Lighthouse Children's Day poster

Lighthouse Children’s Day, Only Three More Sleeps

It’s here again, our favourite time of year!

Lighthouse Children’s Day is the premier children’s day event for children in Auckland. It is a community event focused on families with small children and babies. This is both an indoor and outdoor event which boasts a a diverse range of activities for all children. There will be a large selection of free attractions and paid rides.

Lighthouse Children’s Day will be a two-day event this year, held at the ASB Showgrounds on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April 2016. The event will be from 9:30am – 5:00pm on both days, and with all the exciting activities, stalls, rides, and attractions we have – you and the kids won’t want to leave!

Among the attractions at Lighthouse Children’s Day will be:

– Free popcorn and candy-floss
– Heaps of Giveaways, Prizes, Competitions and Fun for the whole family
– Free face painting area
– Live shows and performances
– An exclusive Baby activity area of more than 200m²
– A variety of infant and baby related stalls
– Colouring competition and craft area
– A variety of free gifts
– Special children’s rides and activities for young children 0-8
– Free Petting Zoo
– Pony rides
– Variety of food stalls
– Treasure hunt
– Pirate Boats, Ferris wheels, Merry go rounds, Bouncy Castles, Tug Boats, Tea cups and much more!

We are so excited for Lighthouse Children’s Day that we are running loads of competitions on our Facebook page, so be sure to ‘Like us’ and enter those competitions while you can! http://www.facebook.com/lighthouseathome

Lighthouse families, you should have already have received your free VIP Family passes by now. If not, these can be collected from the information desk at Lighthouse Children’s Day.

We can’t wait to see you all there! For more information on Lighthouse Children’s Day visit http://www.childrensday.co.nz

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March-April Newsletter 2016

Hello to our wonderful Lighthouse Families! We hope you have had a fantastic start to the year. This season’s newsletter is packed full of interesting and exciting news! From introducing our new Lighthouse early learning centre to how we celebrated Waitangi day with your children, there are also lots of family friendly activities and events to be attended, especially our fabulous Lighthouse Children’s Day! Over the past few months we have been focusing on music and movement as a part our curriculum and to put this into practice we held a free mainly music seminar and we had so much fun with you all. March and April also welcome our new curriculum on Easter!
Happy reading everyone!

Click here to open the newsletter

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What to make of your little Picasso’s scribbles

Though it isn’t appreciated when the once-perfectly-white walls of your living room are being used as a canvas, scribbling actually has a greater value than you may think.They don’t make much sense to an adult but scribbling is in fact the first step in learning to write.

As parents, we tend to praise our little ones’ drawings and try to decipher what or who the scribbles are. However when a child is first learning to draw, they are not trying to make a representation of something that they saw, they are instead humbly discovering and enjoying the process of drawing.This stage of scribbling portrays your child’s control of their fine motor skills as they are grasping felt tips,crayons, pens and pencils while moving these mediums around on paper. Though other instruments can be exciting once a child is past the first few stages of scribbling, it is suggested by experts that crayon without the wrapping and plain paper is the best way to start as other tools can be overwhelming.

At around two years of age, the assortment of marks on the paper may start to resemble familiar shapes. When a child is at this stage, they have become aware of the cause and effect of drawing. Surprising as it may be, they didn’t previously realise that it was their hand and movement, which was making the marks on the paper. Once a child understands that if they manipulate a marker in a certain way it makes a certain mark, they then begin to learn the effect of particular movements. This realisation can bring a child a lot of joy as they realise they have control over their hand movements.

Following their wee epiphany, children tend to celebrate their new found control by repeating the same movements on the paper, trying to make the same kind of mark over and over and/or making bigger versions. At this stage they are developing both hand-eye coordination fine motor skills, and visual control. Even though this repetition might not seem developmental, and as tempting as it is to intervene, it is important to just allow your child the freedom to do what they need to – practice makes perfect!

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As your little artist grows both in age and skill, it is important that instead of telling your child how they should be drawing, you let them experience this process by themselves. Interfering can hinder their learning process and confidence, however by giving your child the opportunity to struggle while drawing an elephant’s long trunk or a piglet’s curly tail, it presents them with their first problem solving exercise. If they insist on you telling them how to draw something, ask them questions such as “Well how many legs do pigs have?” and “What shape nose does an elephant have?” to help them along. By not telling your child how to draw something it also protects their natural creativity as they can draw something from their perspective. For example, the elephant’s trunk may be out of proportion to the rest oaf the elephant’s body, which may portray that the child finds the trunk interesting and recognises this as a distinctive feature of the animal. By avoiding intervening, the drawings can be seen as the child’s interpretation of what they are drawing rather than a copy of how you draw it.

In saying this, it is essential to show encouragement and the best way to do so is to be present while they experiment with drawing and to show your support and appreciation by telling them how well they are doing. Hanging their drawings somewhere visible to your little ones will also make them aware that you are proud of and interested in their drawings. It’s also a good idea to ask them what they have drawn rather than projecting your own speculations of what it is.

Once a child has learned to manipulate their crayon or pencil to make shapes then they might be ready to start learning to write. However our fully ECE qualified and experienced Lighthouse teachers stress that it is essential to not rush the skill of writing. Our practiced teachers emphasise that the process will be a lot smoother if the children themselves show an interest in learning how to write letters rather than it being forced upon them.

There is no urgency to go from scribbling to forming letters, and as each child is different their interest may surface at different times. Often it is a child’s name that is the first word they become curious to write and this tends to be just before they are heading to school but again, each child is different and it’s best to let your wee one enjoy learning through their scribbles until they are ready to learn how to write.

So until then, continue to collage the fridge with the colourful squiggles, loops and lines from your household’s littlest Picasso, as it is the foundation for writing and something to be proud of!

For full articles read below.
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free mainly music session with lighthouse at-home

Free Mainly Music Sessions with Lighthouse at-home!

Thursday the 18th February 2016 was a day full of smiles, joy, and laughter for our 30 Lighthouse At-Home children that attended the very first Lighthouse At-Home free mainly music playgroup held in a Christian Church in North Park.

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mainly music is an iconic Kiwi non-for-profit organisation that has been running music groups for parents, carers and children to enjoy since 1990. Since Lighthouse At-Home became mainly music’s exclusive sponsor earlier last year, this has been the first of many free mainly music playgroups to come for Lighthouse children.

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The session began with a welcoming introduction to the Mainly Music leaders and representatives of Lighthouse. Once the singing started there was no stopping the little ones from jigging and jiving as they sang along; oblivious (from all the fun) to their developing language, mathematics, and pre-reading skills. These free mainly music sessions are especially helpful for developing children’s emerging gross and fine motor skills as they moved their fingers, toes, arms, legs and bodies to the beat.

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After the Mainly Music session had come to an end, a light morning tea was provided for the children and adults, followed by an opportunity for the children to play with a large assortment of toys. The children were able to socialise with each other while parents and caregivers shared in the joy of their laughter and smiles.

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As New Zealand’s leading home-based childcare service, Lighthouse At-Home is committed to enriching children’s lives. This is evident in our previous road-safety seminars, quarterly free ‘day outs’, annual Children’s Day event with over 30,000 attendees and we are now enhancing children’s learning through music together with mainly music.

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If you missed out on this session keep an eye out for our next one and our other free events coming up – our next one is the Waitangi Day celebrations, call 0800 55 11 33 to book your spot!

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Not a member of Lighthouse? Call 0800 55 11 33 today and don’t miss another fabulous free mainly music session or any of our other free events.

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Free Waitangi Day Event

We have an exciting event coming up this weekend to continue the Waitangi Day celebrations with our lighthouse children.

During our recent visits our ECE teachers have been introducing the children to Maori culture through dancing with pois and drawing korus. We are now holding a FREE event for our lighthouse children to extend on this learning and it’s not an event to be missed! We will have traditional Maori singing, dancing, activities, games and more!

The event will be held on Saturday the 27th February from 10:00am – 11:30am, in Halswell, Christchurch. For the full address please call 0800 55 11 33 to book. Please note that there are limited spaces. Not a Lighthouse member? Call us today to enquire about our home-based childcare service and don’t miss out on another one of our free events 0800 55 11 33.

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Korus and Pois for Waitangi Day Celebrations

Waitangi day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. At Lighthouse at-home we chose to commemorate this day with the little ones by drawing korus and teaching them how to swing and dance with pois.

These activities were done in the weeks leading up to Waitangi day when our visiting teachers did their monthly visit to our home-based educators. As Waitangi Day is an important date for New Zealanders, we feel it’s vital to introduce it to the children and we have decided to do this through Maori inspired activities in order to help the children to remember what they were learning. The drawing and creating of Koru’s was one of the activities we chose to do to commemorate Waitangi day with the children as Koru’s represent new life and harmony.

Another activity our teachers used to introduce Waitangi Day to the children was pois. This activity got a lot of smiles and attention as the children loved swinging the pois around.

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Although it took them a wee while to get the hang of it, once the children learnt how to dance with the pois there was no stopping them from swinging and swirling them around to celebrate Waitangi Day.

Not only were these activities helpful in teaching the children about Waitangi Day and our bicultural heritage in New Zealand activities, it also helped to develop the children’s fine motor skills with the drawing of Korus, and gross motor skills with the dancing and swinging of the pois. Our visiting teachers are always aware of what’s going on in the children’s worlds and they use these opportunities to incorporate learning in creative ways.

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If you would like to have your child in loving and caring home-based environment that is visited by experienced and qualified ECE teachers, call us on 0800 55 11 33 to enquire

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Cultivate Your Child’s Inner Chef!

The weather this summer has been sweltering and if your in need of a way to cool down, as well as cultivating your little one’s cooking abilities then you’re in luck. This months article has a delicious and healthy recipe for ice blocks! It’s incredibly simple and will be sure to cool you and your family members down. Any sort of cooking, baking, or whisking up in the kitchen creates the opportunity to introduce your little ones to subjects such as counting, measuring, turn-taking, reading, and perhaps most importantly it can give them a big boost of confidence to know that they created something the whole family loves (especially if you name the treat after them, such as “Amanda’s Popsicles”) Click here to open the recipe!

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Christchurch Christmas Party!

There were smiles everywhere at our Christchurch Christmas party! A big thank you to everyone who attended, it was wonderful to see everyone having a fantastic time and in the true spirit of Christmas!

There was plenty of fun activities and attractions as the party was held at Chipmunks, the well known playland which is bursting with fun. The little ones enjoyed finding their way down the slides, playing in the ball pits, zooming around in the mini choo choo train, and watching our staff as they performed the ever-so-graceful chicken dance, which of course received plenty of giggles! After the fun, we provided an assortment of snacks and food for everyone to devour after a long day of having fun!

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On top the giant indoor play ground was a visit from the one and only Santa Claus! There were opportunities for photos with Santa and the beautiful tree which the children adored!

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We also had a lucky draw where there was an opportunity to win all sorts of awesome prizes. There was a very cheerful and happy atmosphere as everyone waited in anticipation for finding out who the lucky winners were and what they won!

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We ended the day with a beautiful group photo and a special Christmas tree which has the stamped finger print of everyone who attended the party to commemorate the festive occasion we shared with you all! Thank you again to all who attended, we hope you had a wonderful time. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all our Christchurch families!

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