Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cooking–Homemade Pop Tarts

I found this easy recipe at Cooking Classy that I modified to work at StrongStart.

We cut the recipe in half at school but here’s the full recipe.
Measure 2 cups + 2 tablespoons of flour into a food processor. 
Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.  It calls for a teaspoon of salt but I didn't.
Cut 1 cup of cold butter into small cubes and add to food processor.
IMG_6261Pulse until it is coarse crumbs.
Add 4 tablespoons of cold water and pulse again. 
If it doesn’t all come together in a dough ball then add one more tablespoon
of water.

Next is where I modified the recipe mainly because of time constraints.  The recipe says to wrap and chill the dough for an hour.  Instead I cut ours into small balls so each child could roll out their own tart.    
After they rolled out their dough they spread jam on it and folded it in half, pinching the edges shut.
The recipe now says to freeze the pop tarts for at least 2 hours but we put them right in the oven. Bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes or nicely brown.
                         And they came out fine and delicious.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Soap Explosion a Science Experiment

Have you tried the science experiment where you explode a bar of soap in the microwave?  We did but it didn’t turn out like I read.
Day 1
       A regular bar of soap goes into the microwave for 2 minutes.
This is how it came out, both times.  We repeated it with a second bar because I interrupted the first one to peek at it.  But it didn’t make a difference letting the whole 2 minutes run through.  Maybe our bar of soap was old and dried out?
But it didn’t stop us from exploring more.  I brought out cheese graters and knives and the children cut the soap to pieces.
Then we added coloured water using eye droppers.  Will the soap change?
It did.  Some of it softened and we were able to mould it into shapes although there were still little lumps in it.

Day 2
We added more water, no colour.  It was room temperature water and it didn’t do anything different then yesterday.

Day 3
Before the children arrived I poured boiling water on each tray.  When the children arrived it had cooled and had become a soft soap, slimy and pliable.

Day 4
After adding more boiling water I added spoons, muffin tins, and measuring cups.
The morning was spent making all kinds of foods like cupcakes, cookies and soup.
     I bought new soap and hope to try the experiment another time. 
                       Maybe we'll see the soap cloud.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our Art Gallery Show

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile you know about our interest in Fairies and that we used a path in a local forest to create what we called Fairy Lane.
Last fall I was approached by another Early Childhood Educator from Roseberry Preschool to collaborate on a project.  Every year her centre puts together an art exhibit at our local art gallery.  This year she invited our centre and one other to take part.
We met a couple of times to discuss what interests were happening with the children in our centres and together we decided to call our exhibit “Pathways”.
We started last fall by exploring the forest close to our school looking for signs of fairies.  We collected materials and practiced building fairy houses using play dough to help them stand.
           Then we spent some time building real fairy houses.
We listened to a story about flower fairies and then made our own.
      Each child was encouraged to create a story about their fairy.
This spring we spent a week making clay doors and imagining about who might
                               live behind each one.
       After they were fired we spent a couple of days painting them.
The week before our show was to open we created backdrops for our doors and fairies.  We painted trees on an old roll of transparency film (from an overhead projector).
    We decided to install our Fairy Project on the windowsills of the gallery. 
                  The see-through trees gave it a playful feel.
            Photos and the children’s stories were displayed on the walls.

Here's a glimpse of the other centres' work.
Tigger Too Preschool Pathway was following the salmon that they raised at
                        their centre and released in the creek.
Roseberry Preschool followed the path of a slug that emerged from a carrot
                                  they found in their garden.

Opening night brought families from all three centres together to celebrate and
                     learn about each others' projects.  
Putting an art exhibit together has been a great way to follow a project through to an end.  Thinking of how it will be shared with others who know nothing about it.  Will they be intrigued?  Will they create their own pathway that takes them on an adventure?  I hope so.