All Posts By

Amanda Camillo

Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

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The weather this month is getting warmer and sunnier. We can feel that summer is approaching fast! So for today we thought we would share some fun, and healthy, summer snacks for kids. These are great treats to beat the heat! They are refreshing and pretty healthy compared to their common summer alternatives.

This is the second post in a series of posts on recipes for healthy summer snacks for kids. One recipe will be featured per post. Here is one of our favourites, for the full list check out the source at the bottom. Note: if your child has any allergies be sure to thoroughly read all instructions and ingredients lists before trying any of these recipes.

 

STRAWBERRY YOGURT COOKIES from: https://www.itsyummi.com/strawberry-yogurt-cookies/

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup erythritol (this is a sweetener)
  • 2/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup sanding sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. In medium mixing bowl combine flower, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, yogurt, egg white, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla until fully combined. Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir just until no flour lumps remain, but try not to over mix. Gently fold in the strawberries.
  5. Drop dollops of batter, about 2 tablespoons in size, onto prepared sheet, about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with a small amount of sanding sugar.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges barely begin to brown. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack, or serving container.
  7. If stored in an airtight container, cookies will keep for 2-3 days.

Check out the full list from (source): http://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/healthy-summertime-snacks/

 

Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

By | Parkland Players | No Comments

The weather this month is getting warmer and sunnier. We can feel that summer is approaching fast! So for today we thought we would share some fun, and healthy, summer snacks for kids. These are great treats to beat the heat! They are refreshing and pretty healthy compared to their common summer alternatives.

This is the first post in a series of posts on recipes for healthy summer snacks for kids. One recipe will be featured per post. Here is one of our favourites, for the full list check out the source at the bottom. Note: if your child has any allergies be sure to thoroughly read all instructions and ingredients lists before trying any of these recipes.

 

WHOLE FRUIT POPSICLES from: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/whole-fruit-popsicles/

Ingredients

  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 cup strawberry halves
  • 1 cup roughly chopped mango
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup roughly chopped watermelon
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pineapple

Instructions

  1. Puree one fruit at a time in a small food processor, rinsing the machine out in between fruits.
  2. Spoon a layer of fruit to the bottom of a Popsicle and then repeat with another layer and another fruit.
  3. Stand a stick upright in each Popsicle and freeze. Note that source site recommends freezing in between layers and this may be the way to go.
  4. Once frozen pop your popsicles out of the mold and there you have it!

Check out the full list from (source): http://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/healthy-summertime-snacks/

 

 

Gummy Bear Science Experiment

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This week are learning about local animals, one of which many of us are familiar with in Coquitlam is the bear! So here is a fun “bear-inspired” science activity.

Gummy Bear Science Experiment!

Materials

  1. Gummy bears
  2. Small bowls
  3. Water
  4. Salt

Instructions

  1. First boil some water to make it easier to dissolve salt into it.
  2. Mix in salt until the water cannot dissolve the salt anymore so that the solution is supersaturated.
  3. Let the water cool in the fridge or on the counter. Don’t use the water too hot otherwise it might melt the gummy bears before you can actually observe your experiment. If you want you can incorporate this into the experiment and test the water warmth by seeing if gummy bears melt.
  4. Once the salt water has cooled you can fill the bowls with it.
  5. Pour salt water into one bowl and plain water into another for comparison.
  6. Place some gummy bears in the salt water and some in the plain water. Keep a couple of gummy bears (similar in size to the ones you put in the water and salt water) nearby.
  7. This is for comparison.
  8. Let the gummy bears soak for a couple hours and come back to them. Have children make predictions about what they think will happen to the gummy bears in the two water bowls.
  9. When you return to the experiment the gummy bear in the salt water should have expanded some and in the plain water it should have expanded even more (in image below left to right: yellow – control, red – salt water, green – plain water).
  10. Explanation of why this happens taken directly from source site: “To make gummy bears, sugar, gelatin, and flavor are dissolved in a warm water solution.  As the solution cools, water leaves the gelatin solution, and the bears become firm but chewy.  Not all the water leaves the gelatin however, otherwise the gummy bears would be rock hard.It’s this little bit of water that makes the gummy bears act as a solution of water, one with a lot of sugar dissolved in it.  The plain water in the bowl, however, had very little dissolve in it. The plain water, with very little dissolved in it will move toward the solution of water with a lot dissolved in it, the gummy bear.  This movement of a solvent from one of lower concentration to higher concentration is called osmosis.  The force behind that movement of water is called osmotic pressure.In the bowl with the salt water, we tried to balance the amount of stuff {salt} dissolved in the water with the amount of sugar dissolved in the gummy bear. Since our gummy bear placed in the salt water solution did expand a little bit, we knew our salt water solution did have a lot dissolved in it but not quite as much as the gummy bear did.  So a little water moved into the gummy bear to balance the two solutions.”

Source: http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/growing-gummy-bear-science/

 

Himama Blog: The Reggio Emilia Influence

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This is our blog post for today! A great article about the influence of the Reggio Emilia Approach in childcare, from the super awesome Himama Blog. We like this post because it addresses both Reggio Emilia’s origins in a post-WWII Italy, and how this approach has been modified to suite current day technology. Give it a read!

https://www.himama.com/the-reggio-emilia-influence-in-childcare-today/?ref=newsletter

 

Spring Craft: Painting with Flowers

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Here is a fun craft great for spring. It is simple and easy to do.

Materials

  1. Flowers (either the plastic dollar store kind, or experiment with picking real flowers from outside!)
  2. Paint
  3. Paper
  4. Paint tray

Instructions

  • First, get your flowers! These can be plastic dollar store ones if you are concerned about allergies or of the weather is not so great and you don’t want to go outside for long, or you can pick some from nature! If you pick them from outside, try to get different kinds of flowers and different sizes.
  • Clean the flower stems so that they can essentially be used as a handle.
  • Place them into paint on a tray. These will be the “brushes” for this activity.
  • Let children experiment with pressing prints with the flowers, brushing with them, etc.
  • And that’s it!

Source: http://www.learning4kids.net/2013/10/08/flower-printing/#_a5y_p=1498438

 

Sensory Motor Skills

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Sensory motor skills. This is one of those terms that gets thrown around A LOT. Especially when it comes to development in early childhood! But what exactly are sensory motor skills? And why does this term keep coming up?

Basically, sensory motor skills are all the activities and movements that prepare the body to learn, especially when it comes to infants who learn primarily through their five senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell.

To further define this we can split up the sensory skills and the motor skills. Sensory skills are the five senses listed above as well as the vestibular sense (this concerns balance and information about one’s own position in space) and proprioception (this is just a fancy term for feedback from the muscles and joints to the brain about movements).

Alternatively, motor skills refer more broadly to muscle movements, both fine and gross. These include crawling ,walking, running, writing, and even the facial muscle movements required for speech.

Now to put sensory and motor skills together, sensory motor skills include:

  • The Body in Space: knowing our location in space is important for coordination. Visual motor skills are essential in regards to this and also assist with things like learning how to write because you need to see where you are in relation to things around you in order to move in space, even when it comes to pen and paper.
  • Laterality: laterality is the ability to cross the right side of the body to the left and the left side to the right. This is also referred to crossing the midline. Development of this skills requires a great deal of sensory inputs to the brain and is incredibly important for coordinated movements in later years.
  • Balance: This is that vestibular sense that we talked about earlier. It mostly takes place through the movement of fluid in the inner ear. Development of balance is dependent on practice of motor skills.
  • Centering: this is the ability to not only cross the midline like in laterality but to do this from top to bottom, while executing other gross motor movements. This is important for fluid movement throughout.

So why is it important to know this information? Well as parents and early childhood educators it is key that we promote development of these skills. And we can do this a number of ways including encouraging movements that use both sides of the body, providing active play that requires movement and motor experimentation, and providing activities that are sensory stimulating with lots of texture, colour, or sound.

Source: http://cslot.com/sensory-motor-skills-what-are-they-and-are-they-even-important/

 

Featured Book: Freckle Juice by Judy Blume

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This week we are featuring a book good for approximately grade 3 aged readers. This one is a favourite for anyone who is a fan of Judy Blume! Here is a synopsis taken from goodreads.com (full source at the bottom):

“Nicky has freckles: they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Sitting behind him in class, Andrew once counted eighty-six of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty.

One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. When know-it-all Sharon overhears, she offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe for fifty cents. It’s a lot of money, but Andrew is desperate. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens…”

To get a feeling for the book check out this video reading of chapter 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO1DBr960SM

 

Chromatography Butterflies

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This is a wonderful activity we did at the centre a couple weeks ago and thought we would share here. It is great for Spring and for incorporating into a metamorphosis educational theme.

Materials Needed:

  1. Coffee filters
  2. Non-permanent markers
  3. Small jars
  4. Water
  5. Pipe cleaners
  6. Pencil

Instructions

  • Draw a thick circle with your marker around the middle of the coffe filter (make sure to do it on top of another surface like newspaper to protect the table).
  • Write the colour of the marker in pencil in the centre.
  • Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again.
  • Get a short glass of water or water in a jar, balance the coffee filter so that only the tip is touching the centre, not the part with the marker.
  • Let it sit and watch what happens as the water begins to flow up the paper.
  • Once satisfied with the spread of the colour take the filters out and let dry.
  • To turn these into butterflies, wrap the centres with a piece of pipe cleaner.

And there you have it! Chromatography butterflies! Include a discussion of metamorphosis and of colour mixing to take the activity a step further.

Source: http://buggyandbuddy.com/chromatography-butterflies-separating-colors-in-markers/