Meet Rikki-Lee

Meet Rikki-Lee, who is often the face and voice on the other end of the phone here at Montessori Kete.
Born in Taupō and hailing from one of our sub-tribes, Ngāti Ruingarangi, she naturally loves the outdoors, netball and is constantly engaging with her tamariki. Her baking skills certainly don’t go a miss either!
Rikki resides in Turangi with her partner Shaquille and their two beautiful babies, Halo (3yrs) and Kyzae (2yrs), who now feature throughout our website as we upload changes.
The Montessori concept and philosophy was first introduced when Halo attended a Montessori school 2 years ago while living in Hamilton.
Therefore, when this on-line store was purchased an opportunity presented itself to lead the Montessori Kete where she is currently upskilling to support this role.
Her commitment and enthusiasm to this mahi (work) is exceptional and of great value to us all.
Elizabeth Anderson
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My Visionary House of Learning...

In 2019, I had a vision to build a bi-lingual early childhood centre enriched with the principles and values of Te Ao Māori and Montessori for the tamariki, children of the Turangi rohe (area). A small community that is divided by two distinctive teaching practices in current centres, Te Reo Māori or Mainstream – why not build a centre that inspires a rich and diverse learning approach infused with Te Ao Māori and the Montessori way.
This is my visionary house of learning…
Frances Taituma
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Dr Maria Montessori & Te Ao Māori

Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952), has been described as an educator, scientist, physician, philosopher, feminist and humanitarian and who was the first early childhood educator to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. What an amazing lady!
Her vision has empowered so many and even myself through my short encounter with Montessori House of Children in Hamilton, NZ.
To see children encouraged to learn through a natural environment triggered an immediate association with Te Ao Māori. A Māori worldview that acknowledges the interrelationships of all living and non-living things. Not just between te tangata (the people) but also between the spiritual and natural world.
Frances Taituma
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The Montessori Legacy

Māori culture underpins who I am in our community and what explorations I embark on in life.
The purchase of this beautiful online store is one of those adventures where I have listed the support of whānau to join me.
Inger-Lisa, the previous owner did not offer me a business, she offered me a legacy and a new Montessori family.
Looking forward to our journey with you all.
Nga mihi,
Frances Taituma
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From Montessori Shop TO Montessori Kete - WHY?

Kia Ora,
Ko Tongariro te maunga
(Tongariro is the mountain)
Ko Taupō te moana
(Taupō is the lake)
Ko Tūwharetoa te iwi
(Tūwharetoa is my tribal affiliation)
Ko Te Heuheu te tangata
(Te Heuheu is our paramount chief)
Ko Frankie Taituma ahau
(My name is Frankie Taituma)
This is a Māori introduction from me to you, which is called a pepeha.
Part of this intro comes with a new logo whereby Tongariro is on the left of mounts Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, which captures my home land.
Raa te Haeata, the rising sun is a featured element that represents new beginnings with Montessori.
The name Kete symbolises a woven flax basket and for this purpose it is used to demonstrate Kete Aronui, knowledge acquired through careful observation of the environment.
For me, embracing the learned journey of Maria Montessori she is our Kete that is reflected in every item we offer to your children.
What do you think of our awesome new logo? Please do share the word to support us in this exciting transition.
We will be sharing a little more of our story in the coming days, leading up to our massive re-stock arriving!
Frances Taituma
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Nature Table Ideas

Nature Table Ideas

Why have a nature table?

A nature table is an opportunity to display a changing collection of beautiful objects found in nature. Young children tend to love a nature table as it gives them a chance to closely observe objects they may have helped collect or grow.  A nature table can also be used for a botany experiment, such as watching a seed slowly grow into a flower for example.


What to put on a nature table.

Any objects that have been collected while you are out and about can be displayed on a nature table, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • A vase of flowers or leaves
  • A tray of variously coloured leaves in Autumn
  • A plant experiment
  • A collection of shells
  • Found bird or insect nests
  • Famous artwork of animals or botanical prints
  • A magnifying glass for closer observation

Some tips on talking to young children about nature.

It is important to create an atmosphere of love and respect for plants and animals so young children establish a life long connection with and interest in nature.  Young children (3-6 years) love to learn the names and parts of plants as well as the names and parts of animals.  Keep it simple and take children outside every day in where possible, so they can experience all weather and all seasons.

Children have a natural affinity with nature, so dissecting flowers or animals can be upsetting for the child, without them even realising it.  It is the same with talking about the negative impacts humans have on nature.  It is best to build up a love for nature and the beautiful things within it first and tackling the bigger issues when the child is older and less likely to get upset.


Need some materials for your nature area?

We have some lovely materials and tools for the garden and your nature table.  Visit our Gardening section for more inspiration.  Pictured is our wooden dish, magnifying glass and ceramic pitcher.  

Nature table tips and ideas have been borrowed from Susan Stephenson's book, Child of the World.

Inger-Lisa Hurst
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