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Child Development

Take a look at our wide range of articles relating to child development from learning and play, to social and emotional development and communication skills

Check back regularly for our latest updates for babies, toddlers and pre-school kids.
Managing the arrival of a new sibling

Managing the arrival of a new sibling

All children react differently to the arrival of a new baby in the family, but there are ways you can help your toddler and pre-schooler to accept their new sibling and still feel special.
Exploring self-regulation

Exploring self-regulation

How does the presence of a mirror affect the actions of toddlers? In everyday life, young children are constantly given instructions or rules which they are expected to comply with. Often this means the child has to do something they don’t want to do in order to comply with the instruction. Check out our research and findings.
Nurturing resilience in young children

Nurturing resilience in young children

In nurturing resilience in our children, it’s important to find a balance between the ‘bubble wrapping’ practices of a ‘helicopter’, over-protective and controlling parent on the one hand, and the laissez faire, under-supervised parenting practices on the other.
Early Language Learning

Early Language Learning

We often have questions about what babies know or understand very early in life. Babies can’t answer these questions using words but they can tell us a lot by what they look at and for how long. By using the habituation technique we are able to find answers to some interesting research questions and add to our understanding of infant cognition.
Benefits of asking young kids open-ended questions

Benefits of asking young kids open-ended questions

Through the use of language and open-ended questioning we as parents are able to expand our children's curiosity and ability to reason, their creativity, thinking ability and independence. Open-ended questions have no right or wrong answers, but help to broaden children’s thinking processes, to develop their speech and language skills, and to build confidence in their ability to express themselves using words.
Early Pro-social Development

Early Pro-social Development

Check out our research findings to determine how parent-child interactions foster cooperation, what babies understand about working together and what babies think of good versus bad co-operators.
Is it time to ditch your toddler's buggy?

Is it time to ditch your toddler's buggy?

Is it time to stop using your toddler's buggy? It might be convenient, but it could be doing more harm than good. Find out more about the long-term physical and social effects it may have as your toddler gets older.
Preparing toddlers & preschoolers for a new baby

Preparing toddlers & preschoolers for a new baby

Find out how to prepare your toddler or preschooler for the arrival of a new baby brother or sister and make life as stress free as possible. Pregnancy can be a time of great joy for all the family, but it can also be quite an adjustment period for toddlers and preschoolers, especially for the first child who is used to having you all to themselves.
Make your own sensory board

Make your own sensory board

A sensory board or busy board is a fun, hands-on activity for babies and toddlers to help them touch, explore and learn about different objects all in one place. They have lots of developmental benefits too and are really easy to make at home with things you have to hand.
Benefits of reading to babies

Benefits of reading to babies

A book is a baby’s first theatre and now US paediatricians are urging parents to read to children from their earliest days. Even the smallest babies are ready and eager to engage and tune into what is being read to them.
Early childhood education options

Early childhood education options

There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to Early Childhood Education (ECE) throughout New Zealand, from teacher-lead to parent-lead centres, to home-based care and more. Read up on what options are available and decide what’s best for your little one.
Early eating habits

Early eating habits

The hype around what we eat is nothing new with figures showing that a significant number of New Zealand kids are either overweight or obese. It is therefore important for us as parents and caregivers to encourage our children to eat healthily from a young age. Research provides clear evidence that the food habits and patterns children acquire in early childhood remain with them into adulthood.
Guide to baby-led weaning

Guide to baby-led weaning

Keen to give baby-led weaning a go? Or you've heard of baby-led weaning, but not quite sure what's involved? Our quick guide will get you started with suggestions on when to start baby-led weaning, foods to try, preparing for the mess and reasons why baby-led weaning may not be suitable for your baby.
8 Tips on helping young kids to tidy up their room

8 Tips on helping young kids to tidy up their room

Kids and messy bedrooms are nothing new! So here are some tips on helping young kids to tidy up their room. Ideas that will help your little ones sort through the mess, rather than resorting to simply sweeping everything under the carpet!
Introducing cups

Introducing cups

Teaching your baby to drink from a cup is always going to be a messy milestone, so be prepared! So when’s the right time to start introducing your baby to cups? Find out more about getting started and types of cups that are available.
15 Practical skills to learn before starting school

15 Practical skills to learn before starting school

Starting primary school is often one of the most exciting times in your child’s life, but it can be an anxious time too. Help prepare them with some basic practical skills before they start. All children are different, but being able to do even a handful of things by themselves will help them feel more confident when they get there.
School readiness at home

School readiness at home

Preparing your preschooler for school goes beyond them learning to count and write their name. It includes teaching them some basic skills such as listening to others, asking questions and feeling comfortable in the world around them so that they are able to cope independently in a new social environment when they start school.
8 ways to nurture music at home

8 ways to nurture music at home

Find out how you can create music at home and incorporate it into your kids daily routine. There are a lot of easy activities you can do together to help nurture their love of music, even if you’re not very musical yourself.
Preschool bucket list ideas

Preschool bucket list ideas

As adults we often think about what would be on our ‘bucket list’ or list of things to do and to try before we grow too old, but what about a bucket list for preschoolers too? Here are some fun ideas for your little one’s bucket list; things for them to do before they reach 5 years old.
Basic cooking skills for young kids

Basic cooking skills for young kids

Teach your kids some basic cooking and baking skills, and with a little patience, you could soon have your very own budding Master Chef in the family! Kids love to help out in the kitchen and being able to cook is a great skill for anyone to have.
Teaching kids how to blow their nose

Teaching kids how to blow their nose

Learning to blow your nose must be one of the hardest things for kids to learn to do! Most are experts at blowing air out of their mouths, but blowing through their nose is a whole new technique they need to master. Try these simple steps to help your kids learn how to blow their nose.
Teaching kids to ride their first bike

Teaching kids to ride their first bike

Learning to ride a bike is quite a milestone in a child’s life. When you start to teach them is up to you, with some kids starting to learn as early as 3 years old. Generally though it’s usually around their 4th or 5th birthday or sometimes even later. Follow these easy steps to help them on their way.
Signs your baby’s ready to give up night time feeds

Signs your baby’s ready to give up night time feeds

It’s not always easy to know when your baby’s sleep and feeding needs change, but once they reach 6 months old, chances are they’re ready to start sleeping through the night without any night time feeds. Age is one factor to consider when dropping night feeds, but here are a few other things to watch out for too.

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