Wednesday, 29 October 2008

NSS Kids’ Fun with Beverage Plants

By Gloria Seow, Education Group Chairperson

That cup of coffee, tea or cocoa that most of us cannot do without to start off our day was given prominence at the NSS Kids’ Fun with Beverage Plants session held at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden on 23 August 2008.

Kids gathered around the cocoa tree at the Children’s Garden, the source of their favourite drink Milo.

Auntie Angie led the session, bringing the kids to view the three beverage plants at the Children’s Garden, and talked about the various caffeine-based properties that made these beverages so popular. The best part was that kids got to touch for themselves live coffee cherries from Auntie Angie’s own tree, ripping apart the skin of these cherries to see the two coffee beans encased within. Uncle Timothy then told stories of how these plants were discovered, harking back to mystical legends and whimsical tales. For example, coffee was discovered by a shepherd boy who noticed that his goats became more frisky after eating the plant!

Auntie Angie and Uncle Timothy hold up cocoa pods.
Kids jostled to help pour the beverages out from a Middle-Eastern coffee pot.

Auntie Gloria then continued the session by explaining how the three plants were processed from their raw forms into the delicious cuppa that wakes us up. Kids then tried their hand at brewing their own tea, coffee and cocoa, and had fun pouring out and sipping the hot beverages in tiny take-home souvenir tea cups. Uncle Si Guim was the kind soul who helped rinsed the cups after each beverage was downed with delight. Finally, kids were asked to illustrate the total number of cups consumed by their family members each day, using the powder of each of the beverages to paste onto their drawings, a messy but enjoyable piece of art!

Some of the kids with their pieces of beverage art.

Beverage Art with Raw (green colour) and Roasted (black colour) Coffee beans mixed with a Coffee Cherry (red colour) on a Coffee Leaf.


Russell said...

My kids favorite plant is the TickleMe Plant. This is the plant that closes its leaves and lowers its branches when tickled. I grow them year round with my students and in the warmer weather they produce pink cotton candy like flowers. If you want to excite your child about nature, TickleMe Plants rule. Check out for greenhouse kits to grow your own!

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