Uni of Auckland develops trauma resources
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > University of Auckland develops resources for 3-5 year olds who have faced trauma

University of Auckland develops resources for 3-5 year olds who have faced trauma

by Freya Lucas

December 19, 2023

The University of Auckland’s Centre for Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) is updating its popular Te Rito Toi online arts-based resources to include resources for children aged between three and five years, following feedback from those working in the early years space.


Te Rito Toi was designed to help teachers to support children who are returning to learning after a crisis, and who may be experiencing trauma. The popular program is currently in use by educators in more than 100 countries around the world. 


CAST director Professor Peter O’Connor said the early learning activities will include visual arts, drama, music, dance, play and nature play, and there will also be picture book and classroom play space suggestions.


“We’re so excited that fundraising earlier this year now means we can develop a world- first resource for early childhood educators, where the arts will help children and teachers come back together after traumatic events,” he said. 


Leading this work will be learning designer Emily Gibson, a masters graduate and research assistant at CAST, who will be collaborating with world experts, artists and educators to devise the resource.


“We will employ a trauma-informed approach to supporting the holistic well-being of young children,” she explained.


“Te Rito Toi Early Childhood Edition will employ the arts and play to engage young people in making sense of their experiences, grounding them in the present, experiencing a sense of safety, feeling connected to others, and regaining a sense of hope.”


The resources are expected to be available in July 2024. 

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