Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Introducing Scissors to Young Children

We often are asked at what age is it appropriate to introduce scissors to young children.  We believe it is appropriate to introduce scissors to children age 2 1/2 and older under close supervision.  Introducing scissors will encourage your child to use the tiny muscles in his/her hand since they will need to open and close their hand.  These are also the same muscles needed to hold a pencil, hold a tooth brush, and assist in gripping objects.  Using scissors also helps your child with their hand and eye coordination. Hand and eye coordination helps children to self-feed, throw a ball, and even put a puzzle together.

So you are ready to introduce scissors to your child. Where and how do you introduce this new skill set? We find that Fiskars scissors would make a great first pair of scissors. Allow your child to hold a pair of scissors and provide your child with guidelines about what is acceptable to cut (paper) and what is not acceptable to cut (anything that isn't paper.)  Encourage your child to open and close their hands using the scissors. Our school coordinators recommend that your child start by snipping the ends of a piece of paper. Once your child is proficient with snipping at the ends of a paper, encourage your child to cut through a piece of paper.
When your child is comfortable enough with cutting through pieces of paper, challenge your child by drawing a dark 1/2" line onto a piece of paper. Practice makes perfect! Happy scissor cutting!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kale Chips!

Kale Chips

Kale chips are quickly becoming a staple on grocery store shelves. With this simple recipe, you can make your own. They are quick, easy and nutritious! Try adding cinnamon, or dressing mixes to kick up the flavor a bit.

Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
canola or olive oil, for cooking
good-quality coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Wash kale and dry it in a salad spinner or between tea towels. (Extra moisture will keep them from getting nice and crispy.) Cut or pull out the tough stems, tear the leaves into chip-sized pieces and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss with your hands to coat well; arrange in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.
Roast for about 10 minutes, until crispy and starting to turn brown on the edges, but not too dark. Serve immediately or cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Serves 6.