In January, our Tūtū and Me families whom we serve were introduced to a new theme; “Ahupua‘a.” Not only was it new for them, but also for the teaching staff. At first, the teaching staff was reluctant and didn’t really know where to begin. As we collaborated and researched, the excitement and ideas began to flow.
We started off simple, concentrating on mauka to makai. We talked with our keiki and their caregivers about old Hawai‘i and the ahupua‘a system. They learned about the types of food they grew, where they lived (mauka/makai), how they traded food amongst each other, their kuleana as canoe builders, hunters, fishermen, and kapa making.
Keiki were enticed to visit the Library Center and read a book in the lo‘i. Our lo‘i consisted of a blow up pool with kalo cutouts around its border and comfy pillows.
Both keiki and caregivers participated in making poi in the Science Center. Here they pounded cooked taro from Waipi‘o. Yum, nothing like eating fresh poi!
In our Culture Center, keiki were encouraged to participate in kāpala printing. Muslin squares, markers, hala brushes and natural dyes were available to the keiki. One caregiver mentioned that she wanted to continue this project with her mo‘opuna at home and make a quilt out of their designs.
The cooking activity in our Snack Center was a ‘smash’! Keiki measured their coconut milk into a bag filled with cooked ‘uala, making pālau. Here is where the pounding fun began………..
These are just a few of the activities the Hawai‘i West team enjoyed. We can’t wait until we can incorporate and model even more fundamentals of the ahupua‘a system again next year!