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N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2017





, u o t a t a r o Kia Recently you may have seen BestStart in the news calling for the Government to strengthen nutrition and activity policies in all New Zealand early childhood centres. Our call is based on research that proves that what happens during the early childhood years sets the pattern for the rest of our children’s lives. At BestStart, we don’t want to wait for change. Instead, we’ve developed our own activity and nutrition programme for our teachers and children called ‘Hauora’, to be rolled out over the next 18 months to our 270 centres. Hauora was developed together with our partners Jumping Beans and the Heart Foundation. Hauora will target an increase in physical activity and nutritional health for all BestStart children. The goal is for every BestStart centre to achieve a silver or gold level of the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Award. On another note, our BestStart activity and experience book for parents 'Bright Ideas for Young Minds', written by 100 of our early childhood educators, is in bookstores from Nov 1st. It’s a practical, imaginative book to have on hand as a busy parent of a busy preschooler. Enjoy!


IN T H I S MON T H'S I SSUE 4 Shorts 6 Wet, Wet, Wet The Joys of Water Play by Stephanie Jervis

8 Holy Days & Holidays

Yours sincerely

9 Snap Happy Photographing Children

Wayne Wright

BestStart CEO and Founder

10 Holiday Season Budgeting Tips by Stephanie Jervis 12 Brush Up On Dental Care 13 Courgette Pizza Recipe 14 Roundabout Editorial: Stephanie Jervis

Design: Cindy Hurst

For advertising and enquiries, please phone: 09 250 2651 Bright Start is published by BestStart P.O. Box 276-177, Manukau City 2241 Phone: 09 250 2651 Cell: 027 555 8585 Email:

BestStart is New Zealand’s largest private early childhood provider. Over 19,000 families are enrolled annually in BestStart centres around New Zealand. BrightStart aims to better connect our parents, teachers, families and communities. Circulation 55,000 ISSN 2537-7388 (Print)

ISSN 2537-7396 (Online) BrightStart 3

Shor ts

Bright Ideas for Young Minds

0-6 Yr olds

Tips for good oral health Baby teeth are important. They play an important role in helping your child bite and chew food, and speak clearly. Baby teeth also save space for the permanent teeth and help guide them into place. It’s important to help your child look after her or his teeth and teach them how to brush their teeth as they get older. • Start brushing as soon as teeth appear with a small soft toothbrush. • Clean teeth in the morning and before going to bed at night. • Regular flossing can start as soon as two teeth are in contact. • Check your child’s teeth regularly to detect dental decay. The best way to do this is to lift back the lips to check for chalky white spots or lines on the tooth near the gum line. If you notice this on their teeth, take your child to a community dental clinic as soon as possible. • Use a fluoride toothpaste with 1000ppm in line with Ministry of Health guidelines. • As your child gets older, teach them to clean their teeth by letting

them use the brush after you have cleaned their teeth for them. They will also develop good teethcleaning habits by copying you brushing your teeth. • Be patient. Most children won’t be able to brush their teeth well on their own until they are about 8 years old. • Ensure children are taken for regular check-ups. • Plunket staff and other Well Child health providers can tell you how to contact your local community dental clinic and enrol your child. It’s important to begin regular dental check-ups from the moment your child’s first teeth appear.

Community dental clinics are a free service. They are often located within primary schools. You can also contact 0800 TALK TEETH/0800 825 583 to find your nearest clinic or visit

Available from all quality bookstores from November 2017. RRP $39.95. Bright Ideas for Young Minds is a treasure trove of activities designed to stimulate your child’s inquiring mind. From Wet and Wild Adventures and Giant Ice Balls to Stomp Painting, this book has dozens of brilliant low-cost ideas. Written by more than 100 BestStart early childhood centre educators, Bright Ideas for Young Minds will fill many an afternoon with joy and excitement. TO BE IN TO WIN, tell us your favourite activity to do with your child, your courier address and send to by 31 January 2018.

10 copies to be won! 4 BrightStart

PLUNKETLINE: 0800 933 922

LIMIT SCREEN TIME – BUT WHOSE? Most parents are concerned with the amount of time children spend online or in front of TV. However, many neglect to monitor their own use. Parents are currently spending more than nine hours* a day watching a screen. Children learn from your behaviour. If you are concerned, be a good role model by limiting your own media usage. Try starting with device-free dinner and build from there. *Study by Common Sense Media, Dec 2016: Average use 9.22 hours, 7.43 hours of which is personal


by baMove

Moving to music helps our children develop skills in many ways, including visual balance, concentration, eye-tracking, coordination, fine motor control, memory and posture. Singing while they dance helps them practise speech and language. If children participate in groups, there is also the nurturing aspect of such a fun group activity. Expertise provided by Sophie Foster of Jumping Beans, child physical development specialists

win a sleeping bag worth $159

n o i t r po


USING YOUR HAND CAN BE AN EASY WAY TO CHECK THE SIZE OF YOUR FOOD PROPORTIONS. A closed fist is a good guide for the portion of starchy carbohydrates like taro, potato, rice, banana and bread. The fist size is the total amount, so if you want more than one of those, reduce the size of each. Your palm is a good guide for the amount of red meat or chicken; the whole hand for fish. Two hands cupped together are the guide for non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots or eggplant.

Jack & James likes to celebrate all things Kiwi, making Kiwi-inspired designs for little Kiwis. Using only natural fabrics, Jack & James sleeping bags have NZ merino wool as the inner layer and organic cotton as the outer. The amazing merino ensures the sleeping bag can be used all year round - just change the sleepwear your child wears underneath depending on the temperature. Jack & James sleeping bags are designed for little ones aged 3 months to 2 years old, they are luxuriously soft, and will help your little one sleep well throughout the night – which is what we all want as parents! TO WIN: Jack and ………. make Kiwiana sleeping bags. Fill in the gap and send us your courier address to by 31 January 2018 to win! RRP: $159

When serving for children, use their hands as a portion estimate. Smaller hands, smaller appetite!

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Wet, wet, wet



HREE THINGS TRANSFORMED MY little angels into seriously cranky kids - hunger, tiredness or the need to be in water. As those of us who enjoy a restful bath know, water can be very comforting. And it works, like magic on children, who can splash out the grumpies or wind down at the end of a tiring day. A warm bath on a chilly day or a cool paddling pool on a sticky summer’s day are among life’s great pleasures. When hunger or tiredness are not the issue, water has an amazing capacity to soothe, calm and restore a gentle balance. The giggles and splashes of water-play deliver a lot more than just fun. Children are very tactile, and explore, absorb and learn with all their senses. Little legs kicking in a shallow bath, dodging the drops from the garden sprinkler or learning to swim. All help children develop their larger muscle groups and coordinated body movement, often called ‘gross motor skills’. These skills help with balance, posture and give a

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The giggles and splashes of water-play deliver a lot more than just fun. Children are very tactile, and explore, absorb and learn with all their senses. child confidence as they gradually master control of their body. The important business of pouring, filling bottles and cups, or squirting water encourages hand/eye coordination and helps progress some of the finer motor skills. This ‘play’ can be made even more educational if the water has been coloured with a few drops of food colouring. What happens when we mix blue and red? Water play encourages imagination and exploration. Pretending to be a pirate on a sailing ship careering into rough seas, or a mermaid living in a green jewelled sea castle allows children to practise social and emotional roles in a safe and fun environment.

When in a larger pool or the sea, they learn to play with other children, so working on their problem-solving, cooperative play skills and empathy - as well as the ever-important lesson of how to take turns. When children are having fun, learning occurs organically. Mathematics, physics and language can also be part of water play. By naming or describing the items they are playing with such as bucket or cup, or the way things feel (soggy, heavy or cold), your child will expand their vocabulary and their ability to communicate. Understanding and experimenting with concepts such as sinking and floating, more or less, empty or full, help a child to grasp the physical properties of water and how other things interact with it. Why does a big boat float when a small stone sinks? Why does mud disappear in water? Children will also learn the basics of fluid dynamics, which although sounding impressive, can be as simple as knowing that water always flows downhill. Observing


how an ice cube melts into liquid, then evaporates into the air, introduces the concept of a change in state – from solid to liquid to vapour. Great stuff for curious little scientists! At BestStart, we value water play in our centres as an important learning tool for our children. And what’s more, it’s great fun! Bath time, helping with the dishes, washing hands are all opportunities for children to explore and discover through water play. My children used to love washing their doll’s clothing in a bucket or doing the dishes after their tea party. But now they are grown and there is more chance that Teddy will do the chores…

6 Always empty and store paddling pools

and water containers at the end of play. 7 Don’t allow older children to supervise

little ones. In spite of their best intentions, they are children and may be distracted.

Learn from the kids •

8 Have a towel handy to mop up spills to

prevent slips. 9 Remember: lifejackets for all children when on a boat.

10 When playing in the sun, be sure to slather on the sunscreen and always wear a sunhat!

Water play need not just be for warm days. Try freezing water coloured with a few drops of food colouring in different shaped containers, then watch them melt when popped in a warm bath. Crunching through the thin ice or putting on gumboots and splashing in puddles, watching the drops glitter on a spider’s web or almost anything to do with snow have to top the list of fun stuff for kids. There’s no need to direct them, just dress them appropriately and head outside - they’ll show you what to do.

Safety Tips

cAtCHInGSafety WATeR is paramount. Most pre-school Water is an excellent medium for introducing maths and science concepts like gravity, measurement and cause and effect. drownings occur when a child is HoW tO DO IT YOU WILL NEED: out of allowed out ofTHINGS sight and • A hose • Different-sized/shaped reach of an adult caregiver. containers • Tree/clothesline/shade sail to hang the hose from Drownings happen in wHAT lEARnInGbaths, IS OcCuRrInG? home swimming TIP • • Extend this activity with animals or other • pools, paddlingplastic pools, and waterproof toys to create an underwater adventure even buckets – all that is Never leave young required is 60WARNING: seconds and a children unsupervised around water few centimetres of water. Yet such a heart-breaking loss is totally preventable. Empty all containers after use, and be sure that your toddler is always supervised by a responsible adult. Secure the hose either on top of a shade sail, over a washing line or hanging from a tree branch. Turn the water on a little – a steady dripping action is what you want. Have the containers close at hand for your child to catch the water. Let your child explore the feel of dripping water, catch it in their containers and transfer it from one container to another.

Making sense of the natural world

R cAtCHInG WAfoTr inetroducing maths and science 117

BRight Ideas for Young minds

1 The most important message is to keep

nt medium ect. Water is an excelle and cause and eff ity, measurement concepts like grav

young children in sight and in reach around water. 2 Young children don’t understand the


shing de sail, over a wa er on top of a sha a on ter Secure the hose eith wa n the m a tree branch. Tur line or hanging fro nt. Have the ion is what you wa act ng ppi dri ady the water. Let little – a ste ch cat to ld hand for your chi ch it in their containers close at cat water, the feel of dripping your child explore to another. ner tai con one m nsfer it fro containers and tra

dangers of water, even when you tell them. They need an adult with them to keep them safe. 3 Teach water safety as soon as your child

is old enough to understand, but always assume point 2.


4 Identify water hazards around your home

and make sure children cannot reach them. 5 Ensure children are supervised at all

times. If there’s a group of people, have a clear supervision roster.



Outdoor Explorers


Outdoor Explorers

Basic maths and science concepts, around shape, space, measurement and weight

• •


natural world Making sense of the und shape, space, ence concepts, aro Basic maths and sci weight measurement and

NEED: THINGS YOU WILL • A hose aped • Different-sized/sh containers ade • Tree/clothesline/sh from sail to hang the hose


y with • Extend this activit other or ls ma ani plastic ate waterproof toys to cre ture an underwater adven

ve young d around ise erv children unsup water

WARNING: Never lea

BrightStart 7

Holy days & holidays


CHRISTMAS (ONCE KNOWN AS CHRIST’S MASS) CELEBRATES the birthday of Jesus Christ, usually on 25 December. Yet the festival has a history that precedes Christianity. Many of the traditions of Christmas are a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and non-religious traditions. Early European tribes used pine trees, holly and mistletoe to celebrate life in the depths of a northern hemisphere winter. Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas (he has several names) is comprised of several historical figures from across Europe, which is why he is sometimes pictured in green, white or more commonly, red robes. Christians mark the date by performing the Nativity play which tells the story of Christ’s birth in a stable in Bethlehem. Today, it is a religious festival for Christians and a cultural festival for many non-Christians. Giving gifts and sharing a family meal are common ways to celebrate.

When: 25th December

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CHANUKAH (HANUKKAH) IS AN EIGHT-DAY-LONG JEWISH celebration also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. It celebrates the reclaiming of the Temple in Jerusalem for Jews, who had been forbidden from worshipping there by the ruling Greeks. Upon reclaiming the temple in 165BC, they lit the menorah (a candle-holder with seven branches) which miraculously burned for eight days, though there was only enough sacred oil for a single day. Chanukah has been celebrated for more than 2000 years with special songs, games with a spinning top known as a dreidel, traditional foods and the lighting of menorah candles. It is a time for families to come together, and these days, to give gifts.

When: 12th-20th December 2017

Snap Happy PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN IS CHILD’S PLAY. A few tips and tricks can help you get the most out of capturing those magic moments with little ones this summer.

Get down to their level

Viewing things from an adult height is quite different from seeing the world through their eyes. Get down and play in the sandpit - not only will you see things as they do, but it helps keep things relaxed and natural.

Focus on eyes

Shoot from their eye level, or just below, and keep the eyes in focus. Even if the surrounds are a little blurry, the eyes will carry the image.

Be patient

It pays to take some time to quietly watch and wait on the sidelines. It gives children space to forget the camera and to focus on what they are doing - and that allows you to capture unrehearsed images.

Anticipate action

Balls will be kicked, new bikes will be ridden and birthday candles will be blown out - be ready for when they are.

Don’t ‘Say cheese’

The moment they hear it, children ham it up for the camera, or run the other way. Just let them be as they are, busy busy, with mud on their T-shirt and messy hair – beautiful!

Smiles are not the only good shots

A grumpy fairy, a tired traveller or a sticky, ice creamsmeared face make great memories too.

If your child is uncooperative

Put down the phone or camera and have some fun for a few minutes. Once everyone is into the activity, pick it up and try again.

BrightStart 9


Car eful T

HE FESTIVE SEASON IS ONCE AGAIN upon us – and so are all those extra expenses. However, with a bit of planning, you can keep those extra costs in check and this can be an enjoyable and affordable time of the year. Here’s how: MAKE A LIST OF ALL YOUR EXPENSES This will be a long list – all the folks you would like to give gifts to, the cost of transport to get to and from places you will go, the cost of additional and special food, hosting gifts, decorations, contributions to churches, charities and office secret-Santa

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pools, camping/rental fees etc. There may be more. Go mad - get it all down as best you can. FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO SPEND Start with how much you can, or have already, put aside between now and the festive season. How much of that are you willing to commit? Be careful here – those on a tight weekly budget may have very little extra to put aside. Be realistic and keep in mind that much joy can be had without money!

PRIORITISE YOUR LIST It probably needs to be shorter. Celebrations are not about digging a financial hole for yourself, so you will need to be firm about where money is allocated. Be sensitive to your own, your partner’s and your family’s desires to give generously, but keep it real. FIND NON-FINANCIAL WAYS TO SHARE GOOD WISHES Holiday festivities are not about financially harming yourself. Keep the focus where it belongs - sharing warmth and gratitude


I don’t have money for gifts‌ 1 Homemade gifts: Cookies, decorations, photo calendars, a personalised playlist, a treasured recipe, a basket of homegrown vegetables, bulbs planted in little pots, a scrapbook of memories 2 Sell unwanted items on Trade Me, Facebook or have a garage sale to raise some extra cash 3 Time: Coupons for babysitting, lawnmowing, back rubs or a car wash; a date out at a free event (think Music in the Park, a gallery or museum); or a genuine promise to fix that sticky door 4 Look online for thousands of cheap or free gift ideas, as well as websites and apps that will help you save money. 5 Enter any extra materials you have around the house into the search bar on Pinterest and see ideas for repurposing!

with those you wish to. Come up with some cheap or free party and gift ideas. ASSIGN FUNDING Beside each expense on your list, allocate a budgeted amount. To help keep expenses down, assign homemade gift or whatever non-financial ideas you have come up with. The total cost of expenses cannot exceed the amount you wrote down in step 2. You may need to reconsider some desired expenses to make your celebration fit your budget. A simple celebration without

financial stress is significantly better than a lavish one under pressure!

A simple celebration without financial stress is significantly better than a lavish one under pressure!

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p U h s u r B on your child's dental care I

N PARTS OF NEW ZEALAND, POOR dental care is the main reason children have to go to hospital. Dental care is free for New Zealand children. It’s shocking, but both these sentences are true. We all know that taking care of our teeth and gums helps prevent tooth decay, mouth disease and bad breath. But did you know that NOT taking care of your teeth increases your risk of major problems like heart disease, diabetes and even early labour when pregnant? In some cases, the lack of dental care is so bad that children need to go to hospital. Taking care of our children’s teeth is a vital part of keeping them healthy and free of tooth pain. Every day, a film of bacteria grows on our teeth. This is called plaque. It produces acid, which eats away at teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing removes much of this and so helps keep your mouth protected and healthy, so it is very important to brush teeth twice each day. As well as cleaning at home, teeth need regular visits to the dentist to ensure a deep and thorough clean of the sticky plaque, and for early identification and treatment of any problems. Children and adults should aim to see a dentist every six months.

Baby-teeth have an important role in helping your child to speak and eat properly, and acting as placeholders for adult teeth. Healthy baby-teeth often mean healthy adult teeth, so as soon as they start to show, start brushing! Use a small, soft brush and a rice-grain size of fluoride toothpaste. Increase that to the size of a pea around age 3. Gently brush teeth and gums twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Your child should see a dentist before her or his first birthday, or within six months of the first tooth showing. If your older child has not seen a dentist yet, enrol now. You need to be responsible for your child’s dental hygiene until he or she is old enough to do it properly themselves - around age 8. But even then, keep checking in - tooth care is for life. Enrol your child for free dental care, or make a free dental appointment by calling 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583)

When should my children start?

Your baby will start getting teeth at a few months old. 12 BrightStart

For more help:

• •

Healthy Smiles – New Zealand Dental Association Ministry of Health teeth-and-gums Services and support for you and your child Plunket

Preventing tooth damage • • •

Putting baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice is well known for causing cavities. Use a pacifier/ dummy or plain water if they need help to settle. Limit snacking and provide less sticky food choices e.g. fresh fruit is better than dried fruit. Make sure teeth cleaning is a normal part of the getting-up and going-to-bed ritual.

Free dental care Dental healthcare is available at no charge for New Zealanders until the age of 18. Free dental services include:

• • • • • •

regular check-ups X-rays cleaning fillings extractions and some treatments like fluoride application or fissure sealants (a protective coat for teeth). Even cleft palates and some other medical conditions are covered.

Courgette Pizza

A novel twist to the humble pizza, and loaded with tasty vegetables. 500g courgette, grated 3 eggs ¼ cup vegetable oil ½ cup flour, wholemeal 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped black pepper to taste 2 Tbsp tomato paste 3 cups prepared vegetables, e.g. chopped capsicum, tomatoes, broccoli, grated carrot 60g Edam cheese, grated

1. Place grated courgette in a colander and allow to drain for 30 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 180°C and spray a baking dish with a little canola or olive oil. 3. Beat eggs and oil together in a large bowl, add flour and mix. 4. Add the drained courgette, chopped parsley and pepper and mix together. 5. Spread the mixture in a baking dish and bake for 10-15 minutes until the base is firm.

6. Remove from oven, spread with tomato paste. 7. Place prepared vegetables on top and sprinkle with Edam cheese. 8. Return to the oven and bake at 180°C for about 25 minutes. 9. Remove from oven and slice into squares. More healthy, cheap and nutritious recipes are available from the Heart Foundation at


1. Montessori Rangimarie


One of the unique things about our centre is tree climbing. Children learn to assess risk from a young age by learning how to climb trees with a teacher’s support, of course. 2. Community Kindy Warspite Ave Goes Vege Hunting


We went to Countdown to explore the fruit and vege department. The children discovered and paid for delicious treasures and brought them home to share.


3. TopKids Mangere East At The Disco



The children in Orange House organised a disco. They chose Moana as the theme and were excited to dress in their Polynesian cultural costumes. 4. Ripper Rugby At ABC Invercargill North

With four other BestStart centres, we took part in a Rippa Rugby competition with 80 children at a local club. We created the BestStart Sports Shield, and the competition winner will plan the next sports challenge. Sports Southland thought it was a great initiative and will support our next event. 5. TopKids Maui Go Italiano



We made pasta - we squeezed dough through a pasta machine and watched it turn into spaghetti. We cooked it, added sauce and cheese, and enjoyed it for lunch. 6. ABC Mt Eden Take In Mother Nature

We have been inviting our tamariki to sleep outside. It’s calming – listening to the sounds of nature, watching the branches gently moving and the clouds going by.

Your toddler is sweet enough

The only toddler milk with no added sugars* The only available carbohydrate in Anmum PediaPro3 is the lactose found naturally in milk. * New Zealand market data May 2017 Anmum PediaPro3 is a formulated supplementary food for young children to address situations where intakes of energy and nutrients may not be adequate to meet the individuals requirements. It is developed for children who are 12 months+ ANMUM NZ/MM/094/170805. ANM00014BST

Proudly made for our little New Zealanders

BrightStart November December 2017  
BrightStart November December 2017