Cooking with Kids: Caprese Salad

This is a kid-friendly recipe from start to finish. Plus, it’s delicious. We highly recommend you make a big bowl of Caprese Salad this weekend – your kids will love making it and eating it. 

Ingredients

Cherry tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella
Olives
Fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt

Wash, and chop the tomatoes.

Cut the mozzarella, and halve the olives. Tear up the basil leaves.

Toss all the ingredients together and eat immediately.

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Life At Elements

Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long… We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

Cooking with Kids: Avocado Toast

This is a healthy and delicious lunch the kids enjoyed at Elements. It is easy to make and much of it can be done by children, with a little help from adults. The steps in bold are for adults only.

Ingredients

Avocado

Bread slices

Lemons

Tomatoes

Olive oil

Smash the avocados, and juice the lemons.

Add the lemon juice to the avocado. Mix very well.

Cut the tomatoes in half.

Each child got slices of bread, which they spread the avocado on, to make sandwiches, which they ate with tomatoes on the side.

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Why music helps art

We tried an experimental activity at school last week, based on a number of articles which talk about how listening to music helps children tap into their creativity.

The premise is simple – music soothes and relaxes the mind. A calm mind is key for imagination and the creative instinct to take over. Music is the best way to help children enter that state, in which they can explore their creativity.

This article states four key benefits of listening to music:

  1. It is a moon enhancer
  2. It relaxes the listener
  3. It sparks inspiration
  4. It helps increase focus

We decided to make the most of the weather and paint outdoors. Here are some pictures, if you’d like to see

For more information on this subject, you might find these helpful –

Music and The Brain

Music and Creativity

 

When life gives you lemons…

… you make lemonade! Or even, just on a summer’s day, lemonade is a great idea.

The Elements students had such fun making lemonade in out kitchen, with lots of ice and an extra dose of happiness.

We then set up a table within the premises of the school and spent an afternoon offering passers-by a free, refreshing drink.

Of course this was a fun activity, but the students also learnt the importance of sharing, of being compassionate – a cool drink on a hot day is something people appreciate – and of being able to make conversation with those who stopped by.

It really was a successful day and everyone was very pleased with how well it went.

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A Friday tradition

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“I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.”

– Enid Blyton

Weather permitting, we love our Friday picnics. The kids get finger foods from home. We head out into our custom-designed yard to eat lunch al fresco. It’s a wonderful way to end the week. Spending time outdoors, of course, has its benefits. What we love even more is just watching the kids soak in the sun, in the company of their friends, being comfortable in the natural world. It is one of our key endeavours at Elements Preschool, as an urban nature school, to help children reconnect with nature. A Friday picnic is one of the nicest ways to do that.

If you’re inspired to host a picnic for your kids, or with friends and family this weekend, here are some great resources:

12 Secrets for the Perfect Picnic

13 Quick and Easy Recipes for Picnics

8 Outdoor Games for a Picnic

Summer fun with crafts & plants

We spent a fun summer day at a neighbourhood garden. The kids were greeted warmly by the staff there. They then learnt how to trace, cut and sew teddy bears and pillows. It was such a fun activity, and the kids loved decorating their crafts. To end a lovely morning, the kids walked around the garden and helped water the plants. While leaving, they were given the bears they made and with loud “thank yous”, we were on our way back to Elements. Take a look at some pictures from our fabulous day!

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Saying goodbye to the year

A few weeks ago, we threw a wonderful luau-themed garden party to celebrate the end of the year, and say goodbye to our graduating students, as well as those who are moving. It was a really great event, with costumes, and play.

The children got in their bathing suits and splashed around in the water, making puddles. They watered the plants, which was really fun. Then, there was yoga with Ms Siewli.

And the party ended with dress up to dance and play limbo to soca music with London’s and Dylan’s moms.

It was such a special day of memories and moments – we were lucky to make the most of the great weather and each other’s company.

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In the summertime

We are spending time outdoors, making the most of the warm weather.

Outdoor play has several benefits, of course, but most of all, the joy that children get from being out in nature is wonderful to see.

“Too often these days, a child’s encounters with nature are dominated by a look-but-don’t-touch directive. Fearing that we must protect nature and our kids at all cost, we often do far more harm than good.

Nature connection depends on firsthand, multi-sensory encounters. It’s a messy, dirty business—picking leaves and flowers, turning over rocks, holding wriggling worms, and splashing in ponds. Rather than saying “no” every time a child wants to pick up a stick, throw a rock, climb a tree, or jump into the mud, take a deep breath and cheer them on instead. Remember, clothes can be washed, and cuts heal.

Nature connection is a contact sport, and both kids and nature can take it!”

– Dr Scott Sampson

 

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