The pre-schoolers at First Steps Waiuku celebrated the official unveiling of their Taniwha last month.
The Taniwha, made from recycled bottle tops, was shown off to friends and family of the youngsters, who spent close to five months on the project.
Throughout the project, the children learnt about their local area and also about taniwha and their guardianship.
"We spoke to the kids about it, and read lots of stories about Maori legends."
First Steps early childhood teacher Michelle Hunter says, “It was something they wanted to create.”
“We began in September 2016 and it was finished in February.”
The completed Taniwha is almost five metres long.
The team started gluing the tops on with hot glue, but during the summer heat, they all fell off, Michelle says.
They finally discovered a solution which has since worked well and they even found something to do with the old hot glue.
“We recycled the dried hot glue and used it for fish scales,” Michelle says. This fish is on the fence next to the Taniwha and the eel, made from a broken rubber tyre.
The children were able to choose characteristics and the design of the taniwha. “There were four options to choose from, so they stood by the teacher with the design they liked best. They also decided to put shapes on it,” Michelle says.
The pre-schoolers all had fun learning and creating this work of art, even learning a song to go with it.
“It was a team effort," Michelle says.