The beginning of a new school year is a wonderful time to think about what lies ahead and to set goals! Creating a time capsule is a fun project for your child - fill it at the beginning of the school year, and open at the end.
The following are included on this Time Capsule Activity Sheet:
- Measure and record your child's height, note their hair colour and shoe size.
- Trace your child's hand on a piece of paper at the beginning of the year. Trace over it at the end of the year with another colour to see how much it has grown!
- Write down your favourite song, book, animal etc!
- Write about your friends
- Make a prediction about the school year.
- Write about a current event or place a news clipping from the beginning of the year. Do the same at the end of the year! E.g. What inspired you during the Olympics?
- Write a note to yourself to read later! It could be a funny story to make yourself laugh, a piece of advice, or about something you want to achieve!
- Take a photo of your child during their first week of school.
- Put a memento from the summer holidays in the box
- You could write a letter to your child to open at the end of the school year – or ask a family member to.
- And more...! Include as much as you want, the more items you include, the more fun you’ll have later opening it. Be imaginative and ask your child what they'd like to include.
Once the items have been gathered, place them in a sturdy container and write a note on the top of the opening date. Store the container in a high place so your child isn't tempted to open it early and enter a reminder in your calendar, so you don't forget about the opening date!
Now for the exciting part – on the date you set, open the box! This will be exciting for you and your child! Encourage them to reflect on how they have changed, and what they have achieved in the year.
When you're done looking through the items in the time capsule, place some keepsakes from the school year into the box, for example small art projects that your child felt especially proud of, photos from After School Care and one of them on their last day of school. Keep the box as a memento to look back at in the future.
We are pleased to share that applications for our next International Talent Programme (ITP), to be held in autumn 2021, are now open! If you are interested in a career in international childcare, but not qualified to work with children in the Netherlands? We may have the answer!
Why choose the ITP?
Each time we run the International Talent Programme, we invite passionate, caring and experienced childcare professionals (both Dutch and international!) to obtain the necessary qualifications to work in childcare in the Netherlands.
Martina, an ITP graduate from the Spring Class of 2020, explains why she chose to follow the ITP: "Zein represents the opportunity to pursue what truly makes me accomplished in my work: being an international childcare teacher at a childcare in line with my own philosophy. I strongly believe in Zein’s education-based Montessori pedagogy and Reggio Emilia approach in a natural surrounding where every child can feel at home."
What does it entail?
Our ITP candidates follow an in-house training scheme and receive on-the-job training under the guidance of experienced Zein professionals. This combination allows you to effectively back up your own qualifications with experience and training that will allow you to work in international childcare at Zein. By entering the EVC procedure through this programme, you will also be allowed to skip the Dutch language element of the EVC process. Your training will be based in one of our locations around The Hague. Working on a daily basis within either Day Care or Out of School Care groups, you will receive on-job training under the guidance of experienced Zein professionals
The programme lasts 3-6 months, depending on your current experience/qualifications. When joining the scheme, you will be registered with the company that we work with in relation to the EVC procedure. Upon starting the programme, you will undertake a skills audit - the results of which will be used to create a tailor-made training programme for you. Additionally, you will be assigned a personal coach who will liaise with you throughout the education process, provide help and advice on the modules you will need to complete and competence-based evidence you will need to gather.
How do I apply?
One way to get kids interested in the Olympic Games is to host your own event! See the activity suggestions on this Activity Sheet for a day of sporting and crafty fun! Invite friends to participate or enjoy together as a household.
Don't forget to share your Home Olympics photos with us!
If you're looking for a more inspiration for summer fun, take a look at our Themed & Multi Activity Summer Camps which are open to all children aged 4 to 12 in The Hague and beyond!
The Summer Olympics are nearly here! Whether your child is a future football star, a bouncing gymnast or prefers the magic of the opening ceremony, we can all get excited about what is to come. These Zein at Home activities are all related to the Olympics and will get kids of all ages engaged in the event!
For a little history, learn all about the origins of the Olympic Games. The first Olympics took place in Ancient Greece, and whilst the sports were quite different back then (for example, chariot racing!), the athletes competed for glory and to demonstrate their athletic prowess. Read more here!
This summer, the Olympics will be held in Japan! You could do a Japanese themed day and eat noodles or sushi, learn about the famous landmarks and the different regions of the nation. Watch clips of the Olympic Torch Relay as athletes and locals carry the torch through the country. This takes place every Olympic cycle!
More than 196 countries take part in the Olympics! Are there some countries you haven’t heard of? Get an atlas or a map of the world and look at where these countries are. What are their flags? What is their population? Some small countries are incredibly successful in certain sports and it means a lot to them to be represented at the Olympics! Print out this blank flag image and colour it in with your favourite flag – or create your own. Don’t forget about the opening ceremony where each participating nation will carry its flag.
Speaking of sports, there are 46 different sports at the Olympics this year. Learn about the different sports – there are 46! In this Olympics, there are 6 new sports: surfing, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding, baseball and softball. Which sports do you enjoy? Are they being played at the Olympics? If you want to learn about the different sports, visit the Olympic Games website to watch their minute-long introductory videos to each sport.
For some arts and crafts, print out some different Olympics sheets and colour them in! Click here to download a pdf with various Olympic Scenes, including Olympians and Paralympians, different sports and the Olympic Torch!
Finally, have you heard about the Paralympic Games? Athletes with an impairment participate in 23 sports. In 2016, 4,328 athletes from 159 nations and regions participated! Find out more about Paralympic sports here!
As we enjoy the Olympics this summer, some of our Day Care children will also enjoy Olympic activities in their rewarding and varied programme!
Each summer, we say goodbye to the children at Pre-School and Day Care who are ready to move on to 'Big School'. Whilst we usually celebrate with a Graduation ceremony, this year we had a smaller celebration within the groups to commemorate the end of their time at Pre-School.
Throughout the year, our caring Pre-School teachers prepare children for life at ‘Big School’. By building early numeracy and literacy skills children are prepared for the beginning of their academic careers. We have fun counting everything: buttons on coats, stairs, how many steps it takes to reach the kitchen. We point out common numbers, such as your child’s age, on the calendar, house numbers and number plates on cars and we also learn to recognise letters and our names. We also encourage the children to love books; each day we read a story together.
But preparing for school isn’t just about learning letters and numbers! We focus on the social-emotional skills that will help children to thrive in a school setting – we teach and practise skills like sharing, taking turns, listening, following instructions, and playing with other children. We give many opportunities for the big children to stand in front of the class and talk or sing a song for their friends which helps them to grow in confidence.
“As parents, it has been the best decision for us to enrol our son at your Pre-school, especially seeing the impact it has had on his understanding of people and learning as a whole. While it is the beginning of his Big School journey, it is also a sad moment as he is nearing his last days at Zein. He often talks about his teachers and he is fond of going to Pre-School. We would like to thank all the teachers who have helped him - we will always be grateful for your guidance.” Pre-School Parent, 2021
Our goal is for pre-schoolers to have an amazing time at Zein. Based on experience and feedback from parents, we know that the transition to the ‘Big School’ is relatively smooth for Zein Pre-School graduates. Zuzana Kondor, Pre-School Manager & Pedagogic Coach at Zein, offers several handy tips for families starting ‘Big School’ in September:
- Discuss with the children what to expect at school
- If possible, attend a school orientation day.
- Purchase school supplies together with your youngster (school bag, lunch boxes, gym shoes).
- Talk about making new acquaintances and learning new things from new teachers.
- Create a new routine.
- Encourage children to think positively.
We wish our Class of 2021 the best of luck as they graduate and set forth on a new adventure in September - and look forward to seeing many familiar faces return as they start at Zein After School Care, too!
In summer we enjoy the great outdoors, but it’s also important that we do what we can to take care of our environment. The activity sheet below lists various activities that are also learning opportunities for your children throughout summer!
Seed Ball Recipe:
Materials: Wildflower seeds, peat-free compost, water, powdered clay & a mixing bowl.
Instructions: Add 1 cup of seeds, 5 cups of compost and 2-3 cups of clay powder to a bowl. Slowly mix in water with your hands until everything sticks together. Roll the mixture into firm balls and leave them to dry in the sun. Plant your seeds by throwing the balls into bare parts of the garden and wait to see what pops up! Look out for butterflies and bees that pollinate the flowers!
Cardboard Car Recycling Project:
This is a great project for children interested in crafts and transport! Make the car as large or as small as you think will be manageable for your child. If your child is ambitious they could make a car to sit/play in!
Materials: various cardboard boxes, paper tape, glue, scissors and paint to decorate.
Instructions: Use the largest box you have for the body of the car. Seal the box with tape and draw on doors, a windshield, windows and other features. Stick on smaller boxes to create wing mirrors, lights, a steering wheel, seats etc. Be as creative as you can! Allow the glue to dry and paint to decorate. Once the paint is dry, you can play with/in your car – depending on the size!
If you're looking to fill your child's summer with fun activities, they can join the adventure at Zein's multi-activity & themed Summer Camps! Themes range from Circus Camp and Arts & Crafts to Multi-Sports and Cookery Camp.
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.
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!
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.