poniedziałek, 22 grudnia 2014

5 Easy Winter Time Treats You Can Prepare With Your Child

In my last article I delivered 7 reasons why cooking and baking with your child can be beneficial and I’ve tried to encourage you to try it.

This time I want to give you some easy, traditional English and American treats you can try out with the small assistant by your side.

1) Snowball truffles

Snowball truffles are a great and easy idea to make. Even if outside there’s no snow you can have such a small alternative at home

Total time: 35 minutes
    200ml double cream (PL: śmietana kremówka)
    200g good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
    200g desiccated coconut (PL: wiórki kokosowe)
1.     Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring just up to the boil.
2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Pour over the boiling cream, then stir until the chocolate and cream are well blended and smooth.
4. Cool, then set aside in the fridge until the mixture is solid, about 2 hours.
5. Scoop out teaspoons of the mixture and roll into small walnut-size balls with your hands.
6. Sprinkle the coconut onto a plate and roll the truffle in the coconut until evenly covered.
7. Will keep in a cool place for 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Source: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4940/snowball-truffles

2) The Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man is a typical kind of cookie made for Christmas time. However it can be baked in any time to keep the special atmosphere of the holiday. Thanks to its ingredients it fills our homes with an inimitable smell, which makes us more happy and relaxed.

Total time: 1 hour
    140g unsalted butter
    100g dark muscovado sugar (PL: cukier trzcinowy)
    3 tbsp (tablespoon) golden syrup (PL: syrop cukrowy) or honey
    350g flour
    1 tsp (teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda (PL: soda oczyszczona)
    2 tsp (teaspoon) ground ginger
    1 tsp (teaspoon) ground cinnamon
    Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
    2 balls stem ginger from a jar, chopped
To decorate: (optional)
    50g icing sugar
    A few glacé cherries (we used undyed)
    2 balls stem ginger
1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
3. Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan.
4. Mix flour, soda, spices and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
5. Stir in the butter mix and chopped ginger to make a stiff dough.
6. Wait until cool enough to handle, then roll out dough to about 5mm thick.
7. Stamp out gingerbread men, re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together and rolling again.
8. Lift onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes until golden.
9. Cool 10 minutes on the sheets, then lift onto cooling racks.

10. To decorate, mix icing sugar with a few drops of water until thick and smooth.
11. Halve then slice cherries thinly to make smiles, and cut ginger into small squares.
12. Spoon icing into a food bag, snip off the tiniest bit from one corner, and then squeeze eyes and buttons, and a tiny smile onto 1 man at a time.
13. Stick on a cherry smile and ginger buttons. Repeat; leave to set.

Will keep up to 1 week in an airtight tin.

Source: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/68611/double-ginger-gingerbread-men

3) Fudge

Fudge is a typical American confectionery, very common to the Polish sweets called “krówka”. There are many types of fudge with lots of different ingredients depending on personal preferences. This time I present the easiest type of this treat. Try it out and compare. Than let us know what’s better: fudge or maybe our national  “krówka” ;)

Total time: 10 minutes plus time to cool down
    2 cups granulated white sugar
    ½ cup milk
    1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
    1 tsp (teaspoon) vanilla extract
1. Grease an 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) baking pan.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar and milk to a boil.
3. Allow to boil for about 2½ minutes, stirring regularly, and then remove from heat.
4. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and stir until smooth.
5. Pour the mixture into the pan and allow to cool until set. Slice into 1-inch (2,5 cm) squares.

Source: http://communitytable.com/237303/lorilange/the-easiest-peanut-butter-fudge-recipe-ever/

4) Christmas Pudding Rice Cake

Christmas pudding is the English dish traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner. This time I want to provide you with much easier recipe that can be prepared with your child.

Total time: 35 minutes
50g rice pops (PL: ryż preparowany)
30g raisins, chopped
50g butter
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tbsp. (tablespoon) crunchy peanut butter
30g mini marshmallows (optional)
80g white chocolate
Ready-made icing holly leaves (optional)
1. Put the rice pops and raisins into a bowl.
2. Put the butter, milk chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallows into a small saucepan.
3. Place on a medium to low heat and stir until the chocolate and butter have melted but the marshmallows are just beginning to melt.
4. Pour onto the rice pops and stir until well coated.
5. Line an egg cup with cling film.
6. Press about a tablespoon of the mixture into the egg cup.
7. Press firmly and then remove, peel off the cling film and place the pudding into a cake case, flat-side down.
8. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
9. Chill until firm.
10. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
11. Spoon a little chocolate over the top of each pudding.
12. Top with icing holly leaves.

Source: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/christmas-pud-krispy-cakes

5) Yogurt and Berry Christmas Parfait Recipe

Parfaits are almost effortless treats that can be made with any mousse you prefer. With such ingredients they are very light and can be consumed as breakfast, dessert or a snack. Check this recipe and let us know which version is your favourite

Total time:  5 minutes
    Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla flavour)
    Fruit preserves
    Red raspberries
1. In a small, clear glass container, spoon in alternate layers, starting with yogurt then a thin layer of preserves, then berries.
2. Finish with yogurt and top with a slice of kiwi.

Source: http://www.parenting.com/article/yogurt-berry-parfait

I hope you’ll enjoy preparing all mentioned treats and both, you and your child, will have a lot of fun spending time in the kitchen and then relishing it  :)

Autor: Anna
Absolwentka studiów licencjackich Pedagogika Przedszkolna i Wczesnoszkolna oraz studiów magisterskich ze specjalizacją Wczesne Nauczanie Języka Angielskiego na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.

czwartek, 18 grudnia 2014

Spending quality time with your child

In the previous article we have encouraged you with some ideas on how to spend more quality time with your child (tu można by było dać przekierowanie do linku z tamtym artykułem). We hope it was useful and blow a bit of fresh air into the way of spending your family time together. This article will give you more specific ideas on baking and cooking together with your kid.
Christmas’s coming. This is a great opportunity to try out cooking together. The smell of homemade gingerbread cookies and tangerines fill us up with the spirit of this special holiday. Having some days off and no idea how to have fun, we are eager to convince you to this idea
There’s no point in denying that cooking with children requires time, patience, and some extra clean-up especially when the children are younger. But instead of focusing on drawbacks, let us present you the main advantages of cooking with children.

1. Good health habits
Children learn from us what is good and what is bad. Not only as to behaviour but also to consumption. That’s why there’s no point in explaining that something is unhealthy and relish it the next day or trying to encourage to eat some wholesome food and never have it during family meals.
Additionally kids are more likely to eat food they have prepared, even if they refused to try it before. Seeing, smelling, touching and trying the products makes them acquainted with it and thanks it not afraid of eating it in the ready- made meal.
But on the other hand remember that everyone has a right to have different tastes and dislike some specific food. Give a child free hand to express his or her opinions and try to respect them

2. Skills
Cooking is not an easy task. There are many adults who are not able to cook or had to learn in while growing up. That’s why thanks family cooking a children can acquire this skill in a very early stage of their life. Cutting, peeling, slicing, rubbing, rolling, kneading… There are so many activities which take place in a kitchen. Seems to be obvious, but everyone had to learn It before to do it properly.
Teaching all this skills is also not an easy task, demanding patience and consideration. But think of all this delicious meals your kid can make for her or himself and… you. Imagine all this impressed mothers-in-low watching your son or daughter in action, preparing the three course meal. Isn’t it worth it?

3. Self-confidence
This point is straight connected with learnt skills. New abilities leads to sense of being able to do something what is a great part of domestic life. That is why do not hesitate to praise your child and let her or him feel that you really appreciate the help. A good and simple idea is to name the dish after your son or daughter. It will boost the pride and encourage to eat the whole meal.

4. Strengthen family bonds
Any quality time spent together with your child strengths the family bonds. There’s only one condition to fulfil. It must be a pleasure for both- a kid and you. If the child feels that you are in a hurry, angry, stressed, not interested in what you are doing, he or she won’t feel good either. That’s why remember not to force yourself or your child to cook together. It is supposed to be fun and nice time. Make sure nothing and nobody will bother you and then enjoy your time together. Speak, explain, teach as much as possible. But without forcing yourself and your pre-schooler to do anything you both don’t want to do

5. Convince fussy eater
Children especially at that age are really picky about food. Vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products,… are simply yucky for them and there’s no possibility to encourage them to try it. And even if they do and it tastes them, they will rarely admit it
But what if they use it by themselves... For example to cook spaghetti Bolognese we need tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, spices… A lot of dislikes products. But many kids love this meal and thanks watching the way it’s prepared they are more likely to develop a taste to it.
Other idea is to make funny sandwiches that contain vegetables, dairy, meat and other disliked products. Remembering that kids also are eager to eat what looks nice, such sandwiches are great to begin encouraging to have healthy meals and snacks. The internet is full of interesting ideas. So just by googling it out you will find many inspirations.

6. General knowledge, abilities and concepts 
To cook anything you want, you need to know the recipe. You can have it in your mind or read it. That is why while cooking kids can not only practice their memory, but also notice and appreciate the need of reading skills in order to get the instructions.
What’s more in cooking there are many elements of mathematic. Adding, taking away, dividing, proportions, fractions. Everything about numbers and its’ real use.
Cooking and baking is also very often time-consuming. But the advantage of this fact is a possibility to learn the time concept. Setting, checking the time, experience of feeling the passing of time. All of it is a significant ability in human’s life that can be taught at home.
Normally not many adults think about using live science in a kitchen. But cooking is full of science and chemical reactions. Beginning with boiling water, finishing on using power to   knead the dough. Additionally there are many opportunities to ask and answer such questions as: What happens if you forget to add baking powder to your banana bread? Why do you add salt to cookie dough? Do you know? Not? So it’s a great chance to think about it and check

7. Creativity
Cooking generally speaking is a craft. You have a recipe and the only task it to follow further steps. But cooking might be also some kind of art. Cooking with children especially. Because they have a lot of great and innovative ideas you would never think of. That’s why in the kitchen allow the imagination run wild. It can be much more enjoyable and full of new experience time for you both. And even if the new idea will go off at half cock, it really shouldn’t really matter. Because time spent with your child supposed to teach all of you not only how to succeed but also from time to time how to fail

If you have had any doubts about cooking or baking with your child, we hope we just have dispelled them. We hope that trying out this kind of spending quality time with your kid will give all of you a lot of pleasure and fun.

To be up to date with new ideas, follow us on Facebook and our blog.

To be up to date with new ideas, follow us on Facebook and our blog. 

Autor: Anna
Absolwentka studiów licencjackich Pedagogika Przedszkolna i Wczesnoszkolna oraz studiów magisterskich ze specjalizacją Wczesne Nauczanie Języka Angielskiego na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.


wtorek, 16 grudnia 2014

Wpływ telewizji na zachowanie i zdrowie dziecka

Każda treść prezentowanych programów jest indywidualnie interpretowana przez widza. Jednych wybrana scena będzie śmieszyła, innych drażniła. Najczęściej dzieci odwzorowują zachowania ulubionych bohaterów bajek animowanych i filmów. Poza rodzicami, taki bohater staje się autorytetem w życia dziecka. Model naśladowczy w wybranych scenach przekazuje treści zarówno destruktywne, jak i konstruktywne. Jeżeli audycje telewizyjne będą pokazywały coraz więcej aspołecznych zachowań, dzieci będą uważały te postępowania za słuszne. 

Dodatkowym kłopotem jest brak wyjaśnienia ze strony dorosłych o zaistniałych scenach grozy i przestępczości w programach. Dzieci najczęściej swoje zachowania powielają w zabawach z rówieśnikami, naśladują postacie z bajek. Częściej dzieci skupiają swoją uwagę na drastycznych scenach niżeli na przekazie miłości, życzliwości, przyjaźni. Najczęściej powielanym zachowaniem przez dzieci jest agresja. 

Naśladownictwo zachowania jest procesem silnym w kształtowaniu się osobowości dzieci. Zachowania negatywne utrzymują się u dziecka długo, nawet po upływie pół roku dzieci są w stanie odtworzyć wyuczone zachowania. Dzieci nie odwzorowują zachowań w sposób automatyczny, tylko świadomie powtarzają obserwowane zachowania. Dodatkowo są w stanie dołączyć nowe elementy do zjawiska. Silniej na stan emocjonalny wpływają sceny aspołeczne które niosą ze sobą czasem niespodziewane skutki, mogą nawet wpłynąć na złe zachowania w dorosłym wieku. Dzieci w wieku przedszkolnym są bardzo podatne na przekazywane treści w programach telewizyjnych. 

Zagrożenie dla dzieci płynące z oglądania telewizji

Poprzez zły wpływ telewizji na proces wychowawczy dzieci:

  •  mają zdezorganizowany rytm dnia;
  •  nie rozumieją przekazywanych informacji;
  •  zaniedbują zdrowie psychiczne i fizyczne;
  •  odwzorowują negatywne zachowania;
  •  osłabiają więzi rodzinne i rówieśnicze;
  •  mają obniżony próg wrażliwości;
  •  mają zaburzenia mowy

Bierne spędzanie czasu przed telewizorem odciąga dzieci od aktywnego spędzania czasu, w szczególności na świeżym powietrzu. Dzieci nie podejmują żadnych aktywności, co zaburza ich prawidłowy rozwój fizyczny. Zbyt częste spędzanie czasu przed odbiornikiem doprowadza przedszkolaka do „choroby telewizyjnej”, której skutkami mogą być: 

  • zapadnięta klatka piersiowa, 
  • nocne lęki 
  • schorzenia oczu
  • zaokrąglone plecy. 

Innymi następstwami pogarszającymi zdrowie dziecka są: 

  • słabsza odporność,
  • pogorszona kondycja, 
  • skolioza, 
  • zmniejszenie się masy mięśni, 
  • otyłość, 
  • zaburzenia przemiany materii. 

Do kolejnych niepokojących powodów na tle zdrowotnym można zaliczyć wzrost schorzeń alergicznych. 

Jeżeli programy telewizyjne nie pobudzają do ruchu, dzieci zaczynają charakteryzować się również lenistwem umysłowym i obniżoną sprawnością myślenia abstrakcyjnego

Ważne, by dorośli kontrowali czas oglądania telewizji przez dzieci jak i treści, jakie ze sobą niosą. Telewizja posiada również pozytywne przekazy, co pozwala uczyć empatii życzliwości, dobrych manier jak i również poszerzać wiedzę o otaczającym nas świecie. Tak więc pamiętajmy, aby dostosować programy adekwatne do wieku i potrzeb dziecka.

Autor: Katarzyna

Nauczyciel kontraktowy z kilkuletnim stażem. 
Absolwentka pedagogiki przedszkolnej z językiem 
angielskim na WSP ZNP oraz edukacji wczesnoszkolnej
i przedszkolnej na WSP Korczaka w Warszawie

poniedziałek, 8 grudnia 2014

10 ideas, how to spend time with your child

It is well known that nothing and nobody can supplant one on one contact between parents and children. It is also not a novelty that finding time to spend it with your child is crucial for his or her emotional development and acquiring new abilities. However, nowadays, when parents tend to work more and more and have little free time to spend with their children, having this knowledge can lead straight to a guilt complex and dejection.

That is why, if you are one of those parents, we will try to do our best to change these unpleasant feelings into constructive actions. We hope it will help you to spend more quality time with your child. But even if you are in this lucky group of parents, who spend a lot of their time with children, we have some ideas, which hopefully will help you to have fun and share the best, unforgettable memories with your kid.

Below, we present 10 ideas how to spend quality time with your child:

1.Cook or bake together
There are for sure some meals or cakes that you all like to eat and are easy to prepare. Let your child choose and then help you to prepare it. When it´s ready… just sit and enjoy your meal together!

2.Work on domestic duties 
You will be surprised how much your child is able to help you in everyday household work. Emptying the dishwasher, putting the washed dishes out or just cleaning or wiping up. Kids love to feel being needed. Let them help you and… enjoy more free time

3.Play sports
Kindergarten age is very good to start learning many sport disciplines. Riding a bike, swimming, even short runs or dancing will deliver you a lot of fun and health benefits. Physical activity helps to release body tensions and stress. It simply makes us more happy and energetic.

4.Share hobbies
Every one of us has something that we do with a lot of pleasure. It makes us relaxed and happy even when we are exhausted after a hard day at work. Share your hobbies with your child. Show her or him what interests you and speak about it with your kid. Let your son or daughter talk about his or her interests. Children may surprise you with their hobbies.

5.Visit a museum or go sightseeing together
There are a lot of museums that provide many attractions for children. Think of what would interest your child and you, then you will surely find many places that suit your needs.
Also, simple tours and short walks around the city can deliver you a lot of nice moments. Remember that what is normal for you, can be a new experience and knowledge for your child. That´s why speak as much as possible about the surroundings around you. It will benefit with real and `alive` knowledge that your child will remember much longer.

6. Shopping trip
Going to the shop is a brilliant opportunity to learn a lot. Fruits, vegetables, colours, numbers, tastes, smells and value of money. Each item can lead to another story and interesting facts, which may be obvious to us, but not to children. Help them to explore the surrounding and gain new knowledge that might be connected with already acquired.

7.Have a movie or game night.
Plan and organize the special ‘’Day/evening of entertain’’. Think of activities which will be pleasurable for you as parents and your child and spend this time forgetting about all the problems and world around you.

8. Go on a bike ride or walk together.
This very easy idea is commonly forgotten to use. Outdoor activities oxygenize the brain and cause that we feel more relaxed and happy. During colder days it is also recommended to go outside to toughen the child up. Being outside focus on the nature and your one by one or family contact. Pick up some flowers, leaves, chestnuts or acorns (depending on the season). Smell the trees, look closer to the plants and observe the animals living in the grass.

9. Read a book together. 
Reading books has so many advantages that needs separate article to gather and sum up all of them. But not only reading a book is valuable. You can also look at the pictures and simply talk about what you can see there. Try to arouse kid´s imagination, ask questions and help older children to make up the story.

10. Make a craft or start a project together.
During whole year there are numerous opportunities to make some craft works and projects that enrich child´s knowledge and skills. When the winter´s coming make a snowman or an angle decoration. Practice cutting out, gluing, pasting and other skills, consulting the most important part of it- having fun and spending time together.

Projects are nothing different than gathering information and facts about the world that interest your child. Sometimes kids ask such questions that surprise even the wisest parents. That´s why treat it as a valuable time for all of you where asking and considering many unknown facts may broaden your mind.

You see how easy it is?  We encourage you to use these ideas as often as possible. We hope it will boost your family level of joy and happiness, tighten your bonds and help to bring up happy and smart kid

In the next articles we will give some more specific ideas of spending time together. So follow us on Facebook and our blog.

Autor: Anna 
Absolwentka studiów licencjackich Pedagogika Przedszkolna i Wczesnoszkolna oraz studiów magisterskich ze specjalizacją Wczesne Nauczanie Języka Angielskiego na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.