Early Childhood Education

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Bring the MOTAT magic to your next early childhood class!

Aligned with the Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki (1996), MOTAT's Early Childhood education programmes are designed as a guided discovery of our collections by a MOTAT Early Childhood Educator.

Designed for our youngest visitors, learning experiences include a thrilling tram ride and hands-on fun in our specially designed under 5’s area, MOTOTs

A tram ride can be negotiated with our Booking Office at bookings@motat.org.nz at the time of booking.


MOTAT’s Early Childhood visits run from 10am-12pm.  There are six great sessions available which cater for a wide range of learning goals:

  • Te Rapu Taonga. This activity is a self-guided trail in Te Reo Māori. This trail will take you around the MOTAT site to discover treasures in the MOTAT collection. Students will search for many things including Tarakitā, Kura and Wākana as well as objects in a variety of colours. Designed to strengthen understanding and use of Te Reo this trail can be completed by fluent speakers and people new to the language.  

    Please note: While an educator will introduce the activity to your group, Te Rapu Taonga is designed to be completed in small groups led by your supervising adults.
  • The Sensory Science Session. In this session children will explore the wonderful world of science. While investigating rainbows, shadows and colour mixing children will be encouraged to contribute, communicate and explore in groups as they engage in science activities. 

  • A Victorian Way of Life has children taking part in a variety of everyday Victorian activities such as washing clothing using a washboard, playing Victorian games, and dressing up. 

  • Machines in a Toolbox allows children to use a tool box with components to make a skateboard, pulley system and a catapult. They are given an opportunity to explore how these simple machine pieces fit and work together. Children will experience activities that develop both gross and fine motor skills and that offer varying degrees of challenge, such as balancing, hammering and construction activities. 

  • Incredible Inventions explores old fashioned technology and how it has changed. Hands-on time includes using typewriters, switch board phones, dial phones, Morse code and slate boards.

  • Wheels Wheels Wheels - concentrates on transport and involves a number of activities around the MOTAT site. Activities include different varieties of transport while capturing different learning styles including building, counting, singing and sorting. They range from dressing up in a fire fighter’s outfit to reading transport related stories in our old School House. Wheels Wheels Wheels has been designed to be completed at the pace of the learner and to interweave learning with the exploration experience. 

    Please note this is a self-guided programme. While an educator will be on hand to introduce and facilitate the programme, students are encouraged to discover, contribute, communicate and explore lead by your supervising adults. 

Maximum of 20 students per session. Suitable for ages 0 - 5. With the exception of The Sensory Science Session. Due to small parts, this programme is suitable for ages 3 – 5 only.