I live in Oceania; do you or your kids know where that is? It’s OK. I didn’t either until I moved here. Oceania is the collective name of a region that has thousands of islands scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean. One of the main landmasses in Oceania is New Zealand. Explore these resources for learning about New Zealand in your homeschool.
This post is part of the Ways to Help Kids Learn About the Nations Series
Unfortunately, Oceania is rarely taught about in schools. I surely don’t remember learning about it. I knew about the seven continents, but nothing further than that when it came to geography. It’s a shame because there are some amazing islands here — including mine.
I am so glad I can speak about New Zealand with some actual context. I am happy to say that I know a LOT of New Zealanders since moving to Tonga (an island in the South Pacific Oceania region). New Zealand is only a 3-hour plane ride away, and many people in Tonga are actually from New Zealand. Additionally, New Zealand has quite a large Tongan Population.
My eldest daughter (21 now) has always wanted to go to New Zealand, and now it is possible. A trip to New Zealand will be her graduation present. (I hope she doesn’t read this ;-) I have heard some amazing things about New Zealand, and I can’t wait for our trip.
The funniest thing I learned from my New Zealand friends or “Kiwis” as they call themselves, is that Americans have accents. My self-centered brain always thought that everyone else had an accent. However, we have “American” accents.
It was hilarious to hear the Kiwis mimic our accents. They are pretty familiar with American accents, because of the movies and television culture. I also discovered that many, many Americans say “big ol’.” I vehemently denied this until I started being aware of how many times I said “big ol’.” Big ol’ car. Big ol’ rock. Big ol’ box. Big ol’ hair. Yes, even being from New York and living many years in Florida, I say big ol’ a lot. NOTE: I apologize beforehand if you start realizing how many times you say big ol’.
New Zealanders call themselves “Kiwi” because of the country’s national flightless bird called Kiwi bird. No, it isn’t because of the delicious kiwifruit – at all. The indigenous people, called Māori, have always held the kiwi bird in high regard.
The Māori people and culture are still a massive part of New Zealand’s living even today. It is compulsory to learn the Māori language in schools. The land is a scenic dream in most areas, as the country is known for its breathtaking landscapes. There is a slew of even more facts about New Zealand for our kids to learn about.
Here are a few facts about New Zealand that our family found interesting:
– New Zealand is known to be one of the last landmasses to be populated by humans. It was settled before the 1300s by Eastern Polynesians.
– It is geographically composed of two islands known as North Island and South Island.
– About 82% of the plants in New Zealand are endemic. This means that they can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
– There are NO predatory animals in New Zealand, making it quite a paradise for birds (most of which are flightless).
– The societal atmosphere in New Zealand is one of the most secular in the world, very separate from religion.
– The official name of the country is also Aotearoa in the Māori language, which means the land of the long white cloud.
– Captain James Cook (British) came to the islands in 1769. In 1840 the British signed a treaty with the Māori people called The Treaty of Waitangi. The agreement made New Zealand a colony of the British Empire, making Queen of England their ruler. – This wasn’t all good as much of the Māori land was seized, causing war to break out for ten years.
– February 6 is Waitangi Day!
-This beautiful island is one of the least populated countries in the world, with only about 4 million people living there.
-New Zealand is home to one of the world’s most massive insects, called the weta, which is part of the cricket family.
– Here is my favorite part… There are absolutely NO snakes in New Zealand whatsoever. These are no snakes where I live either. Pretty awesome!
OK, I promise to be done after these cool and funky facts about New Zealand:
– NZ has the longest place name in the world for a hill in it’s Hawkes Bay. The hill is called :
– All three Lord of the Rings movies were filmed in New Zealand.
– Bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand.
The following resources for learning about New Zealand truly provide the information you need for learning about this majestic island.
New Zealand Facts & Worksheets | kidskonnect
How to draw a Kiwi bird | Dragon Art
Kiwi Bird Interesting Facts & Unique Features | Kiwibird.org
KiwiCrafts | AZMetro
New Zealand coloring pages | Supercoloring.com
New Zealand Landmarks | Education.com
Flag Coloring Page New Zealand | AllFreePrintable.com
Kiwi factoids – New Zealand | Oddizzi
Printable Flag for FREE (New Zealand) | Free Printable Flags
Facts about New Zealand | National Geographic
I couldn’t help myself by telling you all about New Zealand. I am so excited to visit one day. There are so many cool facts about countries. Introducing these facts and resources for learning about New Zealand will make any child interested in exploring more countries around the world.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!