, 2012)

James did some more collecting and made another artwork. He was very specific in which yellow brushy things were good enough and it of course had to feature the 'pipis' again. (Mum)

 We started on a table again but the wind kept blowing it away so he had to change plan. Was cool to see him build some confidence, to begin a design on his own 😁. (Mum)

When children have opportunities to revisit an activity, they get to practice new skills, play around with ideas and gain confidence.  You can literally see confidence shining out of James!

 “Effective learning usually occurs over time as children practice and master new skills, concepts and techniques.  It is rare that significant learning just ‘happens’; new learning typically builds on previous knowledge and experience.”  (Luke Touhill, NQSPLP e newsletter no 46, 2012)

Tina brings in some creative symmetry to her art piece.

Another day...another try.  Annabelle continues to develop her artist skills.  She's been inspired and adds driftwood to her art work.  Beautiful Annabelle.

Willis discovers natures hidden treasures.  Stunning!

Foraging for treasures in nature is part of the fun when creating ephemeral art.  Aiden considers his surrounding and carefully harvests what he needs for his art installation.
The vibrant green of the grass provides the perfect canvas.

Aiden has mostly chosen flowers to work with because in his words "flowers make me smile".

"Ephemeral art is special because it requires that we pay attention to the small and beautiful moments that unfold in life, celebrating the everyday" (V. Daiello, 2008).

Cleveland has found an abundance of things from nature to create an art piece.

Sevy gets to the heart of the matter...something to make your heart glow!

Rowan and Ava find interesting things at the beach for their combined art installation. 

The emails and photos we've received over lockdown have been wonderful.  It's marvelous to be in touch with each other in this way.  Even though we can't physically be together, in this small way, we stay connected and that feels really good.  
Take care, we miss you.
The team at Bream Bay Kindergarten.