Encouraging Emotional Development in children through traditions can be as simple as traditional family dinner.

Tradition and its Role in the Emotional Development of Children

Whether it’s celebrating Chinese New Year with a plate full of rice cakes and other delicious delicacies or decorating the Christmas tree on the 1st of December, most families embrace tradition even if it’s as simple as a Sunday roast. However, what many of us do not realise is how essential these traditions are to the emotional development of children. Traditions offer quality time, relationship building, identity, security and memories that will last forever.

There is no wiser investment than spending quality time with your family; the profits stretch far beyond the wonderful memories you have to look back on. As traditions typically involve the whole family, it creates the opportunity for quality time which can unfortunately be so easy to forgo for many busy families. For the purposes of regular, quality family time, a sit-down meal every Sunday can do the trick. The practice of bonding over a meal has been a way for humans to connect since our ancestors used to do it around a fire. Over time, the many conversations and memories shared over the dinner table will create a sense of belonging for each family member which is especially important for the mini members.

Traditional dinners can grow emotional development of children

A child gains their identity from their main life influencers. Who they are, their history, where they live and what is expected of them is all information a child gathers from their family (especially those under 5). Traditions act as a source for this information. For example if a child is born into a Christian family, the tradition of going to church every Sunday and praying before eating their meals will teach them about their identity through their family’s beliefs and values. The formation of identity is an on-going process however for children it can offer them a sense of self-worth as they begin to understand where they fit into the world and who they are.

mother showing tradition developing emotional developments of children

Perhaps the most significant benefit of traditions is that they can provide structure and stability. The consistency of traditions promotes positive emotional development of children as they are provided with a foundation of stability that remains unwavering throughout various life changes. For example, moving to a new home can be daunting for the whole family but by continuing to deliver stability through traditions of a family dinner together every Sunday, it offers an element of comfort for the younger children as well as the whole family. Additionally performing a ‘ritual’ as a tradition before a stressful task can actually reduce anxiety levels and increase confidence for our little ones. For this reason, creating rituals for good luck from a young age may be very helpful for you child’s first day of school. It can be as simple as a “bear hug” that is given before bed to ‘make sure’ your little one doesn’t have bad dreams. The bear hug will then represent comfort and become a symbol of safety in times of need.

Along with benefiting the emotional development of children, research has found that families who engage in traditions report a stronger connection and unity than families that have not established rituals together. So if you haven’t quite established any traditions in your family yet, here is your chance and a few great reasons to start.

Click here to read the full article

Fostering self help includes the ability to tie up shoe laces

Fostering Self Help Skills

Children have a drive to be independent and to do things on their own. We can help young children with their independence by encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves whenever possible. Allowing your little ones to take limited control is a great way to develop self-help skills. Although it can be faster and less messy to do things for our children, they learn so much more from doing things for themselves.

When children practice self-help skills such as feeding and dressing themselves, they practice their gross and fine motor skills and gain confidence in their ability to try new things. It also helps to build self-esteem and confidence in their independence. Encouraging self- help skills from a young age will assure independence in later years too. Lighthouse has put together some suggestions that outline how you can encourage self-help skills for your child, depending on their age group.

6-12 months old
• Starting to clean face and hands with damp wash cloth (finish up with help)
• Putting their shoes away
• Feed themselves a snack – finger foods
• Hold a spoon and tooth brush to imitate parents/siblings

12-18 months old
• Exploring how to dress and undress themself
• Drinking from an open cup
• Exploring how to eat alone with a spoon or fork
• Putting toys away after playtime
• Exploring how to wash their body in the bath

18 months-2 years old

• Practicing how to put their shoes on and off
• Putting their clothes away in draws
• Brushing their hair
• Practicing pouring water from a jug to cup
• Practicing how to wipe up spills

3 years old
• Practicing how to make their own bed
• Exploring basic cooking and setting the table
• Practicing doing up zips and buttons

4-5 years old
• Learning important phone numbers such as yours (as parents) and emergency numbers too.
• Learning their home address
• Practicing tying laced shoes

All children are unique and reach the ability to complete certain skills at different times. Allowing children to explore skills, possibly fail and try again is will foster self-help skills and independence in your child. It will also help to build resilience as your little one will learn to overcome difficulties.

It can be challenging to find the right balance of giving children the freedom to learn, as well as supporting them through the learning process. Instead of intervening at tricky times, try standing back and giving your child the time they need to try it for themselves, it’s amazing just how much they can do. Keep your expectations age appropriate and be supportive with lots of encouragement and praise. Make sure the whole family is in the loop too so that they can also offer encouragement and support.

Click here to read the full article on fostering self help skills in children

Santa at the Lighthouse Christmas Party

Get your Santa hats ready, our Lighthouse Christmas Party is just around the corner!

The time has come. Shops all around the world are playing the classics of Christmas, children are behaving extra well for Santa and the Christmas spirit is getting contagious! Andy Williams spoke no lies, when he said it was the most wonderful time of the year. There are many things to look forward to during December and our annual Lighthouse Christmas Party should be very near the top of your list (and by that I mean #1!). Take the day to unwind, bond with your children and let them embrace all the joy that Christmas has to offer as we have planned a fabulous event for you all.

This year, the Lighthouse Christmas Party will be held on Sunday 11th December 2016 at Forrest Hill School from 3:00pm – 6:00pm. As Santa will be making a special appearance, we request that parents bring a small wrapped (and named) present for Mr. Clause to give to the children. Something small such as a book will be a great gift.


We know how much the children look forward to our Christmas party so we have put a lot of effort into making it as exciting as ever and with the children’s joy strongly in mind. This year we will have mini jeeps for the children to ride on, fun games, festive activities and a delicious feast for everyone to enjoy. There will also be a lucky draw, classic Christmas tunes, face-painting, a colouring-in competition and a carpet play area for the miniest members of our Lighthouse community.

Lighthouse Christmas Party face-painting

Once again, the Lighthouse Christmas Party details are as follows.
Date: Sunday 11th December 2016
Time: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Venue: Forrest Hill School, 50 Forrest Hill Rd, Forrest Hill.
Price: Free for Lighthouse members
RSVP: Please register your attendance by emailing office@lighthouseathome.co.nz. As always, please RSVP as soon as possible and attach a screenshot of the “Child” page of your app. This way we have all the information we need to book you in. We look forward to celebrating with you all as the countdown to Christmas begins!

Not a Lighthouse member? Don’t miss out on another one of our awesome Lighthouse-exclusive events – call 0800 55 11 33 today.

Lighthouse party at silverdale adventure park

A Day Full of Adventure at Our Lighthouse Adventure Party

It was wonderful to see you all at our Lighthouse Adventure Party. The Silverdale Adventure Park made for a fantastic venue to celebrate the beginning of summer. From the pirate ship to the mini moon buggies, horse carousal and indoor jungle gym there was an abundance of joy. We were pleased to see that all our Lighthouse children were able to enjoy themselves with their friends, parents and educators. Our visiting teachers also enjoyed seeing both parents and children alike.

Lighthouse child enjoying the jungle gym at our Lighthouse Adventure Party

After a morning filled with the excitement of many rides and attractions, it was time for a break. As our Lighthouse families gathered in the picnic area, it was delightful to see our community enjoying a delicious feast together.

Lighthouse teacher greeting Lighthouse Family at Lighthouse adventure party

Once bellies were bursting and lips were licked it was time to get back to the rides. Everyone enjoyed their favourite rides from the morning a few more times as well as trying some new ones – we had some very brave children at our Lighthouse adventure party!

Child at Lighthouse Adventure Party on Carrousel

This Lighthouse-exclusive event was truly a great one and we will be sure to plan another event here in the future. Thank you to all of our Lighthouse members who joined us. There is never a shortage of fun and laughter when our community of families come together to bond and have fun!

Child on tube at Lighthouse Adventure Party with Father

Keep your eyes out for our next event in the newsletter – the annual Lighthouse Christmas party! If you’re not a member of Lighthouse, we don’t know what you’re waiting for. The benefits that Lighthouse members are entitled to stretch far beyond our awesome events!

Lighthouse mother and child  riding the mini jeeps at our Lighthouse Adventure Party


Taking Over Rainbow’s End

On Friday, Lighthouse at-home and many of our families joined us in the take over of the Kidz Kingdom at Rainbow’s End.


As always with our families, it was a day well spent as the children were overjoyed with their choices of rides and attractions which Lighthouse had exclusively booked out. There was the merry-go-round…


The truck ride where you could go through a pretend carwash…


and we aren’t too sure what this one was called but apparently it was LOTS of fun!


We put together these events so that parents can bond with other parents and children can make new friends. It allows for our Lighthouse community to get together to have some fun and where better to do so than a theme park?



Our teachers loved seeing all their families too. Thank you to everyone who attended and we look forward to seeing you all again at our next Lighthouse event.




Temper Tantrum Tips

Ten Tips for Taming a Tantrum

They always happen at the most inconvenient times. In fact, you can almost always count on it happening in public when you are in a big rush or at the most unsavoury of moments, on a plane full of people.

Sometimes there isn’t even a warning, one moment everything is fine and the next you have a full meltdown on your hands; the limp body dramatically dropping to the floor, the arched back accompanied by ear piercing screams, and what is a tantrum without the glaring eyes of strangers?

This will be all too familiar if you’ve ever experienced a temper tantrum of which if you have not, I am both jealous and surprised. Even the most well behaved child will have their moments because tantrums often come from a place of frustration, not necessarily misbehaviour.

Understanding why children have temper tantrums can help parents better understand how to deal with them. These impulses of erratic emotions are most common between the ages of 1 and 4 and stem from a child’s inability to express their emotions and needs, as well as their inability to control their surroundings and environment. It can be tough for our little ones, so knowing which one of these triggers is causing the tantrum can be a good indicator for which approach to take when it comes to diffusing it.

To find out what our top 10 tips are CLICK HERE

Lighthouse Earthquake Drill

Lighthouse Earthquake Drill

It’s 2:15 in the afternoon, you have just finished your lunch and it’s time to settle back into your workload. As you begin to steady your thoughts on the tasks that lie ahead, the ground beneath your feet has a different idea. Your thoughts and body are no longer steady as the rumbling and shaking brings you to the floor. It’s an earthquake.

Do you know what to do? Do you know where your family members are? Do you have a plan? Do you have food and water to last you for three days? If not, perhaps it’s time to make a plan in case you are ever in this situation. You can start your preparation by joining in on our earthquake drill.

We advise our Lighthouse family’s to watch the video below as a part of our nation-wide Lighthouse Earthquake Drill. The video explains what to do during an earthquake so you can be prepared. Participating in an earthquake drill can save lives, so make sure it’s a top priority for your family this week. Additionally, we have outlined what to do during an earthquake, what you can do now to prepare, and how to respond after.

The ‘before’ is all about preparation, there are suggestions below for preparing an emergency kit and an emergency plan.
In you Emergency Kit:
There are two options for an emergency kit; you can buy a pre-made one for four people at the price of $275 from here. Alternatively you can make one at home. For those of you who do decide you want to make one at home, here is a list of items you may want to include in your kit:
• Torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch
• Radio with spare batteries
• Wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats, and strong outdoor shoes
• First aid kit and essential medicines
• Blankets or sleeping bags
• Pet supplies
• Face and dust masks
• Check all batteries every 3 months
• Food and water for 3 days or more
• Non-perishable food (canned or dried food)
• Food, formula and drinks for babies and small children
• Water (at least 3 litres per person, per day) for drinking
• Water for washing and cooking
• A Primus or gas barbecue to cook on
• A can opener
• Check and replace food and water every twelve months

Along with your Emergency Kit, you should prepare an Emergency Plan.

During an earthquake many of us would experience panic, part of which might be panicking about what to do. Detailed below is the New Zealand government’s ShakeOut instructions for what to do during an earthquake; Drop, Cover and Hold.
• DROP down on your hands and knees. This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
• COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk (if it is no more than a few steps away from you). If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
• HOLD on to your shelter (or your position to protect your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

Listed below are some steps to consider for after an earthquake has occurred.
• Listen to your local radio stations, as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
• Expect to feel aftershocks.
• Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary. Help others if you can.
• Be aware that electricity supply could be cut, and fire alarms and sprinkler systems can go off in buildings during an earthquake even if there is no fire. Check for, and extinguish, small fires.
• If you are in a damaged building, try to get outside and find a safe, open place. Use the stairs, not the elevators.
• Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas.
• Only use the phone for short essential calls to keep the lines clear for emergency calls.
• If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window, get everyone out quickly and turn off the gas if you can. If you see sparks, broken wires or evidence of electrical system damage, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box if it is safe to do so.
• Keep your animals under your direct control as they can become disorientated. Take measures to protect your animals from hazards, and to protect other people from your animals.
• If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs for insurance purposes. If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible.

Although we have made an effort to gather the most essential information for our Lighthouse Earthquake Drill, we recommend that you visit the official website of the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defense for a more comprehensive overview on earthquakes and preparing for them.

lighthouse adventure party poster

Lighthouse Adventure Party

Summer is just around the corner and to celebrate the warmer weather, we would like to invite you to our Lighthouse Adventure Party!

This exciting event will be held at the Silverdale Adventure Park. There is an awesome range of rides for all ages including a pirate ship, mini moon buggies, a luge, a horse carousal and so much more! Parents and educators will be able to ride with their children on majority of the rides and you don’t need to worry about the weather as almost all of the rides are under cover.

Adventure Park Silverdale Lighthouse jungle gym

After a fun-filled morning of rides and attractions, you and your children can enjoy a picnic on the large grass area. So don’t forget your picnic mat and some delicious food. Please note that branded food such as KFC and McDonalds is prohibited by the Adventure Park, so home-made food is the best way to go.

The Lighthouse Adventure Party is a Lighthouse exclusive-event for all of our members to enjoy and we can’t wait to see you there!

Date: Friday 4th November 2016

Time: 10:00am – 2:30pm

Venue: 2104 East Coast Road, Silverdale (keep your eye out for the large purple gate – that’s the adventure park!)

Price: The Lighthouse Adventure Party is free for all lighthouse members, for non-lighthouse members we have subsidized the pricing:

Children aged under one: Free.
Children aged one-three: $10.
Children over three: $20.
Adults that would like to go on the rides: $20
Adults that do not wish to go on the rides: Free.

Luge awaiting Lighthouse at home

If you are planning on joining us for our Lighthouse Adventure Party, please remember to register by Thursday 3rd of November. To register, send an email to office@lighthouseathome.co.nz and confirm your attendance. Please also attach a screenshot of the “Child” page on your app so that we have all the information we need to book you in for this adventure.

P.S. Make sure you are using our Lighthouse app to ‘share the moment’ and could be in to win some awesome prizes.

Cosmic awaits Lighthouse at silverdale adventure park

Phone: 0800 55 11 33
Email: office@lighthouseathome.co.nz

Lighthouse at-home Newsletter August 2016

Lighthouse at-home Newsletter August 2016

Hello to our wonderful Lighthouse Families,

As we are now well into the winter months, we hope you are all keeping warm and healthy! Over the last month we have shared some exciting experiences as we celebrated Matariki together, went on a fruit picking adventure, and danced at our mainly music sessions! It’s a wonderful atmosphere when all our home-based childcare families come together to attend our free events, the lighthouse community is truly a special one to be a part of.

The change of seasons also brings a change in curriculum. As we see the end of sensory play, our little ones will begin to focus on the Rio Olympic Games. With the weather getting rainier, coming up with new ideas for entertaining the kids indoors can get difficult. Michelle’s tips and tricks will provide a range of creative activities that you and the children can enjoy. Happy reading everyone!

Want to find out what your little one’s have been up to and what’s coming up next? Click below to read our Lighthouse at-home newsletter for August and find out for yourself!

Click here to read the Lighthouse at-home newsletter for August


Let the Games Begin: Lighthouse’s Mini Olympics!

For many of us, winter conjures up images of snow-covered mountains, rainy days and snuggling up to a warm winter’s fire with family and friends. However, this will not be the case in Rio de Janeiro on August the 5th – 21st as the world will see the beginning of the summer Olympics 2016. This exciting event has inspired us to have a wee Olympics of our own. Our event will take place on the 13th of August from 9:30am -11:30am and will be held at the Mount Eden War Memorial Hall.

As our new curriculum focus is on the Olympics, Lighthouse’s Baby Olympic event will be a great foundation for our little ones’ learning in the months to come. Among the activities will be making our very own torches, having a torch relay, and other light-hearted competitions that will teach the children about this significant event while having loads of fun! We will even be have medals for our mini winners.

The mini competitions will include:

– A baby crawling race (0-2 years old)
– A throw bean bag race (0-2 years old)
– A running race (one for those aged 2-3.5 years old and one for 5+)
– Jump into the hula hoop event (3.5-5 years old)

The Olympics is a wonderful opportunity to get our Tamariki excited about sport, friendly competition, national pride and counting medals. The Olympic games can also be a way to learn more about our world and the different cultures within it.

If you would like to attend this event or get more information, please call 0800 55 11 33. Booking is essential.