BestStart Blog

Diwali at First Steps Brooklyn

Today at First Steps Brooklyn, the teachers, children and whanau came dressed up in their Indian costume. Everyone decorated the centre will lights, diyas , candles and drawing rangolis on the tables and floor. The day ended with eating and sharing Indian sweets and dancing on Indian music.


Diwali at First Steps Donny

Today we celebrated Diwali at First Steps Donny. The environment was set with lit candles, decorations and sand art throughout the centre. The children had opportunities to be involved with hena, cultural dancing and tasting some Indian food for lunch

Coffee morning at First Steps Donny

At First Steps Donny, we held a coffee morning for our parents. Our children baked treats for our parents to take away also. We walked around our local neighbourhood too to deliver some treat boxes, the community thought they were lovely.

ABC Papamoa West visit The Rock!

Recently, our ABC Papamoa West tamariki were able to plant some vegetable seedlings into our newly allocated patch in the Papamoa Community garden, “The Rock”, which is in close proximity to our centre on Hartford Ave. The day started off with some very eager children ready to put their little ‘green fingers’ to the test.  Armed with spades, gloves and broad smiles, they helped to dig the holes for planting, assisted by our teachers and parent helpers, before being shown how to carefully place the new seedlings into the holes and to gently pat the earth down around it before watering them with just enough water to help them grow.  Our tamariki were also very proud of the sign which was purposely made for our community garden, which reads, “This garden patch is looked after by ABC Papamoa West and whanau.”

We were really lucky to be able to have the expertise of Brett, one of our centre dad’s, who had helped to get our plot ready for planting.  The soil has been well prepared and is rich in natural nutrients, with loads of fat earthworms to help fertilize it.  We look forward to engaging in regular visits to our community garden, to see how all our vegetables are growing and to rid our plot of any unwanted weeds.  Parents and children are encouraged to visit our garden over weekends and to help with maintenance. Once our vegetables are ready to be harvested, we will share them out amongst our centre families, so that we can all enjoy the ‘fruits’ of our labour.

At ABC Papamoa West, we are really passionate about developing and promoting healthy eating habits amongst our children, as good nutrition is vital for good brain development.  We are currently working towards achieving our Healthy Heart and Rito Award and look forward to being awarded this prestige prize within the near future.


The Great Bin Race at TopKids Waihi Road

At TopKids Waihi Road, we had Sue from resource wise come and visit us again. This time Sue came in to play the great bin race with us all. This game was a fun way to learn about rubbish and what we can recycle and which bin it should go in. The children had a really great time sorting out boxes and racing to put them into the correct bins. The children are learning the importance of recycling, and how it is good for our environment. It teaches them to be responsible in caring for our environment, but also that we can often re-use materials for other purposes. Plus, we can also make some really cool resources form boxes, jars, and milk bottles just as a few examples.

Our new worm farm at TopKids Waihi Road

At TopKids Waihi Road as part of our resource wise school initiative, we received our worm farm. First, we had to find a good place to put our worms, then it was time to set it all up. We had to stack the boxes, then we had to place newspaper in the bottom. We then had to make sure there was a little bit of dirt in the bottom for the worms. When this was completed, we were able to have a look at our new worms. There was quite a lot of worms wriggling around. We placed them in our worm farm, with a little bit of banana, and tucked them in for the night.

This is such a great learning opportunity for the children as they will be able to have a hands-on approach to looking after our worms. The children will learn what to feed our worms and how much, how to tuck them in at night, ensuring their home is nice and damp for them. In the end we are hoping to use our worm juice to help our new gardens grow.

Max’s last day at TopKids Waihi Road

A huge THANK YOU to  Max’s Parents ‘Sam and Daisy’ for the special treat they organised for Max’s last day here at TopKids Waihi Road. Max has been with us since he was 2 so we are just as excited for Max as he graduates to School now he is 5. I’m sure you will all hear about Ironman’s visit so, here are some photos for you to enjoy. There was so many fun learning experiences as the children balanced, jumped and used their Avenger powers as they tried out and auditioned to become Avengers. They loved the parachute, crawling through the tunnel, listening to Ironman’s instructions. All the best on your first day of school Max. We had so much fun today and we will miss you.


Diwali at TopKids Pukuatua

We are celebrating Diwali today at TopKids Pukuatua and Dushi, a former teacher has so kindly come in to do the Mehendi design’s on some of the girls hands. They are all very excited about this. As well as this they are watching and helping Dushi do some chalk designs called Rangoli. For afternoon tea Rosanne is making Mango Lassi, a drink for the children to try



Operation Christmas Child at TopKids Pukuatua

October is the national collection month for the Operation Christmas child and at TopKids Pukuatua we have been collecting little gifts and donations to fill our operation Christmas child gift box.

Parents have helped by donating coins and then we have put this together to fill the shoe box with desperately needed items Such as a medium to large “wow” item as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal, then we filled it with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.

The children have had a great experience gathering up items and packing them away and talking about helping children that don’t have much.

Today we took the 4 shoe boxes filled with a variety of items to the local Rotorua hospice shop so they could be sent away to the pacific islands in time for Christmas.

The children are getting into the notion of giving, thank you to all our Whanau who helped support us in this venture.

ABC Rotorua Central join the pink walk

Our team ABC Rotorua Central participated in the Rotorua Pink Walk last night. It costs $5 per person to register with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness. It was really special for us this year, as one of our team is currently going through chemo. She is such a strong woman and an inspiration to us all.