Embracing Risky Play at Greenwood Notting Hill
Nov15

Embracing Risky Play at Greenwood Notting Hill

Gone are the days of over-protecting children when it comes to risky play. Here at Greenwood Notting Hill, you’ll find them going hammer and tong with real saws, real nails and yes, real hammers. Learning through play Woodworking is a big skill-set that is gaining popularity amongst children within the under-five age group. The idea is being embraced as a fun way of learning new skills they’ll need later in life. Not so much a future in cabinetry or building, but through qualities like resilience and perseverance. What happens when they’ve accidentally hit a thumb instead of a nail? They learn to pick themselves up and have another go until they are satisfied with their creation. In an increasingly risk-averse world, Greenwood Notting Hill is taking a different approach, of course in a highly supervised and safe environment. Centre Manager Melissa Syer says risk taking is connected to problem solving, a skill the children will need throughout their lifetime. “Risk is about not being afraid to trying something new,” says Ms Syer, who has a 20-year pedigree in early childhood education. “It’s a learning process; if something doesn’t work you learn how to do it better next time. “This is as an aspect of learning that many children are missing out on. The woodworking classes help them to deal with setbacks and find solutions to problems. “We don’t want a generation of children so worried about what might happen that they are too frightened to try anything challenging or new.” What do the parents have to say? Ms Syer says the children love the woodworking activity and parents have gradually warmed to the idea. “Generally, it’s parents who are risk-averse,” says Ms Syer. “They worry about them playing barefoot, going outside in case they get a cold, so we also have to educate the families to view risk as a positive.” G8 Education Pedagogy and Practice Manager Dr Melinda Miller says risk-taking is essential to setting up children for a resilient future. “It’s about taking off the bubble wrap and allowing them to take measured risk and understand that not everything goes to plan,” says Dr Miller. “Sometimes taking a risk will result in an unexpected outcome, but children quickly learn about their own boundaries and that of the environments in which they play.” Exposure to the real-world Working with real materials on a construction project comes with even greater benefits. Children also learn about: the properties of different materials, and the process of design “The woodworking activity allows children to manipulate real objects and this translates to real life learning,” says Dr Miller. “It helps their learning around...

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From Greenwood’s kitchen: 5 great recipes that children love
Nov08

From Greenwood’s kitchen: 5 great recipes that children love

If you’re always trying to come up with new recipes to cook at home that will please both adults and little ones, you’ve come to the right place.  We’ve chatted to Chef Brett from the Greenwood Five Dock Early Education Centre and asked him to share five of the most-loved, tiny-taste-bud-approved recipes from the centre.   It’s all about community vibes at Greenwood Five Dock, with Chef Brett’s kitchen centrally located in the foyer. Parents are used to grabbing a tasty treat and a coffee on the way to work, chatting to educators and planning play dates with fellow parents while taking a sneak peek at whatever nutritious, delicious meal the children get to enjoy that day!      Keep reading for the five best recipes nominated by both Five Dock parents and their children. Rest assured that each recipe is easy to follow, easy to customise and provides key nutritional elements, with vegetables incorporated into each dish. Thanks Chef Brett!    Easy Chicken Pasta  This delicious pasta recipe is creamy enough to satisfy any appetite. You can also customise it based on which vegetables your little ones are most likely to eat!  Click here to view the Chicken Pasta recipe. Healthy Fish Curry   Despite being a delicious, healthy option to serve up around the dinner table, rest assured that children love the mild yet delicious flavours of this curry. This curry also makes for excellent leftovers to pack for grown-up work lunches! Click here to view the Fish Curry recipe.  Chicken Noodle Soup  This creamy, delicious twist on an old favourite is the perfect dish to serve up if someone in the family might be feeling a little under the weather – or simply when you feel like a comforting, yet easy, dish.  Click here for this Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.  Zucchini and Carrot Slice If your children love getting involved in the kitchen, opt for this easy zucchini and carrot slice that involves minimal steps yet maximum deliciousness!  Click here for the Zucchini and Carrot slice recipe.    Cheese and Chive Muffins Who doesn’t love a muffin, fresh-baked out of the oven? These delicious cheese and chive muffins are quick to whip up and can be served as a snack any time of the day – or add a side salad and some chopped vegetables to make an easy, light lunch! Click here to view the Cheese and Chive Muffins recipe. If you’d like to hear more about the meals that children in centre get to enjoy, we’d love for you to come and experience it for yourself – join us in the kitchen for a muffin and a coffee while immersing yourself in the Greenwood experience.    Speak to our Family Support Specialists and book a Greenwood tour today by calling 1800 413 921.   Enquire Now...

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The secret garden: How Greenwood Bronte is connecting children with nature
Nov08

The secret garden: How Greenwood Bronte is connecting children with nature

Tucked into a corner of the Greenwood Bronte Early Education Centre, surrounded by a sandstone wall and full of greenery, is a truly special surprise for children: the centre’s secret garden.  This mini piece of paradise is an ode to nature in the middle of Sydney. It serves as a secluded hideaway for little ones looking for a bit of quiet time, plus it’s an invaluable resource for endless teaching opportunities.   With children of all ages welcome to explore the secret garden at any time, here are a few ways this hands-on space inspires them…   Worms and bugs and creepy crawlies, oh my!  At Greenwood Bronte, there’s every opportunity to go back to basics and uncover a new learning environment in the form of… dirt!  With most Sydney children being exposed primarily to grass, water and sand, this is the chance for little ones to quite literally get their hands dirty as they engage with the secret garden and its hidden nooks – such as the worm farm, the hanging vines and the herb garden.  The bug hotel is a favourite with children. Full of mulch, pebbles and soil, it’s the kind of habitat that encourages different bug species to visit. It’s well worth peeking inside every day, just to see if there might be a new six-legged guest checking in!    Paddock to plate  It may have become a trendy concept, but at Greenwood Bronte, children see first-hand how something goes from the garden to the meal they’re being served for lunch.    With everything from strawberry plants to carrots and tomatoes grown in the secret garden, along with herbs such as rosemary and basil, young ones are encouraged to nurture the plants by watering them and watching their progress.  The centre’s chef also works with the children to pick the herbs and vegetables when they’re ready, and chat more about how they might be used in the kitchen when preparing meals.   Thanks to being involved every step of the way, children end up feeling a real sense of ownership and pride for what they’ve grown – and it’s even more exciting when they get a chance to smell and sample their work!   And… exhale   Not all Sydney homes are big enough to have backyards, and so Greenwood Bronte is the perfect place for children to touch, feel and learn more about all things related to nature.   Being accessible to children throughout the day, it provides a safe, comfortable space and goes hand-in-hand with Greenwood Bronte’s other outdoor areas – including a sandpit, water play area and cubby house – plus extracurricular activities such as yoga and excursions to the park next door.   There’s also an element of sustainability that runs through the entire secret garden, from encouraging children to minimise waste to teaching composting by using the worm farm.   Sound inspiring? We’d love for you to come...

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Greenwood Artarmon Turns One!
Nov08

Greenwood Artarmon Turns One!

Hip, hip, hooray! On Saturday the 2nd of November, Greenwood Artarmon celebrated its much-anticipated First Birthday! Activities on the Day The day was filled with a range of exciting activities for the children and families. Set up by our passionate educators, we had a variety of stations including: Squishy bags for babies to encourage sensory play Interactive white-board stations A STEM (Science, Techonology, Engineering, Mathematics) station for kindergarten-aged children, and Origami for the older children   From balloon twisting to face painting, there was something to keep the families entertained all day long!   Dress to Impress In celebration of the centre’s birthday and with Halloween having taken place recently, families were encouraged to dress their best. Two adorable babies won the Ultimate Children’s Gift Card, giving them access to a range of children’s toys from different stores. We love the outfits of Baby Pumpkin and Baby Witch! Do you have a favourite?     Who’s hungry? With a day full of activities, we know how important it is to refuel. Our lovely chef kept the hunger pangs away with some yummy treats and a sausage sizzle.   But what’s a birthday party without cake? We couldn’t believe our eyes when our talented Greenwood Chef presented this stunning cake for us. It was complete with our Greenwood mascots Jimmy and Gracie, as well as our signature rainbow track. Isn’t it beautiful?   Learning Environments At Greenwood Artarmon, we’re passionate about education and giving your child the best start to their early learning journey. Our latest interactive whiteboard enables us to integrate technology into children’s play experiences and projects. With over 30 educational apps to choose from, there’s plenty of opportunities for collaborative learning amongst the children and educators. The Greenwood Cubby house was also a huge hit amongst our little friends who loved taking in the cityscape views. Our play environments are designed to meet the developing needs of every child and are built keeping all weather conditions in mind! A word from Centre Manager Venita At Greenwood Artarmon, we have been overwhelmed with the support from our local community at our First Birthday party! Thanking our hard-working team for all their efforts, Centre Manager Venita Rutley said, “Having a team as passionate as I am means that we are working together to provide a high-quality nurturing environment, supporting each other and caring for our families. We look forward to many more years together with our team and families”.   Visit Us! Missed out on attending our First Birthday? Don’t stress! Simply pop into our centre or give us a call on 1800 413 921 to book in a tour at a...

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Greenwood Recipe: Healthy Fish Curry
Oct08

Greenwood Recipe: Healthy Fish Curry

Despite being a delicious, healthy option to serve up around the dinner table, rest assured that children love the mild yet delicious flavours of this curry. This curry also makes for excellent leftovers to pack for grown-up work lunches!   Serves 4  Ingredients  25ml curry powder, made into a paste with water  4 pieces Basa filets  1 x diced onion  1 tablespoon crushed garlic  1 x tin creamed corn  1 x tin coconut cream  1 x tablespoon fish sauce  2 x tablespoon lime juice  1500g frozen /fresh veg, diced or pureed   250g diced sweet potatoes  Brown rice, to serve  Method  Dice and cook the onions until clear and golden; add crushed garlic, curry paste and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, fan forced. Bake the fish pieces in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, covered in lime juice and pepper.  Dice the sweet potatoes into small, bite-size pieces and bake on a flat tray in the oven for 20 minutes, until the edges are crunchy.  Place the fish in a pot with the tinned coconut, creamed corn and vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Add the baked potato pieces, cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes to ensure the potato is soft.  Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker and combine with the curry sauce.   Top Chef Tip  If your children are fussy and refuse to eat vegetables, cook all vegetables until they are soft, then add the sauce ingredients and blend together until you get your preferred consistency before serving up over rice. Rice can also be substituted for cous-cous or quinoa!  ...

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How to End Drop Off Drama
Sep25

How to End Drop Off Drama

  By Sabrina Rogers-Anderson My three-year-old twins only recently settled into their new early learning centre after clinging to me and crying at every drop-off for a couple of months. They’ve been going to child care since they were 15 months old, so it wasn’t a brand-new situation. But a series of unexpected events – sickness, holidays and an operation – prevented them from establishing a predictable routine at their new centre that made them feel safe and secure. When we were finally able to send them for their full three days a week without any interruptions, their educators helped me create a smooth drop-off routine. They now wave happily and yell, “Bye, Mum!” as I leave. So, what was the key to drop-off success? There were three main factors that made the process easy. If you apply these with the help of your child care centre’s educational team, you’ll have a stress-free drop-off routine in no time. Prepare your child After three children, I’ve understood that the key to smooth transitions is to prepare your child ahead of time. I used to just chuck my eldest daughter in the car without telling her where we were going or what we were doing, and then I was surprised when she had a tantrum because it wasn’t what she was expecting! For three days before going back to their early learning centre, I told Estelle and Georgina all about the incredible things waiting for them at their centre. I reminded them about the cool spaces to play, adventure-filled outdoor areas, and friendly teachers and friends to play with! They were super-excited by the time we arrived and they settled in immediately. It was so much easier this time around because I was able to provide them with the certainty and predictability they needed to feel safe in a new environment. I hadn’t been able to do that the first time around due to all the unforeseen circumstances, and it had caused them to feel uncertain and insecure. Approach drop-offs confidently Although I usually enter new situations with confidence, I realise now that I wasn’t at my best when I was trying to settle the girls into their centre the first time. I was nervous about Estelle’s operation to have her tonsils and adenoids removed and grommets inserted. I was still trying to settle my big girl into her first year of school. And I was trying to get work done in-between. Eek! When settling in didn’t happen easily, I became stressed about drop-offs and probably projected my feelings onto the girls without realising it. I felt guilty and they could...

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