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

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

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


The Sense in Sensory Play

Sensory Play is so much more than just a fun activity; it establishes the foundations needed by your child to develop various skills. During the first year of life, babies explore their surroundings through their senses. The more they explore the more they learn. That is why babies and toddlers touch everything and anything in their paths. Providing opportunities for them to learn about their world is an important part of your child’s development and understanding of how things come to be. Just telling them it is yuck is not going to stop them from trying to put the lemon in their mouth, so we need to make sure the environment is safe for discovery!



Don’t Give Winter the Cold Shoulder

If you’ve started to notice your family’s increased cravings for deliciously warm hot chocolates, you’re not alone. The first signs of winter are beginning to appear and it’s getting to that stage where it’s almost impossible to get out of your warm and snuggly bed in the mornings.

Winter is a time where many of us look forward to indulging in many hours spent inside and avoiding the chilly outdoors unless absolutely necessary. Although being wrapped up next to the heater, eating soup, and playing indoor games with our little ones is something we can all appreciate, it’s important for your family to make an effort to get outdoors and be active too.

Many parents worry that playing outdoors during the winter months will cause their little ones to get sick but as long as you’ve dressed them appropriately this won’t be a problem. Playing outdoors is a form of exercise that promotes well-being and is necessary for the physical development of children. Our kids are naturally drawn to exploring the outdoors and in many of their imaginative minds – it can be quite the adventure…

To read the full article, CLICK HERE!

Children are playing on green meadow

Children Flourish in Combined Age Groups

As a home based childcare service, Lighthouse at-home strongly supports the combining of age groups. Lighthouse educators can have up to four children at any one time, with a maximum of two children under the age of two. The reasoning behind this is partly to ensure individual attention is given to all four children, while also taking into consideration the particular needs of the under twos, and lastly all the great benefits that come with combined age groups.

You can read the full article Here!


Lighthouse Gifted Children

TV3 “Story” on Gifted Children in NZ with Lighthouse Learning Centre and The New Zealand Centre for Gifted Children.
Too many gifted children are mislabeled as autistic or ADHD,.


WTV interview with Lighthouse at home on gifted children and how we determine if a child is gifted.

Children's Day with Lighthouse at-home

Children’s Day 2016

WOW! Children’s Day 2016 was our third Children’s Day and we think it was our biggest and best yet. The event took place over two days, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April at the ASB Showgrounds, and to see you all having such a great time with your families showed us that we accomplished all that we intended to.

On both days, the atmosphere was overflowing with joy and happiness. Families were lining up an hour prior to the event starting and once we opened those doors, there was nothing quite like witnessing the gasps of excitement and wide eyes of the children as they entered Children’s Day and were overwhelmed with where to begin.


The happiness was infectious. There was an abundance of things to do, many of the families headed straight for the free candy floss and popcorn because let’s be honest, you can’t really go past it.


In terms of entertainment, Children’s Day had performances from a magician, various dancing schools, lion dancing, and Mainly Music were doing regular music sessions.



We even had a visit from the ever popular Sid from Ice Age who was giving out plenty of cuddles and high-fives.


The petting zoo was (as always) a favourite among the littles ones. As they patted, nuzzled and feed the little animals.



From the bouncy castles and mini jeeps, to the ferris wheel and giant inflatable slides, AND all the rides in between – there certainly wasn’t a shortage in attractions.





Children even had the chance to decorate their own cookies with a little help from Elsa and Auna from Frozen.



Among the entertainment for parents was of course the variety of stalls Children’s Day facilitated, majority of which had special deals exclusive for Children’s Day event attendees.



There were delectable treats, a huge range of toys, resources, and children wear. Almost anything child-related you could think of was available at the stalls at Children’s Day.



There was also free face-painting which allowed the children to run wild with their imaginations!


Thank you to everyone who attended our event, we truly hope you had a wonderful time with your family.






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.