Category: A day with Nanny

A Day With Nanny–Fun Fall Crafts for Kids!

Although it doesn’t yet feel like it in Southern California, fall is, in fact, here. Even though the weather is still great for lots of outdoor play, with Halloween just around the corner, we thought some fun fall craft ideas would be a great change of pace for you nannies out there.

Our first craft, from marthastewart.com, uses items that may already be found in your home, however, it’s always fun to have an excuse to take a trip to Michael’s craft store, even though sometimes bringing the little ones along makes it a longer outing than you really want it to be!

Martha Stewart online is a great resource for kid (and adult!) crafts that are chic enough to display with your other fall decorations (side note: we love what Pottery Barn has to offer this year).

This Pumpkin Bird Feeder craft is simple and easy for little hands to help with:

Pumpkin Bird Feeder

Materials:
1, 3-5 pound pumpkin
4 or 5 small twigs about 1.5 cm in diameter (strong enough to hold a 2-3 ounce bird)
Small handful of pumpkin seeds
About 4 feet of twine
Wild bird seed
Large thumbtack or nail with large head

Step 1:
Cut pumpkin in half; scoop out meat, leaving a ½-inch thick wall.

Step 2:
Cut a ½-inch deep groove in the rim for pumpkin seeds. Push pumpkin seeds in groove all the way around the rim of pumpkin creating a “fence”.

Step 3:
For perches, poke holes with a large nail about halfway up side of pumpkin and insert twigs.

Step 4: To hang, knot four, 1-foot in length pieces of twine together at the top and bottom. Slide pumpkin inside the four pieces of twine and secure one knot at the bottom with a thumbtack or nail.

Step 5: Fill with birdseed and hang near a window. Enjoy bird-watching!

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Our next craft comes from craftymorning.com and is easy for even toddlers to do; this craft is great because it can be easily catered to a wide range of ages.

IndianCornCraft

Materials:
3 large Lego pieces
Brown, yellow, and orange washable paint
White and brown craft paper
Glue
Scissors

Step 1:
Put three globs of paint on a paper plate and let the kids dip their Legos in it.

Step 2:
Tell them to press hard against the white paper to make a print. They should cover the whole paper or at least a good portion of it.

indian-corn-craft-using-legos

Step 3:
Once paint is completely dry, cut out two corn shapes from the paper. Use brown construction paper and cut six leaf-looking shapes.

Step 4: Fold leaves into accordions and then unfold, so they have a 3D look to them. Use three leaves for each piece of corn and glue them to the back of the tops of the corn. Voilà!

A day with Nanny: Lemonade Stand!

This one’s for the nannies!  Do you ever find yourself running out of fun and creative ideas for you and your charges to do from time to time? It’s not always easy trying to keep the kids entertained all day long.  Well have no fear!  In light of wanting to keep our kids loving our nannies, we’ve decided to come up with some weekly tips on fun and exciting things to do with Nanny and what better way to start then by suggesting A Lemonade Stand!

lemonade stand

Start by making a table and decorative sign for your stand. Not only will your nicely decorated stand attract the local neighborhood kids but it will also take up a good portion of your day by having the kids make their signs.  You’ll also need the following for your Lemonade Stand:

1.   Table
2.   A large, bright sign to attract customers
3.   2-3 lemonade pitchers
4.   lots of ice (an ice cooler is ideal)
5.   plastic cups (on the smaller side, so you’re not pouring too much or you’ll run out of lemonade quickly!
6.   Change. Lots of $1.00 bills and quarters will likely be needed
7.   Perhaps some freshly baked cookies to go with the lemonade
8.   Finally, the magic ingredient: Lemonade! (Lemons+Purified Water+Sugar)

It’s a great idea to have 2-3 pitchers of lemonade already prepared, in case you have a lot of kids stop by at once (you never know)! You can also spice up your lemonade by adding lemon/lime slices or perhaps even some fresh berries. You’ll definitely want to test your lemonade out first to make sure it’s a little sweet and not too sour. Most importantly, keep it fun and also remember these important tips:

pretzels    cookies    krispie treats

  • NEVER EVER leave the kids at the lemonade stand unattended, even if you need to run inside to get change.  The last thing you need to worry about is someone stealing lemonade.
  • Be sure to get parents consent prior telling the kids of your idea and having the lemonade stand.
  • Don’t over charge for the lemonade. It’s supposed to be a fun, enjoyable experience for the kids and you want to attract people, which is half the fun! .10-.50 cents is reasonable.
  • If you plan your lemonade stand during the weekend, you’ll likely attract some additional children. You can even plan for your Lemonade Sale a day or two in advance by working on your banner/sign
  • Explain to your charges that not everyone will necessarily buy their lemonade and there may only be a few people, so they don’t get too disappointed if only a couple of people show up.
  • Consider baking something as well (brownies, cookies, cupcakes, rice krispy treats, etc.), which may make it more tempting for people to stop by and make a purchase. Remember, it may be hot outside, so pick your baked items, carefully.

Most importantly, remember to have fun and take lots of pictures for mom and dad!!

Top 10 Activities for Nannies

Hello Nannies!

Have you ever drawn a blank when planning the activities for the day? It can happen to anyone; sometimes you just run out of ideas!

Rest assured, we’ve pulled up a “Top 10” list of possible activities that can easily be done with children, that also have some additional benefits that mom and dad are sure to love. Here they are, in no particular order:

· Museums: Whether it’s traditional art or modern art, museums are filled with exciting sights for any child, in addition to being very educational. Many museums offer a day of free admission, so be sure to look out for that check out your local magazines and newspapers for coupons and promotions.

museumskids

· Creative/Imaginary play: is believed by many researchers and theorists that games involving child-friendly imaginative play (make believe story-telling, dress-up, cashier/supermarket, etc.) is vital to a child’s social and cognitive development.

· Board/card Games: Age appropriate games (such as go fish, memory, Tic Tac Toe, Candyland, and Guess Who to name a few) are an excellent way to work on a child’s cognitive and fine motor skills…not to mention help pass the time away!

· Library or Bookstore: A great and inexpensive way to entertain children is to bring them to the Library and read aloud to them! Many experts believe that reading aloud to children starting at a young age has a multitude of benefits such as improved literacy, language development, enhanced vocabulary, brain development, and much more.

bookstore

· The Great Outdoors!: Nature walks to collect rocks, leaves, or twigs to make mom/dad a special gift, hunting for seashells and sandcrabs or building sandcastles at the beach…bike/wagon rides will all provide your charge with a daily dose of fresh air and Vitamin D! Just don’t forget to use sunscreen.

· Local Attractions & Events: Keep an eye out for any local events or attractions that would make a suitable outing with the children (carnivals, children’s concerts and plays, local circus, etc.). Be sure to keep an eye out on local magazines, newspapers, and websites such as laweekly, jenslist, ocfamily to keep updated on current events.

· Cooking: There are tons of tasty, HEALTHY and simple recipes that can be done with children. Always be sure to supervise them in the kitchen and be aware of any food allergies that may exist. One excellent snack idea we found from one of our new favorite sites Super Healthy Kids: Apple wedges – great for a snack or dessert!

imagesApple-Wedges-kids

 

· Arts and Crafts: Painting, sculpture making, rock painting, homemade play doh or slime—the ideas here are endless. If you feel stumped, Craft stores such as Michaels are filled with great ideas, so something will certainly jump out at you.

· Sports: Sports are a great way for introducing a healthy, active lifestyle to children, but be sure to watch their safety. not to mention are an excellent way to burn off a ton of energy (and it’s most likely his/her/their parents will thank you for this!)

· Farmers’ Markets: a fantastic opportunity for children to feel more connected, and interested in the food they’re eating. A lot of the vendors are very passionate about what they do, and are more than happy to answer any questions. You might get some free samples too but make sure you are completely aware of any food allergies your charge may have before sampling.

Of course, this is just a short list, but hopefully offers some inspiration. Nannies, what are your favorite activities please feel free to share other ideas you’ve come up with!

Helpful Resources for More Ideas:

Jens List

Michaels Arts & Crafts

OC Family 

LA Weekly

 

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