GAME: Sai ke tau ‘ilo

Game Saiketauilo.png

An important feature about our Tongan culture is our value of Tauhi vā (keeping our relations close).  However as our extended families grow and move further away it does get harder to keep in touch. It is important to take advantage of the times that families do get together to bond and keep those family ties strong. So here is a great game to connect reminisce and laugh and will defintely bring all generations closer by sharing stories.

We gathered for Fathers day and played this last night and there was plenty of laughter and emotional tears at times reminiscing of loved ones not here. And the best part of it all was the younger generation who were glued to their seats listening to all the stories rather than in their rooms on the devices. So when you have a captive audience take advantage of it and tell them all the stories of life in Tonga, explain cultural concepts behind the stories you share.

The saying “sai ke tau ʻilo” is a typical saying you will hear often meaning ʻgood to know’ often said in a somewhat sarcastic way.


  1. Gather the family around.
  2. You have to share a story that perhaps no one knows or only a few people know of. It can be of your childhood, a memory of your parents, grandparents. Memories of life in Tonga. A story of a current or past life challenge and how you overcame it.
  3. If a quarter of the family eg 3 people already know the story they will call out “sai ke tau ʻilo” then you must share another story.
  4. Good for you to start off the game to show the others how it is played.
  5. Ensure that everyone shares a story big or small. May take a few rounds for the quiet ones to share but thats ok.
  6. Taimi vaʻinga ē (Time to play!)


Kuo u loto fiefia ke ‘oatu ‘a e keimi ko eni ma’amoutolu ke mou ngaue’aki ke tokoni ke langa’i ‘etau lea fakafonua’.

So excited to offer my first free printable game for you all. I created this game for my class to have some fun speaking in Tongan. There are 80 sightwords of the most commom words used in my classroom. Please share this post and give me some feedback here, on letslearntongan facebook and or twitter page @letslearntongan.

DOWNLOAD THIS GAME AT THE END OF THIS POST.image 1. Download and print all the pages. Make sure that the one-sided print setting is on. You can also laminate the pages for durability. image

2. To play the game you need the sightwords, a die, markers and binderclips. Read the second page for directions and how to make the Pacman markers.image 3. You are ready to play. Make sure to keep things fun. It’s not about finishing first but the one who collects the most cards by speaking. Say the word correctly and you keep the card. image 4. Remember the goal for players is to speak in Tongan. You can vary the game in many ways depending on their ability. If you’re a parent and a native speak get involved and play as well.

  • Pronounce the word correctly. The following can be added as well for more advanced speakers in order to keep their card.
  • Spell the word.
  • Define the word.
  • Say a rhyming word (does not need to be a word.)
  • Use the word in a sentence.
  • Say a synonym for the word.
  • Say an antonym for the word (Some words may not have an opposite word).


Tongan Letter M colouring in activity

Here is another letter activity for your kids to enjoy.

  • Letter M is for manupuna (bird)
  • Manupuna literally means flying animal: manu (animal) puna (flying)
  • pronounced as MA (mah)
  • Tip: keep it simple and colour in for the little toddlers
  • Tip: for the older kids add feathers & coloured paper for them to paste


Check out our Activities page tab up the top for more activities.

Describe your ex using a Tongan song title

Describe your ex using a Tongan song title
Describe your ex using a Tongan song title

Taimi fakamuna. Time for a bit of superficial fun and games. This would be an interesting list to compile. There are contemporary songs that are quite funny like Lome Lome and Satana and then there are old ʻHiva hanuʼ (sad songs of lost love) as well as Hiva Kakala which have lots of metaphors.

List of Tongan Song Titles

  • Satana – Satan
  • Lome Lome – Salome Salome
  • Tangi e lotoʻni  – This heart cries
  • Liʻekina (mai siʻi ʻeku ʻofa)  – My dear love has abandoned me
  • ʻE Hina te u tangi – Oh Hina I will cry
  • Pehe ange mai ʻoku kei pongipongi – Come around for it is still morning (metaphor) for wishing one was young again.

Egg critters colouring in Activity

Egg Critters colouring In Activity

We are celebrating the royal birth of Prince Taufaʻahau Manumataongo, first child for Crown Prince and grandchild for King Tupou VI this past week with a colouring activity for all the little ones. The Egg as in Easter symbolises birth and new beginnings and he is the future of the Tupou royal household and of our kingdom nation.

It takes a village to raise a child so we must not forget about our children, we must encourage them, question them, and engage them to embrace their culture and language.

These 7 egg critters will definitely keep your little ones occupied and engaged.

  1. Click picture above for printable pdf format
  2. There are prompt questions in Tongan to help engage your child
  3. There is a vocabulary list of Tongan words to help with questions
  4. At the end get them to do show-and-tell
  5. Remember encourage, encourage, and encourage with words like “poto, clever pronounce poh-toh” “mālie, good pronounce MA-lee-eh”
  6. anything iʼve missed out on or could add let me know!

Mālō tuʻa ʻofa atu