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Pipiri is the first month of the Māori new year. It’s around the month of June.

There are two stars within the Matariki cluster which link Matariki to the weather - Waipunarangi and Ururangi. The appearance of these stars in the morning of Pipiri* would forecast the weather for the new year.

Waipunarangi is connected to rain, and translates as ‘water that pools in the sky’.  In fact, Tāpuapua means “lying in pools” and the rainy season is known to Māori as Te Matariki Tāpuapua.

Here are two activities to do together with your classmates to remind you of Waipunarangi and the rain.

Activity 1: The Rain Orchestra

Have you seen the rain orchestra on YouTube? It’s an orchestra without musical instruments. Instead the musicians use different parts of their bodies to create sounds that sound like the rain.

After you have watched the video, create your own orchestra with your classmates. Perhaps the teacher can be your conductor? Experiment with different actions to create different sounds. Can you make:

  • Drizzle rain

  • Heavy rain

  • Rain bouncing off the roof rain

  • Thunder and Lightning

And wind? A good rain storm should always come with a healthy dose of wind. Have a think about how you can create the sound of wind.

Activity 2: Rainmaker Instrument


Here's a great craft activity ..... the rainmaker!


  • Sturdy cardboard tube (empty cardboard tube from an aluminum foil roll)

  • 1 cup of filler (beads, rice, beans, stones, corn kernels, lentils)

  • Nails or a long pipecleaner or tinfoil twisted into a spring shape

  • Hammer if using nails

  • Crepe Paper in a variety of colours (ripped or cut into small pieces)

  • Glue stick or PVA

  • Scissors


  1. Use the hammer to tap small nails into the tube at random intervals until there is one every few inches or so. (If you prefer not to use nails you can twist tin foil or pipe cleaners into a spring shape. Once in a spiral shape, slide into the cardboard tube.)

  2. Cover one of the open ends of the tube with a piece of paper. Cut to size and secure with a rubber band. Make sure the paper is tight and you glue the paper onto the sides of the tube.

  3. Gently pour 1 cup of your filler into the open end of the tube.

  4. Test the rain-stick and add more filler if needed. Cover the open end with your hand. Tip the rain stick over and listen. If you are happy with the sound, proceed to the next step. If you aren’t quite satisfied, adjust the amount of filler you have in the tube.

  5. Now cover the open end with a piece of paper and secure with a rubber band.

  6. Lay your tube on its side. Dip pieces of crepe paper in the glue. Then position and press each piece down onto the tube. (Be creative and mix colours!)

  7. Repeat until the whole tube has been covered in crepe paper.

  8. You may need to do this in stages, allowing areas to dry before rolling the tube over. Remember that you need to do this on the ends as well.

  9. Shake, shake, shake ... and enjoy making music with your rainmaker