Parent Engagement – February

Activity: Make a Nature Mandala
To make a mandala all you need is a little creativity and natural materials. Invite your child to create a circle with items they have found outdoors. First, have them choose a natural object that will become the center piece of their Mandala. Then, form a ring around the center piece. Continue to make new expanding circles until they either run out of items or feel that the structure is completed.
*What is a mandala? The word mandala is a Sanskrit term which means “circle”.

Plant of the Month: Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)
This annual plant is a great addition to your home décor. An excellent plant for bedding and containers, pansies are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. To ensure a successful season, plant this flower in the fall for an early spring bloom. Selecting an optimal location is recommended, to provide the flower the opportunity to receive sun to a partial shade. In addition, pansies are a wonderful plant because they are edible! Harvest the flowers for a colorful addition to a salad.
*An annual plant, is a plant that completes its life cycle within one year, and then dies.

Recipe: Collard Greens Stew with Black-eyed Peas

  • 1 ½ cup canned black-eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • ¼ red onion into long strips
  • 2 cloves garlic cut into long strips
  • 1 tablespoon red flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups of collard greens, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup tomato pulp
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice


  1. Add 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil to a medium pot. Heat on medium heat for 30 seconds and add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  2. Add 1/4 of a red onion cut into long strips. Sauté it until it browns
  3. Add 2 cloves of garlic cut into long strips and 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes (optional, adjust to your taste)
  4. Add 2 cups of collard greens (roughly chopped)
  5. Add 2 tsp of sea salt to the collard greens and 1 cup of tomato pulp
  6. Add 1/2 cup of water and let it cook for about 4 minutes.
  7. Add the black-eyed peas and bring it to a boil.
  8. Cover and keep the heat to low. Stew for 40 minutes and cook for two minutes.
  9. Serve and Enjoy!

Collard Greens Stew with Black-eyed Peas. (n.d.). Retrieved from