Right throughout their journey at Lightbulb Learning each child will have their own individual learning programme developed for them on a monthly basis. This is based on their own interests, your aspirations and values and the particular dispositions they are developing.

Children are also involved in group learning opportunities. These can develop into project work and set long term goals. Our group interests can also culminate in an exciting excursion to foster more in-depth learning.

Sand – Kirikiri

Sand is a wonderful natural resource which children can explore in various ways. Touching and feeling sand can allow children to explore their sensory curiosity. We begin to see children develop basic mathematical concepts such as measuring, weighing, and comparing amounts. The easy manipulation of sand allows children to be creative, use their fine and gross motor skills and work together in groups. They are also able to learn through communicating what they are doing, how it feels, and how they will problem solve as they face challenges

Messy play – Korihori pōrehe

Messy play is a great way for children to learn through their touch sense. Children are naturally curious, and love to make sense of their world through messy play. There are various types of messy play which encourage different learning, this includes water play, foam, gloop, ice, paint and many more. Messy play is also valuable for mathematical concepts (measuring, comparing, weighing), science concepts (changes of state and colour changes) and it is also a wonderful opportunity for children to be creative and relax while doing so. Hand eye co-ordination and control of body movement is also strengthened during messy play.

Blocks – Poro rākau

Blocks are a valuable manipulative resource for all ages. They can help promote maths, art, language and social skills. Children will spend a lot of time creating with blocks, and this is done through persistence, problem solving and trial and error. Block play also encourages children to explore shape, size, space, depth, width and height. They will also begin to plan ideas and ask questions, and this will help them gain confidence in their own abilities. Sharing and co-operating with other children is also highlighted through block play.

Carpentry – Tārai rākau

Carpentry is a physical activity where children can manipulate and build. Through this, children are able to use tools and materials to create their masterpieces. Carpentry helps children gain control of their bodies, using fine and gross motor skills, hand eye coordination and muscular strength. Children will also be able to problem solve and begin to explore concepts such as measurement, balance and force. Safety whilst engaging in carpentry activities is also something children will be able to practice and enforce to their fellow peers as they begin to teach one another.

Music – Waiata

Children are born into a world of sound and movement, this encourages their intellectual, imaginative, emotional, social and cultural growth. Music is a wonderful way to encourage language development, broaden vocabulary and explore rhythms and rhymes. Through music we are able to celebrate different cultures and languages and share this with other children. Music is a great way for children to relax or get physically moving by having a dance. Musical instruments are also a great learning tool for children to learn how to use appropriately, count beats and make music!

Family and dramatic play – Ngā whakaari ā-whānau

Family and dramatic play are such valuable learning opportunities for children. Children are able to act or take on different roles, where they can be creative and express their feelings. This creates opportunities for children to make sense of their own world. It also gives opportunities to learn real life skills such as helping their baby sibling out – this focus on the teina-tuakana relationship is very valuable. Family and dramatic play also encourages children to communicate through verbal and non-verbal cues with others around them, through doing this they are able to begin to regulate their own emotions and feelings.

Science and nature – Pūtaiao

Children are inquisitive explorers who discover through science and nature. This is where children begin to become investigators, they begin to ask questions, test theories and evaluate outcomes. Nature is a great resource as it helps children develop many skills such as naming animals and plants, and learning how to take care of these delicate beings. Taking care of nature and the environment is learned through this type of play at a young age.

Physical activity – Korikori

It is crucial that children are able to be involved in physical activity, even from a very young age. By participating in physical activity such as running, jumping, crawling, hopping, and swinging they are able to express themselves through body movement. Physical activity promotes children’s mental, emotional and physical well-being. Children will gain strength, gain co-ordination, balance and flexibility through physical activity. This form of play also encourages risk-taking, team work, persistence and determination.


In our preschool we are passionate about having a good phonics based literacy programme. We start by developing children’s fine motor skills which supports them to hold the pencil well. We can then teach them the correct pencil grip. Children start their writing by joining dots in order to make patterns. At this stage children learn that they can make symbols (letters and words) that other people can read which is the start of writing. We introduce phonetical awareness which leads to the formation of writing letters. They learn their sounds and then learn to write the letter that goes with the sound. Children also learn to write through mediums of sand, clay as well as pencils. Our aim is to support children to become confident in their numeracy and literacy skills and start to write freely.