BestStart Blog

ABC Raumati’s driftwood Christmas tree

This morning at ABC Raumati we planned to make our very own drift wood Christmas tree. Poppa Pete, Jake and Maylei’s Poppa, arrived to show us how. He brought a special work bench and showed us how he could clamp the wood to stop it moving while he drilled a hole. Poppa Pete showed us the big electric drill and the safety tools he needed to wear………..ear muffs and safety googles!

The tamariki sorted the drift wood pieces into different sizes…….longest to shortest. Poppa Pete, drilled a hole in the base board and poked the long piece of dowel down inside.

Everyone got a chance to choose a piece of wood and use the measuring tape to find the middle. We then had to mark the middle spot with a cross, so Poppa Pete knew where to drill the hole. Once the hole had been drilled, we had to slide each piece of wood down onto the piece of dowel. We worked from longest to shortest UNTIL…………finally our Christmas tree was finished!

Our next job was to decorate it……………….

Our tamariki worked hard to decorate our drift wood Christmas tree the next day. We used lots of natural materials, such as shells, flax flowers, star fish and feathers. We also made our own pohutukawa flowers using red rope and dipping the ends into yellow paint……….finally we added some lights!

Christmas by the ocean for EduKids Riverbend

What a beautiful Friday summer’s evening by the ocean, for EduKids Riverbend to celebrate Christmas with the children’s Christmas party!  It was a fantastic evening, joining together, to celebrate this special time of year.  Santa Claus made a starring visit, giving presents to each of the tamariki.  Bubbles, face painting, and of course the Marine Parade playground by the ocean provided exciting opportunities for whakakata fun, laughter and playing together.

We wish you a safe and wonderful holiday season!


Beach Party at ABC Rototuna

At ABC Rototuna, we enjoyed our christmas party at the beach this year, We has sack races, three legged races, we had sand castle competitions and ball and spoon races. The weather was perfect for kiwiana santa to come pay a visit, and we finished off with a BBQ. What a good way to finish the year

Festive fun at First Steps Whangamata

First Steps Whangamata participated in the Christmas Float Parade in Whangamata.

Our float was called Little Gardens. We came second overall which is great!

Little rockets at Community Kindy Marne

The warm sun was glowing and 30 Community Kindy Marne children were super excited as the bus pulled up. We are off to Rocket Ropes to extend our interest in climbing, jumping, swinging and being physically challenged.

Once we arrived and were harnessed up the fun began – the children challenged themselves with many new and exciting obstacles to focus on our upper and lower body strength, co-ordination, balance and our agility. All the children were pumped and the confidence was growing, parents settled back and let them literally fly down the flying fox and off to complete the course again.

What a fun day had by all!

Community Kindy Papakura’s Best Shot

On a hot and sunny day 30 excited Community Kindy Papakura East preschoolers joined other local BestStart Centres for our first BestStart Best Shot Sports Day. The children loved taking part in lots of fun activities and new experiences – the joy on the children’s faces as their whanau cheered them along was great to see. We all ‘gave it a go’ and participated in discus, shotput, running races, sack races, egg and spoon and skittles. We had such a lovely afternoon down at Massey Park and it was so nice to relax under the trees and cool off with an ice block with all our new friends from the other BestStart Papakura Preschool Centres.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at First Steps Papamoa

At First Steps Papamoa we have been working hard to learn about reducing, reusing and recycling to care for our environment as we work towards completing our Resource Wise Schools Programme. So far we have stage one of the programme completed and we are striving to achieve the next three stages. This is a programme set up by the Tauranga City Council who supports early childhood centres and schools in the Tauranga region. Our children had the fantastic opportunity to learn from Sue from the Council when she visited us to do the ‘Great Waste Race’. The children got to see pictures from our wider community on how rubbish effects our environment, then they got to complete the race! Unfortunately on the day that we had planned it was raining, but this didn’t stop the children from giving it a go. They had to pick up the different items and place them in the correct bins. We have also been reusing items in our classrooms to make creations, build constructions and more. One of the things we have been reusing are our pieces of art works, the other day we made flying helicopters out the painted card, they flew high behind the children as they whizzed around the playground and were so colourful. We have so much more to learn about reducing, reusing and recycling but are enjoying the journey it is taking us on.

A HUGE Cultural Christmas celebration at TopKids Mangere East

Recently we had our annual end of year celebration at TopKids Mangere East. This year we took it to another level with a Cultural Festival with entertainment and lunch all on us!

The day started with a karakia and Christmas performances by each room – these were a mixture of cultural songs, active movement and Christmas songs. Next we had Santa arrive to give out gifts to each of the amazing children. The we had a cultural fest from around the world, and enjoyed a bouncy castle, balloon twisting, face-painting, henna, Christmas craft activities, spot prize hampers and lots of dancing!

The turnout was amazing with a record 650-700 people with over 700 plates of food being served (including seconds and thirds LOL). We collected such great feedback and had a heap of fun!!

Roll on 2018 – we are ready for you !!

Some of the feedback from the day:

“We enjoyed all the fun activities, and the support you give to the kids – it’s appreciated”

“I’m happy seeing my kids enjoy today and be happy”

“We enjoyed the music, the programme was well delivered as well as the food, the Santa presents – well-presented and well done”

“The kids performances were great!!”

“We enjoyed the atmosphere for kids.. it’s good”

“We enjoyed everything, the kids having so much fun and seeing them smile”

“I enjoyed the gathering of celebration today and seeing all the family together”

Gold at the heart of Community Kindy Richmond

Community Kindy Richmond is committed to supporting our children, families and the community to understand and role model healthy eating and active movement to keep our bodies, brains and especially our hearts, healthy. In recognition of this the Heart Foundation have recently awarded us their highest Healthy Heart Award – Gold Pa Harekeke. On 6th December 2017 Jasmine Jackson from the Heart Foundation visited our centre to present us with our certificate.  Centre Manager Fran Richardson says “I am so proud of the team, children, our parents and families for working together to achieve this award. We are only the 3rd centre in the whole region to gain a GOLD award, so it is a fantastic achievement.”

To celebrate, we all dressed in red for the day, and gold coin donations were collected from children, teachers and families for the Heart Foundation.The funds raised were presented to Jasmine Jackson by Teacher Leica Durham.

We’re SunSmart at Community Kindy Richmond

Community Kindy Richmond has recently achieved Sunsmart accreditation from the Cancer Society. This means we demonstrate sunsafe practices and procedures and support children and families in understanding how to be sunsafe and why it is important. On 29th November 2017 we had a visit from Undercover Cody, who along with his friend Crystal, put on a show to inform children about the importance of being sunsafe and to “slip-slop-slap and wrap.” The children learned a song and dance and got to meet Cody afterwards and give him a high 5. Thank you to the Cancer Society for Cody’s visit which was a fantastic learning experience for the children