Whale shark exploration!

Lately, my eldest and I have been talking a lot about where animals live across our planet. She has been asking lots of questions about which animals live where (land and sea), where are their beds, what do they eat? Today we enjoyed learning about whale sharks.

photo2

What a great activity. I found a very cheap plastic figurine of a whale shark (AU$3) at a local variety store. First we set up the clam shell pool on the back deck and filled it with water together. Then we busted out the laptop and watched a short National Geographic documentary on whale sharks in Western Australia wearing cameras on their dorsal fins! http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/australia-whale-shark-crittercam-vin

The You Tube video of multiple whale sharks swimming was great too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5a3XJhJd4

My cherub then took her new plastic whale shark to the water and replicated what she’d seen them do in the videos (feeding, big gulps, swimming with the powerful tail). This toy even made it to the warm bubble bath and the talk continued about all of the whale sharks parts (tail, gills, dorsal fin, pectoral fins, eyes, mouth).

photo1(1)This image shows my cherub replicating whale shark feeding behaviour (like in the videos), coming to the surface, gulping water and swimming. She was talking about little fish sitting under the whale shark’s fins .

Embedded learning following her natural curiosity. I don’t know what early educators would call this, but she was engaged and excited. She taught her father all about whale sharks over dinner. It was lovely to see her describe her experience. “Daddy, a whale shark is as long as two of our decks lined up! That’s big, Daddy.¬† This is how they eat (insert gulping action)”.

Hope you have a great week and learn something new.

Big love xx

 

Vegan carrot and apple insect muffins

photo3

Yum. I have ditched dairy and didn’t have any eggs in the house, so these are vegan. They are so full of flavour and easy! My children are going to LOVE these in their lunchboxes.

Ingredients

I rounded cup wholemeal self raising flour
3 tsp white chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup soy milk (extra for mix)
1/3 cup rice bran oil
2/3 cup pie apples (no added sugar)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 carrot grated
2 tsp vanilla extract
small handful sultanas

Method

Mix chia seeds and 1/2 cup soy milk together. Let stand, stirring occasionally while adding remaining ingredients to mixing bowl.
Add all ingredients to bowl and stir gently, breaking up some larger pieces of apple, if required. Add extra soy to mix, should combine like runny, lumpy cake batter. Do not over stir.

photo1

Recipe Notes:
I bought these silicone moulds very cheaply from my local discount store as a novelty, but you can use normal muffin tins.
These are very moist and luscious due to the apple content so allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning on to grate to air.
These freeze well, just wrap or box them up ready to pop into the lunch box.

Activist Note: I have ditched dairy for ethical reasons (industrialised food production is becoming a bit of a turn off really), but these are equally good made with cow’s milk and eggs. If you want to use free range eggs instead of chia seeds, just remove the chia and 1/2 cup of soy milk and substitute an egg.

Hope you have a beautiful week.

xxx

Carrot cake bliss balls (vegan, vegetables, wheat free)

Healthy finger food is essential in our house of little hands. I made this recipe as a special treat for my cherubs. These raw bliss balls taste like carrot cake, with fresh carrot and warming spices, but without the sugar, butter and nuts.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups dates
2 carrots
2 heaped tsp mixed spice
2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp agave nectar (can omit)
water for preferred consistency

Method:

Blend in food processor for several minutes, gradually adding the water after ingredients are finely combined until mixture forms a thick, coarse paste. Roll with wet hands into balls. Refrigerate until set (at least an hour).

Note: I love spices but you can reduce if you would like less intensity.

Optional- these freeze really well. You can also roll them in coconut or sesame seeds. I freeze them individually for my daughters’ play school lunch in the Decor branded dip containers. It works brilliantly.

Enjoy!