Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand and is commonly translated as “The land of the long white cloud.”  Be sure to take out a globe or an atlas or even look on Google Earth to show your child where New Zealand is and to compare it to where you live.

For this Theme Day we will explore modern New Zealand and Maori history. The Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.   For more on the Maori check here: and for more on their culture check here: and 


I found a lot of Māori songs when researching for this Theme Day on-line.  Here's a link to some lyrics and translations:  

Children's Rhymes

Check here for more NZ songs and rhymes:  

 Our family loves to learn about new countries, but New Zealand holds a special meaning for us because a lot of my husband’s family live there, which made this Theme Day especially fun.

You could explore New Zealand with this Theme Day in February for Waitangi Day, a major public holiday in New Zealand on February 6th that celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, (New Zealand’s founding document was signed on that date in 1840). However, you don’t have to wait for February to try this Theme Day because any time is a good time to learn about a different country.

Print out the 
Family Theme Day Plannerand decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.


Copyright 2016. Family Theme Days. All rights reserved.

E Papa: a Māori Tititorea Dance with sticks 

Mauao (Mount Maunganui) 

Tihore Mai Te Rangi is a children’s chant which calls for good weather: 


New Zealand

New Zealand has two National Anthems one is “God Save the Queen” but the one most used is their second anthem called “God Defend New Zealand” .  It was originally written as a poem and set to music in 1876 as part of a competition.  It has English and Māori lyrics.  

You can read the lyrics here:

Check out

all the fun New Zealand activities

we have for you:


Tutira Mai Nga Iwi (which means Line Up Together People): 

Photo: B. Wright

For the colours in Te Reo  Māori, here is a little song and animated video: ​

Māori songs:

Tohorā Nui or Big Whale is a New Zealand children’s rhyme. To learn the actions to the song try this site: