Our Sparks (4-7yo) have been having plenty of fun as they get into the swing of things here at Aeoncademy these Summer Holidays.
They’ve been painting, splattering, constructing, spraying, building, glooping, paper macheing drawing, plotting, sneaking, hiding, dressing up, mixing, stenciling, cutting, scratching, designing, tracing and developing a whole range of artworks, characters and spaces. Of course, that represents just a fraction of the things they’ve done while in the Creative Catalyst, Sparks and Vala spaces.
Time spent outside has involved watering the new plants, skipping, hooping, constructing sand cities, developing potions, playing catch, wet water play, chilling in the shade and a number of different games.
As the sun rises higher there’s always time to chill out with a cold treat and listen to a story or two before returning to the thick of things for the second half of the day. It’s been fab as we chill out with all our cool Summer Programs
The first half of the Summer holidays have been a lot of fun despite the heat and there’s still new and different things to have a go at over the next few weeks before school returns. Encounters with dragons, pirates, and time bandits all loom on the horizon as do opportunities to construct a poisoned chalice or two, nurture a secretive garden into being, sculpt letters and words from clay and get active while developing artworks.
You can check out more that’s been going on this week over in our Summer Program
Rice Paper Rolls
Noodles, julienned vegetables and fresh herbs will keep sparks busy slicing, dicing and snipping before rolling rice paper rolls to dunk into some accompanying soy or sweet chilli sauce. A convenient picnic food we may just have to enjoy these outside if it’s warm.
Frozen Berry Fruit Bowls
Eating is a visual sensation just as much as a taste one. Today we will combine, fruit, seeds and other tasty toppings to make a bowl to delight both eyes and tastebuds. Chewy, slimy, crunchy, soft, and slippery textures will be explored through the use of a variety of tasty offerings.
A tactile sensation! Squidge, smear, and squeeze a slimy snot between your fingers. Enjoy the sensation of wet, slippery slime on the eve of halloween. Sparks will don their lab coats today to create oozing gooey slime. Lets just hope our budding scientists don’t go a little mad with the fun of it all and let things get out of hand or allow the slime to have a mind of its own…
Braided Heart Bread
Dough is a very forgiving medium and quite tasty too. Today Sparks will mould dough into their very own frankensteinian creation; beating hearts, rattling skeletons, sugar skulls or decaying bouquets. Using a bread dough will enable the Sparks to use techniques that are not always possible with clay. Twist, fold and braid away.
Leading up to the Open Day, Sparks will be creating these little sesame biscuits to share at the Open Day. Hospitality is a very important and enduring tradition in many cultures and often includes the offering of food as a component.
Today we will create our own pizza favourites before transporting them across to the pizza oven at Hearth, an upcoming local art exhibition. While the pizzas cook in the woodfired oven the Sparks can meander through the exhibit and perhaps forage in the garden for some last minute additions.
Plantain and Cheese Turnovers
A traditional snack from Honduras this will be a tasty way to try plantain, for something a little different. Along with cheese gooey and oozy from being heated up these are likely to go down well.
As summer heats up this creamy treat offers some relief from the heat. Eaten by the Mughal emperors in the 16th century Sparks will be able to sample this delicious treat with the aid of some modern refrigeration.
Custard & fruit Danish, and Croissants with puff pastry
The Danish pastry has a complicated history of shared recipes across borders in Europe. This will be a chance for Sparks to watch custard being made from scratch, cracking eggs and stirring in milk and sugar. A sweet delectable treat.
Meringue, cream and fruit
Australian & NZ
Cooking is a process that sometimes involves using scraps, offcuts or leftovers. Today we will reconstruct egg whites leftover from the previous week to create a delectable treat in the form of meringue, cream and fruit. This recipe is going to require a little arm power however as sparks get beating and mixing.
Steamed Samoan Spice Cake
Christmas is just around the corner and the spices we will be using in this cake invokes memories of fruit cake and pudding shared around a laden table with friends and family. Using spices provides a great opportunity to show Sparks the original form in which spices come and link them to a growing thing.
At many a multicultural festival I have been refreshed with a drink of otai. The Sparks will enjoy mushing, squeezing and smashing watermelon together with coconut, lime and pineapple to recreate this drink on a warm afternoon in the sun.
Cooking Cachapas a corn based pancake from Venezuela heralds the beginning of a world cooking adventure for this term predominantly involving all sorts of flat delicacies.
Taking turns to flip these pancakes and then sharing in the taste test at the end proved popular with the Sparks, especially with a little cheese sprinkled on top.
Are you a fan of a sweet or savoury pancake?
Today the Sparks will have the opportunity to try their hands at Blini. Blini are often served traditionally with a savoury topping so sour cream along with fresh herbs will definitely be one option for the Sparks to try themselves after measuring, mixing and then cooking the batter.
What is your favourite topping for a pancake/crepe/blini?
Curried Corn with flatbread
This will be the first time the Sparks try their hands at a curry sauce. But not to worry it will be a gentle introduction to spicy possibilities to come. Coupled with some delicious flat bread to soak up the curry sauce this dish from Somalia will stretch taste buds further then they may have travelled before. All the senses will be involved today as we cut, saute, simmer, mix and knead the components of this dish to form a simple meal.
Over the years I have looked at and tried lots of different recipes for all sorts of things but my favourites always tend to be those recipes handed on to me from a friend or family member who often has had it passed on to them by someone they know. The recipe for our Tortilla today comes from Monica (one of our Educators whose family hails from Spain). Monica informs me that the best way to enjoy a tortilla is cold, served as an appetiser on a toothpick but I’m sure it will prove just as delicious warm on the day it is cooked.
One of the best things about cooking, aside from the opportunity to cook and eat various creations is to share them with friends. Today Sparks are cooking slices to share with people who come on the Open Day this weekend. I can guarantee that each slice will have to pass a vigorous taste test before it is shared though. So if you would like to have an opportunity to try a delicacy prepared by our budding cooks here at Aeoncademy don’t forget to stop by this Saturday.
Hot Potato, Hot Potato
Dranicki are one more way you can enjoy potatoes.
Slice it, dice it, grate it, grind it, mix it, fry it.
These potato pancakes don’t need many ingredients; potatoes, an egg or two as well as a little seasoning but I am sure they will prove to be a hit with the Sparks.
The hardest decision after frying up a few of these will be choosing what to eat them with.
This week Lumpia will give Sparks the opportunity to grate and slice things finely to make delicious little packages filled with vegetables and chicken. Crunchy water chestnuts, minced chicken and the vibrant colours from carrot and spring onion will all contribute to make this flavoursome snack often cooked for gatherings and celebrations. Half the fun will be in the packaging though: wrapping lumpia requires a certain technique which lends itself to the mass production of these delicious snacks. Which is just as well as I’m sure as soon as these are shared around they won’t last long.
Having tried a potato snack from Belarus it is time to try an Indian version. A pinch of spices, a sprinkle of onion and a handful of peas lend a different flavour to this potato based snack popular in the North of India. Best enjoyed while still warm they’ll be going straight from the frying pan and into hungry mouths. Aloo Tikki won’t be the only new thing to try today as they are very enjoyable accompanied by a chutney or two.
I’m sure these crepes will prove popular, not only because they are a sweet option but because they will provide an opportunity to make the biggest pancakes yet, at least in size. By this class the Sparks will hopefully have had enough time to hone the flipping technique to confidently be flipping these between pan and plate to keep up with demand
What to do with an excess of produce, or how to flavour something without cooking it? Preserving holds the key. Today we will look at spices, herbs and other popular preserving companions to store some fetta away for another day. Preserving is such a simple process but can make a big difference flavour wise. Take a small jar, place cubed fetta inside alongside the flavours of your choice, cover with olive oil and store away to enjoy another day.
Golden Syrup Dumplings
This term we will be farewelling Winter so it seems appropriate to wrap up with a very comforting Winter dish. Rub a little butter into some flour, then add a little milk until a soft dough forms. Shape each dumpling with care and simmer in a golden sauce.
Where to from here? We’ve been to a few different countries, tried different things, explored a new taste or two. Never fear, in the coming term there will be new places to visits, new combinations, flavours and things to try; possibilities abound.
Perhaps you have a suggestion!
Our Sparks program at Aeoncademy is designed to allow children aged 4-7 to experience what our Vala and Creative Catalyst programs have to offer in addition to getting messy in the kitchen with some World Cooking. However if you currently have a child attending Sparks at Aeoncademy and they turn 7 this year then please lend me your ears or eyes as the case appears to be!
As the term in which your child turns 7 approaches so too does the long-awaited chance for them to choose the programs that they will graduate onto. They may decide both Creative Catalyst and Vala are equally great and they would like to do a little of both or that they have a particular favourite. In some cases they may decide they want to stay in Sparks just a little longer.
All these choices are okay. What is important is that as your Spark approaches their seventh birthday they are made aware of their responsibility to make a decision about what they want to do. At the start of the term your Spark will need to decide which room they want to be in on each day they attend, for the entirety of the term. You should help guide their decision as you see fit, and help these young graduates choose which of our programs they want to get involved in.
For example, Spark may decide they will do Creative Catalyst each Monday and Vala every Wednesday.
If you or your Spark have any questions about this process don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are, as always,
here to help!
A New Year brings a new conceptualization of Spark-Vala Interactions. We hope that new changes we are slowly incorporating will create an even more interactive environment in which Sparks can explore and experience role play, drama for young children, character development, storytelling and creativity through play.
To help us create a fully interactive environment we have begun the search for resources, particularly fact and story books that are accessible for 4-7 year olds. If you know of any such resources please get in touch with us. We are particularly interested in subjects such as historical and ancient civilisations, mythology and different cultures.
We also hope that these changes will assist in the transition for Sparks turning 7 into what Vala consists of, especially during our longer holiday programs. Games that incorporate dice play to mediate outcomes is one new addition, and more self-contained dramatic play, including storytelling and little productions are designed to help children explore the context of our historical and legendary stories in a deeper manner. Let the dramatic adventures continue!
A big Thank You to all the friends and families of Aeoncademy who came out to our Open Day! While we were here we got to catch up with all manner of participants – from the youngest Sparks to the Teenage Artists still keeping involved.
Teffany got a start on the Barbeque creature for the upcoming AAA BBQ Festival, and some of our children and parents got involved in helping out! We had great fun in our crafternoon, and even released our Summer Program!
Thanks everyone once again for coming along and getting involved in our provision of Education through Creativity.
If you missed out on picking up your childrens’ artwork, don’t fret! We’ve stowed the ceramics on a shelf outside our art room – we’re here from 2 to 6 every day – so feel free to pop in, say g’day, and take home your art! We’ll keep the work there until the next Open Day, so you’ve got a bit of time.
Adventure Island Dioramas, Wednesday 30th September
Construct an exciting land of adventure using a vast array of materials and tools.
Our diorama workshops give you a chance to;
cut foam with hacksaws, handle hot glue guns, twist wire and metal, cast plaster, manipulate air drying clay, draw, paint (and more!) into…
bridges, pit traps, forgotten cities in overgrown jungles, crocodile infested pools, hidden caves, secret coves, wild beasts, dangerous cliffs and other fiendishly, unexpected features.
Colour Explosion, Thursday 1st October
Play with acrylic paint and a great range of brushes, sponges and other tools to experiment with abstract painting. Learn some colour theory and get ready to make all the colours! We will be using easels outside for part of the day to really get hands on and active in our investigation into the impact of colour. We will look at past artists such as Rothko and Frankenthaler and also Bancroft who is a contemporary Australian artist who uses strong pattern as well as colour.
Prehistoric pots, Friday 2nd
The oldest pots in the world were built around 15 000 years ago. Humans have been making pots, ornaments and instruments out of clay for a very long time. This is your chance to join in the tradition and coil a huge pot and decorate it with earth colored slips. We will look at images of pots from the ancient past and all over the world . Design your own decorations based on these frequently mysterious vessels.
The Sparks get involved in both our Creative Catalyst visual art and our Vala Dramatic Adventure programs during the holidays, in an experience tailored to the 4-6 year old age bracket.
During the after school classes, we break this down into a weekly rotation – the Sparks get involved in the Dramatic Make Believe one week, and change around to join in the Clay Play or 2D art another, or to join in our World Cooking program.
We shuffle these days into a pattern that makes sure that even if your Spark comes along for just one day a week, they’ll still have a chance to try out everything we’ve got to offer.
Interview with a Spark-
What do you enjoy doing in the Sparks? Everything
What if you had to choose one activity? Cooking. I liked cooking fudge last week. The caramel fudge was the best.
What would you like to learn to cook? Lamingtons
Cooking is one of the activities the Sparks regularly engage in. Throughout this term the Sparks have made edible jewellery, doughnuts, tortillas, meatballs, bruschetta, fudge, apple and cheese stuffed breads during different World Cooking lessons.
It would be fantastic if Sparks and their families could provide some suggestions of things we could cook during world cooking. Talking about things you enjoy to eat at home or foods that are special to your family may generate some great ideas for our cooking classes in the coming term- Anna.