Lettuce journey across the road, shall we?

Over the last few weeks, we have been learning a lot about Matariki – the Maori New Year - and have been engaging in cultural activities that are strengthening our understanding of this special occasion.

We have our special Matariki Evening coming up at Buckle My Shoe - star gazing & waiata (singing songs) are on the agenda! Of course, every event needs some Kai (food) so after a good discussion, we decided that it would be nice to make some vegetable soup to enjoy. 😋

During our discussion, some of our little ones asked, “What vegetables go into a vegetable soup?” - so we decided to embark on a special trip to the grocer across the road to get a better understanding of what vegetable options are available.


After putting on our hi-vis vests and getting into pairs, our tamariki were ready to begin their journey to the grocer! Because Buckle My Shoe is conveniently located across the road from the Gate Pa Shopping Centre, our walk to the grocer was not a long journey - it was certainly an interesting one, however! 😊


Walking along Cameron Road, one of our little ones suddenly got very excited and we just had to stop to find out why. “This is my house”, he said very proudly as he pointed to his home. This was a special moment for him as he had recently joined Buckle My Shoe and this was an opportunity for him to show us where he lived!


As we approached the grocer, conversations were had about what could be seen through the doors. “Let’s go in, shall we?”, Kathryn suggested with a smile on her face and as the doors opened, many different fruits and vegetables came into view.


Walking around the store, our little learners noticed & commented on the different fruits and vegetables around them. One child pointed to the eggplants and said, “My grandma eats these in the Philippines”. Heather smiled and pointed out that some of the pineapples in the store were grown in the Phillipines too (as spotted on the price tags). While in the fruit section, our little ones explored bananas & watermelons. They were so interested in all the different colours they could see.


Whenever an unusual vegetable or fruit was found, our little ones examined them more closely. Heather asked, “Guess what this is?” while she held up a garlic bulb. At first, one of our littlies said “Onion” but after some consideration another child suggested, “Garlic?”. 👍

When our tamariki got to the spuds section, they took turns holding a very heavy buttercup and checked out different coloured carrots and potatoes. They even found potatoes that had had a “shower” – washed potatoes of course! 😊


We decided to buy a few vegetables to take back to the centre. One child chose a pumpkin, whilst a purple carrot intrigued another one of our little shoppers. As we weren’t the only ones in the store, we had to patiently line up and wait for our turn to pay for the vegetables.


After buying our vegetables, we made our way back to the centre so we could examine our findings!

Going on local trips to the grocer or supermarket provide opportunities for our little ones to better understand the outside world. It also provides them with many other learning opportunities to improve their literacy (recognising letters and words on the signs), numeracy (by looking at the prices), classification skills (of fruit and vegetables), nutritional understanding and awareness of the different vegetable & fruit options available.


Our beautiful Buckle My Shoe families have brought in vegetable koha (a gift or offering) to the centre for our vegetable soup. Now that we have our vegetables, we are ready to start making soup for our big event. Watch this space! 😊