Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a grain grown in the Andes Mountains. It has a nutty flavour. You can use it in place of rice, or as the basis for a salad. Ask an adult to help you in the kitchen.

 Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups broth

Store bought vinaigrette dressing

Your choice of salad ingredients – for example:

Onion

Sweet corn

Red pepper

Tomatoes

Black beans

Cilantro

Directions

Rinse the quinoa well by placing it in a fine mesh strainer and putting it under the cold water tap for a couple of minutes, swishing through with your hand.

Drain.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to let the water evaporate and toast the quinoa – be careful not to let it burn.

Add the broth. Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to the lowest setting and cook covered for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. Don't open the lid.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork.

If liquid remains in the pan, or the quinoa is still a bit crunchy – return the pan to a low heat for another few minutes to absorb the liquid.

Spread the quinoa on a tray to cool, then chill in the fridge.

Add a dollop of vinaigrette dressing to the bottom of a salad bowl; add the chilled quinoa and salad ingredients. Toss gently with a large spoon and serve.

~ Hamsters ~

 Hamsters are cute, cuddly and take up very little space. They’re the perfect companion to snuggle with as they don’t take up the entire couch and they don’t shed as much as a dog or a cat would; plus they are so entertaining to watch. Here is how you should look after them.

Hamster home

Make sure your hamster has the perfect home. Your hamster’s cage should be 360 square inches or 24x15 inches. It can be in a large glass aquarium with a ventilated roof or a wire cage with bars no greater than 0.7cm apart. Place your hamster’s home in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. If you have other pets like cats or dogs, keep them away from your hamster. Hamsters are amazing escape artists so make sure that in no way can they escape. Unless you get two hamsters at the same time from the same place and enclosure, do not put more than one hamster in a cage. They are extremely territorial and often kill each other to defend their home.

Hamster bedding

The proper bedding is very, very important for your hamster as it not only keeps them comfortable but healthy as well. Each hamster’s cage should have two inches of bedding of either aspen tree wood shavings or shredded unscented paper with no ink on it. (No newspapers used as bedding.).

Feeding

Hamsters need enough food to fill each cheek every day. That can be anywhere from 8g to 15g depending on the type of hamster you own or are buying. Make sure you buy a metal bowl to put food in, as a plastic one will just be chewed through. Use fortified pellets or block-type food, as that insures your hamster is eating the healthiest thing possible. Hide food all over the cage so that the hamster can hunt for it and not become fat and lazy.

Water

Hamsters cannot get wet so do not put water in a bowl for them; buy instead a special bottle specifically to get water to hamsters and attach it to the cage. Make sure to change the water every day and to clean the bottle once a week.

Chew sticks

Hamster’s teeth grow constantly so give them a chew stick which comes in several sizes and colours so that they can grind their teeth down.

Toys

Just like you, your hamster likes to play and needs lots of toys. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on special hamster toys; simply look online for some easy toys you can make using old household items, like a paper towel role as a tunnel. Rotate your toys so that your hamster does not get bored.

Cleaning their cage

When cleaning your hamster’s cage, put your hamster in a separate escape-proof environment. Use a regular dish soap and water solution or a vinegar solution to clean your hamsters habitat. When changing the bedding, mix a little bit of the old bedding with the new bedding so that your hamster’s scent stays on it. After cleaning the cage with the solution, rinse it and let it dry completely before replacing the bedding and putting the hamster inside. Clean the cage at least once a week to prevent an odour.

Now that you know how to properly look after your hamster, make sure you do your absolute best to do so, and enjoy all of their incredible cute cuddles.

Make Musical Maracas!

Maracas are musical rattles found in the Caribbean and Latin America. Historically, they were made out of gourds and filled with pebbles. Here’s how you can make maracas out of recycled materials at home.

Materials

For 1 maraca (double up to make 2)

2 toilet paper rolls

Duct tape

Paint and paint brushes

Rice (or popcorn or dry beans) for filling

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Scissors

Instructions

Seal the end of one toilet paper roll with the duct tape, making sure there are no gaps as you don’t want the filling to spill out. (You know what I mean: mess = trouble!)

Fill the toilet paper roll halfway up with rice (or popcorn or dry beans). You may find it easier to pour the rice into a wide-brimmed bowl first and then scoop it up with the toilet paper roll.

Seal the other end of the roll with the duct tape, again making sure there are no gaps.

Cut the second toilet roll down the side and wrap it around the rice-filled roll; this will help make your maraca stronger.

Glue the outer toilet roll down using the glue gun.

Now it’s time to paint your maraca: First of all, paint it all over in a strong base colour and allow it to dry. Then you can paint on any design or pattern you like, in your favourite bright colours.

Once the paint is dry, go outside and shake, shake, shake your maraca. Make some noise and have fun!

Our window to the world

Have you ever thought about the amazing amount of work our eyes do? From the moment we wake up in the morning, until bedtime when our eyelids begin to droop, our eyes are busy taking in everything in the world around us.

Our eyes are our window to the world; they can tell the shape, colour and size of an object and whether it is still or moving. If it is moving, we can judge the speed and know what direction it is going in.

Not only do our eyes see amazing things like rainbows and stars, but they also cry when we are sad, and they water when we get dust in them, to wash it out. Our eyelids automatically blink several times a minute to keep the eye clean and damp. The eyelid will also close in bright light to protect the eye until the eye adjusts.

The parts of the eye all work together to collect, bend and focus light to form a picture of what we are seeing, which is then sent to the brain which figures out what it is. Some of us do not have perfect vision and need eyeglasses (or contact lenses), to help us see better.

Near-sighted is when you can read things that are nearby (for example a book) very clearly – but things farther away look blurry. Farsighted is the opposite: things that are far away are very clear, but the words in a book, or anything close up, look blurred. Astigmatism is when the cornea (the clear dome covering the eye) is an uneven shape.

Glasses or contact lenses help correct the vision by focusing the light on the correct spot. If you have trouble with your eyesight, your parents will take you to an eye doctor for an eye test. First of all, he or she will ask you to read a special chart. The chart has letters and numbers on it that are very big at the top, but will get smaller and smaller as you read down the chart to the bottom. The doctor uses this chart to measure how well you can see.

Next, the doctor may look at your eyes using special tools. To choose the best lens, you look through a machine. The machine flicks through different lenses, and the doctor will ask you which one you can see most clearly through.

After this, you choose the frame for your glasses. It’s a good idea to choose a sturdy frame and, of course, it must fit your face very well. You will be amazed when you get the glasses and look through them and see what you were missing before.

Take good care of your glasses. Use both hands for putting them on and taking them off. Never put them lens side down, as they could get scratched. Keep them safely in a glasses case when you are not wearing them. Keep your lenses clean by rinsing in water and carefully drying with the eyeglass cloth.

Dogs are great companions. They cuddle, play ball, and protect their companions. In return, we should do our absolute best to look after them.

Healthcare

Dogs should be taken to the vet every year for a check-up, vaccinations and booster shots.

Vaccinations

When getting a new puppy or dog, they should always be taken to the vet to get shots in order to be happy and healthy.

Bedding

Dogs should always have their own space, and a soft bed to sleep on which is washed regularly.

Doggy bathrooms

Always make sure that your dog has access to an area where he is allowed to do his doggy business. Also make sure it is kept clean and tidy.

Training

Always train your dog, not only how to walk on a lead, but also how to follow commands such as, “Come here”, “sit”, and “heel”. Make sure to train them in wide open areas and to reward them when they have done something right.

Exercise

Make sure to walk your dog daily. Take them to a place where you can not only let them off their lead to run, but also play fetch. Make sure to play with them as well; play tug of war or hide and go seek.

Grooming

Dogs should be washed and brushed on a regular basis, meaning once every few days or once a week. It not only controls their odour but the amount of hair they shed. Use this opportunity to check for unwanted pests on unusual bumps and lumps.

If you do not already have a dog, make sure that before adopting one, you not only have an idea of what size and personality you can look after, but also that you have all the supplies necessary in order to look after a dog.

If you are looking into adopting a stray, make sure to ask your vet for an idea of how big the puppy will get and how active it will be based on its parents. If you are looking at adopting a fully grown dog, take note of its size, and its behaviour towards other dogs and humans.

Ask the shelter employees about its character and make sure it’s right for you before you adopt the dog. Remember that dogs can live up to 20 years, so be ready to make a commitment to caring for that animal for that amount of time.

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