Friday, January 29, 2010

Monday is Baking Day

Young children are very comforted by rhythmical activites. A day in The Nest has a rhythm all its own, created by myself and the children attending the program. There is a daily, weekly and yearly rhythm. The weekly rythm is formed by having a special activity for each day.....and Monday is Baking Day. Sometimes we make corn or banana bread , sometimes we make sugar cookies! But most of the time we bake bread! This week we made a simple white bread. Bella & Ian take turns measuring & adding the ingredients. Everett watches from the sidelines, soon he will be able to help too:) We set the dough to rise while we take our nature walk and come back inside to form our dinner rolls. Each child works their own piece of dough, adding special hidden treats like raisins & sunflower seeds. Then they make dough snakes and form the letter of their first name to mark which roll is theirs. We let the the rolls rise one more time and then it's time to place them in the oven! I love the smell of bread baking!

Homemade playdough

Every child loves playdough. Here is a simple receipe to make your own: 2 cups All purpose flour, 4 tbl. cream of tartar, 2 tbl. cooking oil, 1 cup of salt, 2 cups boiling water & food coloring.   Eeva-Liisa, Ian & Austin had a great time measuring out all the ingredients & mixing different food coloring to make their own unique playdough color. The dough was warm from the boiling water as we placed it on our floured counter, some stuck to their hands but they didn't seem to mind. Like all really fun projects it was a little messy but it was a wonderful way for the children to keep their hands busy:)Added bonus ....this dough doesn't have that weird playdough smell!

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Bird

We have a new friend at The Nest! Austin has been joining us after school for a couple weeks and we are so glad to have him here. Austin loves peanut butter crackers and playing in the downstairs playroom. He is a really talented artist who enjoys painting and drawing. There is a photo below of one of his masterpieces;) Sometimes when you ask Austin a question like what did you have for lunch? or who did you sit with today at school? he replies with "I can't tell you, it's a secret". It makes me smile everytime.....I wonder if he needs to feel more comfortable here to tell me these things and I hope to soon be trusted enough to hear the real answers. Eeva & Austin are both in Kindergarten, Eeva is 1/2 day & Austin is Full and during afternoon snack they exchange school day stories.....what they had for special, what books they read, what songs they sang...I usually sit quietly and listen. It's nice to hear what they find important & what they like/dislike most about their time spent at school. They also measure themselves each day to see if one of them has grown far they are the exact same height. After measuring they take each others hands and dance in a circle chanting " We're the same size!" " We're the same size!"
I enjoy watching the relationships my children are forming with our Nest friends;)