It’s 2017!

Happy new year! We hope 2017 is full of happiness, good health and all things wonderful for you and your family.

We’re very excited to have you back here at Life At Elements, the official blog of Elements Preschool.

We are an urban nature preschool on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Inspired by the Forest School System, we aim to connect children to themselves, nature and the community around them. This sense of connection, in turn, leads to the development of crucial social, emotional and thinking skills. At Elements, we are creating a community of children who learn by doing, and who understand themselves and their world better.

Drawing inspiration from nature, we offer an environment rich in artful materials and experiences. Staying aware that children’s brains are like sponges and incredibly receptive, our goal is to stretch their minds. We do this via outdoor play, natural materials, art, music, movement, dance and yoga, cooking and drama. We also grow our own vegetables in our custom-landscaped garden, and cook with them, introducing children to the farm-to-table philosophy, as also to newer tastes and cuisines. To know more about us, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

We started Life At Elements last January, with the aim of giving all of you a window in our world. It’s been really fun and instructive to record our activities here for a whole year and we’re so looking forward to starting this new year.

To make it easier for you to navigate the blog and find the posts you like, all our food posts are now categorised under Cooking with Kids. Do try our recipes at home with your children – it’s a great way to educate their palate and teach them about healthy eating. Our other posts are categorised under Try This At Home, Around The School and Learning At Elements.

We will be posting every Wednesday and Friday this year, and you can follow us on Facebook, as well. If you’re a WordPress user, please do follow us. We’d appreciate it so much.

Thank you, again, for being here. We’ll be back on Friday, with a great recipe post, so be sure to check in.

Try This At Home: A Space Garden

In class this week we began making our own Hydroponic Water Garden, in keeping with our Space theme this month. We worked on an adaptation of the idea here, and hope you’ll be inspired to try it at home!

You need:
1 empty 2-liter bottle
Cotton balls
Heavy cotton string
Green bean seeds

How to make it:
In advance, cut the top of the bottle off where the bottle begins to curve.
Have the children write their name on their bottle.
Have the children invert the bottle top and place it into the bottle. Tape in place.
Pour water into the bottom of the bottle, until it is quarter full.
Cut a length of the string and place it in the bottle top so that it goes through the hole and into the bottom of the bottle.
Pull apart some cotton balls so they’re a bit fluffy and place them in the bottle top.
Plant a few bean seeds in the cotton.

What will happen:
The string will absorb the water and drip it slowly on the cotton balls. This will moisten the seeds so they can grow.

After the seeds sprout, keep the garden in a sunny window.  Add more water to the bottom of the bottle as needed. We’re waiting to see our gardens bloom!