Fruity Froyo Recipe, tried and approved by the chefs and children of Zein!
Healthy, fruity and delicious, this frozen yoghurt will help the entire family cool down on a hot summer's day!
- 500g apples (or any other frozen fruit)
- 500g natural yoghurt
- A pinch of cinnamon
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Prepare the fruits by cutting the apples (or other fruit) into small pieces, making sure to add a little lemon juice so they don't go brown.
- Freeze overnight.
- Put the yoghurt, cinnamon and frozen fruit into a food processor. Mix until combined.
- Spoon the frozen yoghurt into bowls or put into a popsicle mould and freeze until again firm.
- To store, place in the freezer in an airtight container.
Today, Zein welcomed families into the new Blueberries/Bosbesjes and Raspberries/Framboosjes groups as bilingual day care (English-Dutch) launches at The Estate - following in the footsteps of The Little Castle in Voorburg & The Willows in Leidschenveen.
The primary focus for teachers in the first few weeks is to ensure children settle into a positive environment where they feel comfortable in their new (language) surroundings. In the groups, Dutch and English are spoken consistently for balanced language distribution and exposure throughout the day.
As part of our Zein Training Academy, all staff undergo a detailed induction and training programme so they learn to understand the Zein approach. All of Zein's bilingual teachers enjoyed additional on the job training in the period before the groups opened this week.
Over the coming weeks, we look forward to seeing the children settle into their new bilingual routine and enjoy learning some new Dutch words! If you are interested in bilingual (English-Dutch) or fully English-speaking childcare for your child, view the bilingual day care for more information or book a visit to take a tour of your closest location!
Happy Spring Holidays! We hope your family have a wonderful rest this Spring Holiday and enjoy time together.
At Zein, we love the outdoors. Every day we enjoy going outside to play in our natural gardens with age-appropriate and themed areas to encourage imaginative play. So why not take to the great outdoors this weekend. Here are some fun activity ideas you can enjoy as a family:
- Go into your garden or to a local park and try to spot at least three signs that spring is here! Take photos, draw them or chat about what you have seen.
- Try our Family Nature Trail for a bit of outdoor fun in the sun!
- For budding photographers, try our photography challenge and ensure all photos are taken outside. Compare your photos when you get home and create a photo exhibition.
- Create a Spring treasure hunt in your garden and hide treasures for the kids - and adults - to find. Compete to see how many you can find, but here's the twist: whoever finds the most gets to share them with everybody else.
- Outdoor movie screening! The cinema may be closed, but you can create an outdoor cinema in your garden. Set up a screen with comfy seats and cosy blankets, make some healthy snacks together and then you can enjoy your family's favourite film!
We are excited to enjoy the sun this weekend and can't wait to hear about your adventures when you return to Zein!
A bundle of bilingual books for learning English and Dutch arrived earlier this week as Zein International Childcare prepares to open bilingual groups at The Estate in Benoordenhout.
Each week at Zein, our Day Care groups focus on a Book of the Week. We read the story together - in both Dutch and English in our bilingual groups - and link the book to our weekly themes. During free play and quiet time, children have the freedom to explore their interests and choose from multiple different activities - each day many children wish to read. Children may select books themselves, though Zein teachers will always be close by to suggest choose a book they know matches a child's interests and reading level or to support with reading and understanding. By reading the same book in English and Dutch, children can enjoy a story they already know in a new language! Advanced readers can also match up the words they already know to learn new vocabulary.
The wide range of materials available to children have been carefully selected to promote fun and play, as well as to allow children to explore their interests, to grow and develop. They also promote the development of fine motor skills, literacy and social-emotional competencies such as sharing, communication and self-confidence. Equipping children with these skills will help them succeed in an educational system - Dutch or international - in their friendships, home lives and as members of the wider community.
Read more about Zein's pedagogic approach here or book a visit at one of Zein's locations so you can meet the teachers and see the high-quality facilities for yourself.
With a large number of parents expressing interest in bilingual Dutch - English childcare, and following a successful pilot, a bilingual option will be offered for ages 0-4 at multiple locations across The Hague area from early April, all in addition to the fully English-speaking groups.
The addition of bilingual childcare to our award-winning programme, designed to promote social-emotional competencies and prepare children for life beyond Zein, is a natural step. The demand for bilingual care at our locations has grown in recent years, as long-stay expat families residing in The Hague and internationally-minded local families increasingly recognise the benefits of a bilingual upbringing.
As the leading international childcare provider in the Netherlands, we are proud of the support our teachers offer children growing up in a foreign language environment. Using this experience, Zein launched a bilingual pilot at the Little Castle in Voorburg, where parents and staff have experienced how children can be taught confidence and skill in switching from English to Dutch and vice versa with ease.
Building on this success, we will extend our bilingual services to give new and current families a choice whether they want their child to follow Zein’s pedagogic programmes in a fully English-speaking group or a bilingual group in which Dutch and English are spoken and supported for consistent exposure to both languages.
So much more than a language
Zein is a place where children feel at home, where they can explore their interests, grow in confidence and ability, and make friends. The addition of bilingual childcare to our portfolio offers so much more than the option between international or Dutch education. Research into bilingualism shows that children raised bilingually (or multilingually) are more open-minded, have better problem-solving skills and adapt better to different environments than their monolingual counterparts. Bilingualism is the perfect complement to our international community of children, parents and staff - where worlds come together through a programme which focusses on growing up in a world with fading national borders and celebrating different cultures.
Bilingual groups at Zein International Childcare follow the same unique Early Childhood Curriculum as the English groups, designed to develop cognitive development, social and emotional skills and self-confidence. However, the programme is also applied in Dutch, enabling children to be fully immersed in both languages.
The Themed Approach in Practice
Learning and educational experiences at Zein are created through play-way learning and a themed approach with specifically designed activities. For example, February's Day Care theme is The World Around Me - with weekly topics such as Me and My Family and Me and My Environment (in Dutch: Ik en mijn omgeving). Zein's themed approach means children discuss topics, sing songs and learn about numbers, colours and letters over the course of either a week or a month.
The design of the themed approach allows for regular exposure to the vocabulary for each weekly topic, all of which fall under the broader scope of the monthly theme. Children, therefore, have plenty of opportunities to learn, repeat and process both languages at their own pace.
Me and My Environment/Ik en mijn omgeving
Each day, children enjoy two circle time sessions and two fun activities. One circle time and one activity is conducted in Dutch and the other is in English. We may read the weekly book in focus together in English in the morning Circle Time and in Dutch in the afternoon or we may discuss Dieren die we vinden om ons heen (Animals we find around us) in the morning and Do you have a pet? in the afternoon!
A fun morning activity is planned for the group: B is voor Binoculars (B is for Binoculars!). Children will conduct the activity in Dutch and learn about the letter B (the letter of the week) whilst they make binoculars from recycled toilet rolls - to look at the world around them! In the afternoon, children will explore the garden for circular shapes in nature - the Circle is the shape of the week - and children may even use their binoculars whilst they search!
During free play, children are free to communicate in Dutch or English and if they choose to read, they are free to choose from a range of English and Dutch books. During outdoor play, the main language spoken by the teachers will be English to ensure integration and meaningful interaction between the children from different groups. However, children are free to communicate in any language of choice.
As Zein prepared to welcome children back to day care and pre-school after the closure period, Zein’s natural play gardens were transformed into snow-filled wonderlands – with some children even seeing snow for the first time!
After a stressful year for many, seeing the delight and wonder on children’s faces as they played in the snow was so magical. We wrapped up in our warmest winter clothing to enjoy making snow people, snow angles and even throwing a snowball or two in the wonderland! Zein's locations look beautiful throughout the year, however with a sprinkle of snow, blue skies and laughing children the picture was idyllic.
Snow brings opportunities for discovery, adventure and stimulating imagination. Zein's teachers made the most of the opportunity to stimulate their play, learning and physical development by integrating snowy-sensory play into learning experiences. It's also no surprise that the cuddly polar bear was the most popular toy last week during indoor play time!
Whilst snowy days don't come around too often in The Hague, our children get to enjoy outdoor play in our beautiful and spacious natural gardens throughout the year.
We were delighted to welcome children back to Zein again at the beginning of the week. It was lovely to see the rooms and playgrounds filled with smiling faces, and our teachers have enjoyed supporting the children in their reintegration to Day Care & Pre-School.
As we welcomed the little ones back, we prioritised a smooth transition for all by focussing on the social and emotional wellbeing of children. This involved supporting parents and children alike by communicating positive habits for drop-off, recognising and accommodating changes to children's routines and offering additional support to children throughout the day.
We were happy to hear that the children enjoyed the Zein at Home videos and activities during the closure period. These were created to support children's learning and to help them stay connected to their teachers whilst at home.
At The Willows, children and staff enjoyed 'Show and Tell' activities. Children could bring in a book they read or a fun craft they made with their parents or siblings at home, that they wished to share with their friends. In the group, they were able to 'Show and Tell' us all about it and how much fun it was! We also enjoyed seeing some cuddly new comforters that the children chose to bring in for naptime. As we move into the second and third week of being open, we will focus increasingly on Zein's award-winning programme.
In January Pre-schoolers children learned all about Travel and Transport in their Zein at Home Activity Guides. Throughout February and March, we will learn about each continent, discovering that children can come from many different places and that our Earth is big and beautiful. Day Care focused on welcoming the New Year in January. Now, we look forward to continuing our programme for February, The World Around Me, as we discuss our family, friends, community and environment. The theme for March is What makes me Special? We will learn about body parts, what happens inside the body, the five senses and how to stay healthy!
With travel restrictions still in place, we still aren't able to see many of our loved ones. Try getting creative with activities that will prompt discussion about family and help them remember fun times they have spent with family!
- Create a frame using cardboard and craft materials for your child's favourite photo of family or friends. Once completed and dry, hang it up in your bedroom
- Write a letter to a loved one who you haven't seen in a long time. Tell them what you have been doing in lockdown and what you are excited to do with them when you see them again! If your child can't write yet, talk about it, write it for them and post the letter together.
- Create a collage to remember fun times with loved ones. Print photos of friends and family, cut out the images and stick them to a big sheet of paper before decorating it with your child's favourite colours and words associated with friends. Don't forget to hang it where your child can see it!
- Landmark Craft If your family lives abroad, help your child connect with that place by selecting a local landmark Build that landmark out of recycled cardboard together and send a photo of it to the family who live there!
- Create a dance to a song you love and record your performance - with costumes! Send to a family member to brighten up their day or perform it on a video call!
- Video call a yogi friend and ask them to host a yoga session for the kids! Family fun and exercise all rolled into one!
- Play Pictionary online with a family member. Write down drawing prompts before an online call and ask your child to draw pictures of the prompts in front of the camera whilst the family member on your call guesses!
- Write a bedtime story together with your child and record a video of them telling the story. Send to a friend or family member with children who can play it to them before bed. You may even get a new bedtime story in return!
We hope that these activities help your child to connect with family, even if they are far away! Be sure to check our Facebook page for healthy recipes and more activity ideas to supplement the weekly activity guides you receive throughout the temporary closure period.