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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!

Christmas Crafts

It’s that wonderful time of year that presents many opportunities for fun, learning, and spending quality time with loved ones. This cute christmas activity combines all three as you and your child can create fun new memories while teaching your little one about the gift of giving and working with them on their fine motor skills! Follow the link below to the pdf file which has instructions for how to do make this gorgeous card!

Click here to read the full article!

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Save the Date – Christmas Parties!

Christmas really is an exciting time of year with plenty to look forward to, including (and especially) the Lighthouse Christmas parties! We put a lot of effort into making sure our Christmas parties for our Lighthouse members are super fun occasions that the whole family can enjoy. This year, each of the three parties are being held at awesome venues and all of them will have face painting, fun activities, a staff performance, lucky draws, delicious treats and of course a visit from Santa Claus himself!

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The details of each of the parties are as follows:

Christchurch Christmas Party
Date: December 5th 2015
Venue: Chimpmunks, 427 Cranford St, Redwood, Christchurch.
Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Auckland Christmas Party
Date: December 12th 2015
Venue: Crystal Mountain, 80 Candia Rd, Swanson, Auckland.
Time: 10:30am – 3:30pm

Wellington Christmas Party
Date: December 13th 2015
Venue: Laughalots Playland, 499 Hutt road, Alicetown, Wellington.
Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm

We cannot wait to see you all there as we will celebrate Christmas as a giant Lighthouse family!

Not a member of Lighthouse but want to enjoy exciting free events such as this one? Give us a call today on 0800 55 11 33 and one of friendly staff would be delighted to assist you.

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Super Easy Blueberry Yogurt Cookies!

Baking is a great activity that is not only fun and delicious but it can also be a learning opportunity for the little ones as they help with counting the ingredients, turn-taking, measurement, understanding processes, and spelling out the words. Being responsible for their own little creation can help build their self esteem too!

Ingredients
1 cup oat flour (blend up oats)
3/4 cup greek yogurt
2 Tbsp egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup granulated stevia (not extract), or granulated sweetener of choice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup blueberries (or substitute for different berries)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Combine wet and dry ingredients separately.
3. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in blueberries.
4. Drop Tablespoons of batter onto a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
6. Devour!

Nutrition
per cookie (yields 24): 13 calories | 2g carbs | 0g fat | 1g protein

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New Learning Resources for Your Children!

We recently purchased a few resources for our teachers to use while out on their visits to our lighthouse families!

As one of our quality measures at Lighthouse, we have experienced and qualified teachers that visit the homes of the carers on a monthly basis. This is to ensure everything is running smoothly in the homes and to offer advice and wisdom if there are any issues. Some of the most common issues our teachers are solving range from toilet training to teething, behaviour management, introducing solids, tummy time, language development, fussy eating, and sleeping patterns. No matter what the issue is our knowledgable teachers will have you covered and will relieve our families from the stress that some of these issues pose with practical advice and solutions. Our families and educators are always appreciative of the advice they receive and how well it works which makes us very proud of our wonderful teachers!

The monthly visits aren’t just about sharing advice though, each time our teachers make their monthly visits they bring all sorts of interactive and fun resources for the children to play and explore with, hence our latest purchases! The benefit of our visiting teachers bringing new resources into their homes is that it exposes the children to new ideas and learning opportunities. Our teacher visits also provide ongoing support and inspire the educators to implement activities for children to learn through play. Learning through play allows for children to learn to discover, experiment, and ask questions as it engages them and gets their mind thinking! It is a teachers responsibility to pose questions while playing as this is how children come to understand the world and begin to question it themselves. Our teachers educate the families and carers on this concept as well as many others so that the quality of care lighthouse children are receiving is always optimal.

If you would like to join Lighthouse and receive the many benefits that Lighthouse offers, including monthly visits from hand-picked and very experienced teachers then give us a call today on 0800 55 11 33, we would love to hear from you!

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Thank you for all your support as we ranked 6th on Deloitte Fast 50

We are delighted to announce that we were recently ranked as the 6th fastest growing business in New Zealand at the Deloitte Fast 50 last Wednesday night.

Appearing in 32 countries around the world, the NZ Deloitte Fast 50 recognises New Zealand’s fastest growing companies ‘who are really going places’. It is an annual index that measures New Zealand’s growing companies based on three years’ growth. The threshold for entry into this year’s Fast 50 was 194% growth, while Lighthouse at-home has a three-year growth rate of over 500%. This prestigious award is something for us to be incredibly proud of, and a sign of the positive future that lies ahead for Lighthouse at-home.

We believe that the main contributor to the incredible growth that we have experienced is due to our wonderful and dedicated staff that make all the functions and operations of Lighthouse possible. Our staff genuinely care and constantly go above and beyond to ensure we are providing our lighthouse children and families with top quality service which is why new families continue to join us, and we continue to grow.

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As we are also reaching the end of 2015 we would like to thank all of our staff and lighthouse families for your continued support throughout this year and we sincerely look forward to a wonderful 2016 with you next year.

Lighthouse wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we approach this festive season!

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Lollipops Playland Party

What a fun time we had with you all on Friday! We hope your experience was as enjoyable as ours was planning this party for you all! For those of you who didn’t make it, the lollipops playland party involved all sorts of fun..

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The mini cars were definitely a favourite among the little ones as they zoomed around using their teeny feet!

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The giant piano was also a highlight as the soundtrack was an unorganised combination of keys and little laughs!
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The lollipops cat paid a visit and brought many smiles to many precious faces.

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We also had some delicious treats and snacks for everyone to enjoy, including a cake – YUM!

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Thank you so much to everyone who spent the day with us, it was lovely meeting you all and we can’t wait to see you again at one of our future events!

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Missed out? Don’t let it happen again – give us a call on 0800 55 11 33 to have a talk about enrolling your child with Lighthouse.

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Toilet Training Trouble?

Oh yes, it is a fine art to master but toilet training without tantrums is possible, I assure you. Toilet training can seem like a daunting process but it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, when both you and your child are ready the process can be quite a rewarding one. It can also be a funny one as your little one is likely to say things about bodily functions that will make you laugh.

For some children, toilet training is an easy learning process and for others it can be a journey full of ups and downs. But whether you’re winning the battle or ready to give up, you are not alone, and I am here to help! By being supportive, encouraging, and patient, in time you will have your children confidently using the potty and you can get rid of that nappy change table for good!

Potty training is always an adventure; in fact the word adventure to describe the potential disasters involved with toilet training might even be a bit too optimistic, but here are some tips to help you get through this time.

Tip #1: Firstly, Let your toilet trainee set the pace! Don’t try to force them to learn too fast. Support them with the encouragement and positive feedback they need.

Tip #2: Be positive. When you find out a certain someone misses the toilet, yes it happens. Say “you’ll do better next time” or “don’t worry about the accident; we’ll get it right soon” and try to find the humour in the situation! Keep building their confidence and encourage those big kid feelings.

Tip #3: Be consistent and avoid mixed signals. Switching back and forth to nappies is confusing to a child so make sure everyone in the family is involved and encouraging. Once you make the switch to training pants, stick with it.

Tip #4: Be patient. There will be accidents! But mistakes are what we learn from, even as adults! There may be times when your child seems like they are regressing. Don’t get discouraged; this is perfectly normal.

Tip #5: Prepare yourself, the family, and the home – both physically and mentally. There have been many cases of toilet trainees who believe that squatting and pooing where they are standing is better than doing it in their underwear so it pays to equipped for these situations… at least mentally.

I did read a funny story once that I would like to share at this halfway point of tip #5. It was about a family who recently moved to a completely new city where they didn’t know anyone. They were invited over to lunch by a co-worker and their daughter was playing in their toy room while the adults finished their lunch. All of the sudden their daughter wondered into the kitchen half naked only to place a handful of poop on the dining room table! So much for first impressions! In light of this story, I would just like to remind you that whatever your going through things could be worse –e.g. this happening to you.

Tip #6: Involve your child, make shopping for your toilet training essentials a special event, let them choose their own potty or training seat and pull – ups training pants.

Tip #7: Give praise from the beginning, and give praise for small steps – a toilet flush is better than refusing to go near it.

Tip #8: Wear clothes that your child can easily remove by themself. You will regret the day you dressed your child in 5 layers and some dungarees to find he or she missed the toilet because they couldn’t quite get them all off fast enough.

Tip #9: Maintain a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables as constipation can make the process more difficult.

Tip #10: Relax – even if things aren’t going according to plan, simply postpone the process, this will only make it easier later on.

Click here to read the article

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Ten Tips for Building Resilient Children

The road to resilience is actually one that can be paved by parents. According to multiple studies conducted by the American Psychological Association, resilience is not a birthright; it is something that is developed and parents can have a considerably influential role in this.

Challenges are simply a part of life, they cannot be avoided and in many cases parents trying to protect their children from difficult situations can do more harm than good. However this doesn’t mean that kids should be completely left to fend for themselves. Lynn Lyons, an internationally renowned psychotherapist reminds us that a parent’s job is not to be there for children all the time (as this is not what life will be like when a child leaves home), it is to teach them how to handle uncertainty and to problem solve. Lyons suggests 10 tips on building resilience within children.

1. Don’t Accommodate every need
Resilience is the ability to figure out how to strive in a bad situation, but a child can’t learn this skill while their parents are fixing everything for them.

2. Avoid eliminating all risk
Give your child age-appropriate risk, naturally a parent wants to protect their child from situations that have risk of failure, pain, injury or difficulty but a little bit of risk is actually good. Allowing children to be in a ‘slightly risky’ situation means that they can learn the own limits which is important for when you are not around.

3. Teach them to problem solve
If your child is in a circumstance where they feel nervous or scared, perhaps it’s their first time staying at a friend’s house – you can assist them in their problem solving by asking them how they can practice being brave on their own. This might be that they would like to take their favorite toy to keep them company.

4. Teach your kids concrete skills
If your child is shy, you can assist them by teaching them how to greet people and introduce themselves, the more practice they get in doing will help them.

5. Ask “how” not “why”
Asking how to solve something instead of why it’s a problem will promote resilience by teaching children to think about how to solve a problem at hand instead of why there is a problem. For example if your child falls over and hurts themselves and is crying, instead of asking why your is crying over a little fall, it’s suggested by Lyons to ask how they are going solve this problem, the answer is likely to be “a plaster” or something similar. The point is, you can use these opportunities to teach your child to internally/externally search for methods that will help them when they are facing difficulty.

6. Don’t provide all the answers
It’s proposed by Lyons that sometimes using the phrase “I don’t know” when your child asks a question is helpful in building their resilience. It helps for children to tolerate uncertainty and to think about how they themselves can find answers. An example of this is if a child worries that won’t have any friends at school, instead of telling them they will definitely make friends and have a great time, Lyons suggests an approach where you might reply “I’m not sure how your day will go but how will you make friends?”

7. Avoid talking in catastrophic terms
Anxious parents often use catastrophic terms and talk about worst-case scenarios. For example instead of saying “it’s important for you to learn how to cross roads”, some parents say “you have to learn how to cross the road because it would be devastating to me if you got hit by a car”. Putting these types of situations in your child’s head can create unwarranted anxiety.

8. Allow for your children to make mistakes
The saying ‘you learn best from your mistakes’ couldn’t be truer. Allowing for children to mess up occasionally, allows for them to learn to make better decisions next time. It also shows them that mistakes happen, and that there are consequences, but also they can all be overcome.

9. Help them to manage their emotions
According to Lyons, management of emotions is key in building resilience. She asserts that parents should “teach your child that all emotions are acceptable but we also need to teach them what actions are appropriate.” Lyons suggests for parents to be clear about what behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate when children react to their emotions.

10. Children learn through imitation Lastly, children often learn by example. As a parent, you should also model resilience, when you make a mistake or overact, apologise and talk about how you are going to fix it and be better for next time.

These 10 tips developed by Lyons can assist you in raising a resilient child. Building resilience from a young age gives your child the ability to be strong and confident when solving the many problems life faces us with. Though we wish we could, it’s not possible to protect our children from all the bad things in the world, so the best thing you can do is equip them with the skills that they need to endure adversity, but come out the other side of it stronger.

Click here to read the article!