Ice Cream Birthday Party!

This past Sunday we had the pleasure of hosting a fabulous birthday party for a very special little girl! The theme was an “Ice Cream Shoppe” and we had so much fun coming up with creative ideas. The guests got to make Ice Cream Cone Necklaces out of Scupley and Beads.  Then in the kitchen we made mini cupcakes which we iced and then put into cones. Here’s a great recipe for mini cupcakes. Once they’ve cooled down we used royal icing and sprinkles to decorate them and then just simply placed the cupcakes into the cones.

The party ended with a grand feast of Ice Cream Cake (no real ice cream was used in the making of the cake)!

The cake was made from “traditional birthday cake” recipe and then iced with buttercream icing. We used two separate pans for the cake and once baked we cut each cake into two and filled them with buttercream icing. So really, the cake was made up for 4 layers altogether. We used fondant in various colours  to make the circles that are around the cake.

We added the cones at the very last minute as we didn’t want them to get soggy from being refrigerated. For the cones, we simply used a serrated knife and very gently cut them in half and then pushed them into the cake. They were the perfect height so the outside rim sat almost right on the cake. Using the buttercream icing we did the swirls and added a cinnamon heart on the top for the cherry! It was such a fun birthday party and we were so pleased to host it!

Tiny Tots Program at Seasons!

In September 2013 Seasons will be introducing a new program for 1-3 year olds! We will be running our Tiny Tots program 5 days a week! There are a maximum of 5 spots available per block of sessions. We will be running 3 blocks of session per calendar year. We will provide morning and afternoon snacks, a packed nut-free lunch will need to be provided by you.

Term 1: September 2nd – December 20th
Term 2: January 6th – March 14th
Term 3: March 17th – June 27th

Monday through Friday: 8:30-12:30pm
On Tuesdays and Thursday there will be a full day option 8:30-5:30pm

Daily Schedule:
8:30 – Opening Circle (emphasis on gross motor skills)
9:00am Snack
9:30-10:30am Quiet Time
10:30am Sensory Activities/School Readiness Development
11:00am Gross Motor Play Outdoors
11:30am Creative Play (emphasis on Fine Motor Skills)
12:00- LUNCH

Afternoon Schedule
1:00pm Quiet Time
2:00 Gross Motor Play
2:30 Snack
3:00 Gross Motor Play Outdoors
3:30 School Readiness Development
4:00 Quiet Time
530 Pick Up

If you would like more information about the program please contact us at info@seasonsfamilycentre.com
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Ice Cream Cake Pops!

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How can a dessert get any better than this? Ice cream and cake in one dessert, well actually there isn’t any real ice cream in the dessert, but there’s a cone so that counts for something! This is an easy dessert to make, in fact we made it in our creative treats class with 4 year old kids. Follow these easy steps to make your very own delicious cake pops:

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Cake (we made ours from scratch but you can also just buy the ones that come in a box and save yourself a lot of time). If you’re looking for a good Vanilla Cake recipe try this one.
  • Buttercream Frosting (we made ours from scratch, here’s a recipe for it. You can also just buy the frosting in a jar though, makes life so much easier, those nifty little premade goods).
  • White Chocolate Melts (amount varies depending on how many cake pops you’re making) for one whole cake you’ll need approximately 1 lb of chocolate melts.
  • Package of Mini Ice Cream Cones
  • Red Icing Gel (just a couple drops) to turn your white ice cream pink (if you so desire)
  • Styrofoam block wrapped in tin foil (we covered these ones in felt just to make them look extra fancy)
  • Cellophane/Ribbon

Method:

  • Crumble the cake into crumbs (kids love this step)!
  • Add about 3/4 of the jar of frosting or if you’re using homemade buttercream about 1 cup. You’re going to roll the cake into balls and want them to stick together with the frosting.
  • Placed rolled cake balls on parchment paper and then put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until they are hard.

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  • In the mean time, melt the chocolate (we don’t have a microwave at Seasons so we used a double boiler) if you’re using a microwave, do 20 second intervals as you really don’t want the chocolate to burn.
  • When the chocolate is melted you can pour it into a glass bowl (here’s a little trick to keep the chocolate from hardening: fill a larger bowl with boiled water and then place the smaller bowl with the chocolate inside it. This will keep the chocolate from hardening).
  • If you would like to colour your chocolate, you can do so at this point, just add a couple drops of the red icing gel (or a different colour if you choose).
  • Using a soup spoon, dunk one of the cake balls into the chocolate and cover it completely.  You can then plop it on top of the mini cones and don’t worry if it drips down the side of the cone, just adds a more realistic flair to your creation!
  • We added lots of sprinkles to make it look even more realistic!  You can also add a cherry (a cinnamon heart) for the full effect.
  • For presentation, you can use a styrofoam block that has been wrapped in tin foil. Simply use a knife to cut holes in then push the cones into the block. You can wrap the final product in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. This is the perfect gift for someone’s birthday or just for your own tummy!

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Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

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Today was our last Creative Treats class with ICS, its been such a wonderful term! For our last class, we wanted a project that the students could complete in one class, so we made amazing Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses. The houses are so cute and so easy! Plus without using too many red and green candies, no-one seemed to notice we were making them in March and not December! Follow these easy steps to make your own:

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Ingredients

  • 1 batch of Royal Icing 
  • 4 Graham Crackers (full size) and one split into two pieces
  • 1 zip lock bag (or a piping bag)
  • Lots of candies for decorating!
  • 9×6 piece of cardboard wrapped in tin foil
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Muffin tins are a great way to separate your candies.

Method:

Step 1

Fill your zip lock bag with icing and using your hands push it all to one corner of the bag. Cut a small hole in the same corner of the bag (and by small, we mean very, very tiny, think like a tip of a pencil).

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Step 2

Take a full size graham cracker and using your zip lock bag, squeeze icing along the base and side of the cracker. Place the cracker with the icing side down onto the tinfoil, this will secure into place. Working quickly, take the graham cracker that has been cut in half and attach it to the larger cracker.

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Step 3

Repeat step 2 until you have constructed a four sided house. To attach the roof you need to line the top sides of the house, the roof pieces actually rest on top of the walls. You can put a strip of icing down the middle to make sure it’s really secured. You should wait about 5 minutes before starting to affix candies so that your house does not collapse. If you’re not feeling the roof you could always make a bungalow, just put one graham cracker down flat as the roof!

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Step 4

Decorate 🙂 Use the royal icing to attach the candies to your house. Be creative and remember to have lots of fun.

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The students needed to transport their houses home in one piece, so we wrapped them up in cellophane and added a ribbon. They make the perfect gift!

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Cellophane and ribbon complete this delicious craft!

Homemade PlayDough!

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Here at Seasons, we use a LOT of Playdough and it can be pretty pricey to be continually buying it. So we learned how to make Playdough in our kitchen and want to share this easy recipe with you!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • food colouring

Combine all the ingredients in a pan over low heat and stir constantly until ball forms.

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Let the dough cool down before adding the food colouring. Once it has cooled, you can push your thumb into the dough and simply put a few drops of food colouring into the hole.

ImageKneed the dough until you obtain your desired colour and presto, perfectly made Playdough! Plus, no harm to the tummies of those little ones who occasionally sneak bites of Playdough!

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Night Time Birthday Party

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We hosted a fabulous birthday party on Sunday! The birthday girl had picked “night time” as her theme. We made beautiful “night time” boxes with lots of scary critters and glow in the dark stars! Then we made cupcakes with blue royal icing and yellow fondant stars on. It was lots of fun and a great, new theme for us!  IMG_1022 IMG_1025

Young Rembrandts at Seasons!

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We are thrilled that Seasons has invited us to offer our program their Centre. We believe that our Young Rembrandts program fits well with Seasons Family Centre’s mission to provide families and individuals a place where they can enrich their creativity through various art forms.

Young Rembrandts was founded based on first-hand understanding by our founder, Bette Fetter, of the value of the arts on developing young minds.  Bette’s passion for the arts and early childhood education led her to develop Young Rembrandts, a unique teaching methodology focused on developing foundational art and drawing skills in young children. As an artist and classroom instructor, Bette has seen the impact of her directed drawing method and its impact on inner discipline, art skills and core learning skills that undergird essential learning functions.

Research and education experts say what Young Rembrandts has always delivered: there is a significant correlation between involvement in the arts and achievement in the classroom. Children who learn to draw using the Young Rembrandts method develop spatial reasoning and fine motor skills, order and sequencing abilities, visualization, and self-discipline as well as fundamental art skills. Our original curriculum introduces concrete ideas and techniques that enlarge their visual vocabularies, enrich their imaginations and their minds.

We are pleased to be offering the Young Rembrandts program in Toronto. This winter, Young Rembrandts has an exciting line-up of drawings for your child. At Seasons Family Centre, we will be offering our preschool program for children ages 31/2 to 5 this winter for 9 weeks starting on Wednesday January 9, 2013 for 10:05 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. Our elementary age drawing program for children ages 6-12 start on the same day from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., also for 9 weeks.  We hope to see you child at one of our winter sessions!

For more information, please go to the Young Rembrandts page on Seasons Family Centre website or visit ourYoung Rembrandts Toronto enrolment page.

You could also check out our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/YRToronto or our Pinterest pagehttp://pinterest.com/kathrynyr/ for pictures of recent drawings by our students at our other locations.

Young Rembrandts founder Bette Fetter recently published her book titled “Being Visual: Raising a Generation of Innovative Thinkers”.  The book provides strategies to increase your visual learner’s success in school.  For more information about this book, please go to the Being-Visual Blog.

If you have any questions or require any information, please do not hesitate to contact us at (416) 907-0750 or e-mail us at toronto@youngrembrandts.com.

Kathryn and Desmond Sue-Chan

Program Directors

Young Rembrandts Toronto

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Fall Schedule

Our Fall Schedule and Calendar are up! If you’re looking for classes for this fall, look no further! We have everything from baking to hip hop. If you have any questions or inquiries about scheduling please feel to contact us at info@seasonsfamilycentre.com

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