Home' Special Publications : First Five Rotorua 2012 Contents 8 FirstFive2010
Give your children the gift of music and it will
continue to enrich them all their lives.
Music educators said the best way to impart this
gift was to make music a part of your children’s
experience from their earliest days.
Toddlers love playing rhythmical clapping games
or musical finger-play activities. And all youngsters
can experiment with inexpensive rhythm instruments
such as shakers, castanets, tambourines or
A variety of early childhood programmes is
available in most communities. They encourage
music appreciation through fun group activities,
including musical games and stories, singing and
dancing, and playing instruments.
Even from when your children are babies, you
can listen, sing and dance to recorded music with
them. Introduce them to the joys of all kinds of music
and take them to concerts so they will hear live
Most primary schools have a musical specialist
at year 7 and 8 level and some provide individual
after school lessons. As well, there are group lessons
funded and staffed by the Ministry of Education,
though parents must pay for instruments. But if your
child shows some natural ability or keen musical
interest, you might consider private lessons.
Being able to give our children
memorable birthdays is a wonderful
part of their childhood.
It’s easy to spend mega bucks on
entertainers or holding your party at
special venues, like the zoo.
However, with a bit of imagination,
birthday parties can be simple,
inexpensive and just as spectacular!
Hosting a birthday party at a venue
is a great idea and there are plenty of
places you can go on a budget:
Local parks and reserves –
There’s plenty of room for kids to
run around, picnic space, and a safe
playground to play on.
The trick is finding a park with
toilets, but best of all, these are free!
Picnic party food needs to be
easy to transport, so keep snacks nice
Either pack a picnic for everybody
to share, or make up individual party
Have lots of rubbish bags on hand
and some plastic containers for
Treasure hunts, wrapped lollies
for a lolly scramble, relays or good
old-fashioned picnic races are great
games to add to your party.
The Beach – like local parks, a
beach or the lakefront has everything
you need for a party – plus water!
Some beaches have barbecues
available, pack a picnic, or buy a big
bundle of fish and chips on the way.
Have a scavenger hunt, a
sandcastle competition and make sure
there’s plenty of adult supervision if
children are going in the water.
School Playgrounds – With
permission from your local school, you
could host your child’s party in their
There is the playground, plenty
of room on the fields and courts for
However, unless you’re on very
good terms with the principal, you will
need a plan for toilet stops.
Hot Pools/Swimming Pools – a
great party venue at any time of the
year. Many have a barbecue area
available for a small charge, for an
easy party of sausages and bread with
tomato sauce. Make sure you have
plenty of adult supervision on hand.
Remember, party venues don’t
have to be expensive.
Even venues that specialise in
parties have different versions for
different budgets, and there often
ways that you can make it even
Party Themes – are a fun way to
make a party special. There are plenty
of great party themes you can create
with very low cost:
Colour parties – are easy, and
you’ll be surprised how many things
you can find in a single colour if you
put your mind to it.
Invitations, decorations, Pass the
Parcel and food can be of the theme
colour – even add food colouring for a
Newspaper parties – a good way
to use up those stacks of newspapers
As with a colour party, newspaper
can be used in just about every aspect
of a newspaper themed party.
Food for a newspaper party could
be black and white, for example black
and white jellybeans, white meringue
with chocolate hail or cookies and
Letter parties – you pick a letter
for the whole party to be themed
upon. If there is a colour that begins
with your letter, use it for invitations
and decorations, as well as cut-outs
of the letter itself.
Games for Pre-schoolers:
Finding party games suitable for
toddlers and pre-schoolers can be a
bit tricky. They are still developing the
skills required to take turns without
a fuss, and their attention spans are
Many pre-schoolers struggle
to accept ‘winners and losers’, so
it’s important to find games where
everyone comes out on top.
Remember, party games don’t
have to be elaborate to be fun.
In fact, the simpler the game the
Keep things easy, flexible and
enjoyable – and make sure everyone
For more great party ideas for all
age groups and other useful
parenting information, visit
Kids and music
Birthday parties on a budget
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