A week at Elements

We’ve had a busy and fun week at Elements, since we last saw you. The children have been outdoors, exploring the winter wonderland. They made and flew kites. They built shelters for their toy animals, to keep them from the cold. They “picked” apples that were strewn around the yard, and they began planting seeds that will soon germinate. As always, our activities were as instructive as they were fun. We have been encouraging the children to explore how the outside world evolves in each season, and how our own activities shift, as the seasons change. Bundled up against the cold, they have really been enjoying getting to know the winter. Plus, we made a snack of deviled eggs, which were a big hit.

Cooking with Kids: Two-Cheese Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? We cannot think of a single person! We made a delicious pizza for lunch at Elements recently, and thought you might like to try this at home this weekend. The kids loved helping out, as always. Please remember that the steps in italics are for adults only.

Bon appetit!

You will need:
Pizza dough
Fresh spinach
Cherry tomatoes
Shredded parmesan
Shredded mozzarella
Olive oil
Italian seasoning

To make the pizza:
Preheat oven at 350° F
Wash and slice tomatoes.
Wash spinach.
Drizzle olive oil and dust a little flour on a baking sheet.
Roll pizza dough place on prepared baking sheet.
Top with tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, salt to taste and sprinkle a teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
Drizzle olive oil on top.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.





Cooking with Kids: Zucchini Pizza

This past week, we plucked fresh basil from our organic garden and decided to make Zucchini Pizzas for lunch.

We used this recipe for inspiration, but changed it to make it easier for the kids.

So instead of boats, we had the kids slice the zucchini to make thick rounds. They also decorated their own ‘pizzas’ with sauce, cheese and basil. You can use shredded or fresh mozzarella. Once the kids are done, an adult will need to place the pan under the grill, and cook until the cheese melts.

It was a delicious lunch!


Try this at home: Lava Experiment

Our students enjoyed watching a lava experiment this past week, and we thought you might like to try this at home.

You will need:
a clean 1-liter clear soda bottle
3/4 cup of water
vegetable oil
fizzing tablets (such as Alka Seltzer)
food coloring (we chose red, but you can pick any colour you like)

What to do:
Pour the water into the bottle.
Use a measuring cup or funnel to slowly pour the vegetable oil into the bottle until it’s almost full. You may have to wait a few minutes for the oil and water to separate.
Add 10 drops of food coloring to the bottle. The drops will pass through the oil and then mix with the water below.
Break a seltzer tablet in half and drop one half into the bottle. Watch it sink to the bottom and let the blobby greatness begin.
To keep the effect going, just add another tablet piece.
For a true lava lamp effect, shine a flashlight through the bottom of the bottle.


Cooking with Kids: Tofu Scramble

We made a delicious Southwestern Tofu Scramble for lunch last week, and it was a big hit! Try this recipe at home with your kids – remember that the steps in italics are for adults only.

3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 14-ounce package firm water-packed tofu, rinsed and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small zucchini, diced
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup of prepared salsa

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the tofu begins to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cut the zucchini and scallions.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add zucchini, corn, scallions and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just tender, about 3 minutes.

Return the tofu to the pan and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese until just melted.

Top each serving with 2 tablespoons salsa.






Volcanoes. Rock. Art.

The Adventurers and Explorers classrooms are learning about fire and volcanoes! This activity is a fun way to help the children learn better by doing. Its objective is to demonstrate how many of Earth’s common rocks were made made by volcanoes, where rocks and minerals are melted and reformed.

The children were first read a story to introduce them to volcanoes. The Adventurers discussed rocks and their formations and the teacher showed them igneous rocks. There were lots of questions and observations.

Then, the kids were led outside and asked to collect rocks. As many as they would like, and of any colour, size and shape.

Once the rocks were collected, everyone gathered around and talked about they looked like. The students were encouraged to name colours, shapes and identify sizes.

Then, each child was given a sheet of cardrobe and encouraged to create an artwork using the rocks they had collected. This was really fun for them, because they had spent time in the garden choosing their materials.

If you try this activity at home, we recommend using tag board or cardboard to attach the rocks. If you plan on using glue, small rocks work best for this project. It’s also a great idea to build temporary rocks sculptures outside.

New Beginnings

The new school year started last week and we thought you might like to see how we welcomed our students, old and new, back. Lots of adventure, discovery and exploration for our little people to embark on. We can’t wait to share our new stories with you!



Back to School

It’s that time of year again, and we have rounded up some wonderful, useful information for you, as kids head back to school.

Why is a routine or ritual important?

“Structure helps kids feel safe.” ~ Benjamin R. Chan, M.D., University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute

Some kids can’t wait to get back to class, see their friends, and excel at their scholastic work and extracurricular activities. Others loathe the pressure to fit in socially and fear they won’t “make the grade” intellectually.

Regardless of where your child falls on this continuum, implementing consistent back-to-school rituals and annual traditions provide children with the security and stability they need to thrive while reinforcing family bonds.

Our favourite blog, A Cup of Jo, has this great post by Joanna Goddard on her kids’ routines. We especially liked this little tip: “For each of the boys, we bring out a cake the night before the first day of school. When we turn out the lights and the boys blow out the candles, it always feels like the exact moment they’re finally ready for a new year.”

Over on Dinner: A Love Story, Jenny Rosenstrach offers menu ideas, which are lifesavers. We really want to try making the Hawaiian Pizza and Avocado Salad. Yum!

Finally, we loved this sweet story on creating rituals for your child.

Do you have rituals for your kids, or are you creating them now? Head on over to our Facebook page and let us know!