Nanny Survival Guide

Nannying is one of the most wonderful jobs you can have. But it’s also one of more demanding ones, and if you don’t take care of yourself, sooner or later you will burn out.  I did, it wasn’t great, and this is what I learn since.

1. You are as important as the family you look after

Your life, plans and commitments are as real as your bosses. Make sure they know that from the beginning. When you take time off, try to really switch off, so you can come back fresh and recharged.

2. Socialise!

Find friends, other Nannies, which you can rely on, and can make playdates with or coffee dates. Nannying can be such a lonely job, it’s nice to have other grown ups to talk to.

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

 

3. Stay healthy, exercise, meditate

Eat good, heathy food, drink a lot of water and take vitamins. We all know how hard it is to drink enough throughout the day, because most days, you can’t use toilet more than once, and even than a child will be sitting next to you. Exercise is so important if you want to keep up with the little ones, but also, it helps you fight every virus that is coming to get you. I recommend pilates or yoga, as when you work 7-7 with screaming tiny humans, an hour of meditation does wonders. But really, whatever gets you going!

4. Learn to say NO

When you feel overworked, learn to say no. It is hard, but for your own sake, you will have to learn it. Learn to say no, if you already made plans and they ask you for babysitting, do another house chore or working an extra day on the weekend. But also say yes, when you can. It is nice to help out when you are able to. The right family will always appreciate that.

5. Communicate with your bosses

Learn to talk to your bosses even about the difficult stuff. About money, children’s behaviour, holidays, time off and all subjects that normally give you bad anxiety.

6. Stand up for yourself

You are your own lawyer, HR, social worker, cheer squad and support group. You are a grown up, professional who knows what to do in her job, that is why you have been hired – now act like it! When you feel something is not quite right, think about it and than try to come up with a reasonable solution, to present to your bosses. But always stand up for yourself, because if you won’t, no one will!

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

Now I will not say all that is equally easy for every one, but in order to stay healthy and sane, you will have to look after yourself. We all have a certain idea of how the job should be done, but don’t overwork yourself. It’s so easy and so not worth it. Every sane family will want you happy and healthy.

Please let me know what are your top survival tips down in the comments!

As always sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

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CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS

If you are super organised, than you are already on to of the Christmas lists and presents. I always like to start early, but no matter how early I start I always have to think really hard what to get my loved ones. We mostly have all we need, so I think it’s nice, if your gift can have a personal touch, if you know how to craft, than that is also a plus.

I thought I’ll write a list of GIFT IDEAS, what I thought would be a nice present this year. My family never got huge Christmas gifts, instead we celebrated St. Nicolas, which happens on 6th of December. Because I’m usually not home that day, I give my gifts to family and friends around Christmas.

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It is really hard to know what people want, but a little tip I picked up along the way is listen to them during the year. If they say something, just make a note, and than you are all set for their gift. If you spent some time with them than that should be easy.

This GIFTS are for normal budget. No matter how much money you have, I believe it’s good to be mindful, and set a certain limit per person, especially if you are buying gifts for a lot of people. I usually tent to go a little overboard with gifts for my loved ones, and there is really no need to, so this year I’m sticking to my plan!

I divided the list between 3 category’s:

BABY and TODDLER:

  • A SOFT TOY: Jellycat animals are my favourite (if you know how to sew you can make to toy yourself like I did a few times), they also have amazing selection of handmade toys on Etsy
  • EDUCATIONAL TOYS: blocks, puzzles, shapes, music toys, kitchen additions – cool food items
  • BOOKS (maybe special editions, or a collection) some of my favourites are Petter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, Twas the night before Christmas, Dear Zoo, The Gruffalo…
  • JEWELLERY  BOX you make yourself an fill it up with cute rings and hair clips STAY TUNED FOR THE POST ABOUT HOW TO MAKE IT!

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TEEN:

  • EXPERIENCE: like an escape room, movie tickets they can go with their friends
  • BEAUTY PRODUCTS like hair brush, eyeshadow or hair gel
  • CLOTHES or a gift voucher for a store they love

 

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ADULT:

  • CANDLE is never a miss, especially if someone really likes them
  • TEATRE OR CONCERT TICKETS
  • BEAUTIFUL FRAME you fine in a store, or make it, with a meaningful picture in it (maybe your family picture if you live far apart)
  • PERFUME
  • TEA that is different and hard to get if someone loves tea
  • BOOK that they have been talking about (book is ALWAYS a great gift)
  • SPA voucher to your favourite manicure or pedicure place = you can pair it with funny socks

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SOME EXTRA TIPS:

  • Make an effort with the wrapping! It is super nice to receive a gift that is tastefully wrapped and we all know that kids love the wrapping paper the most!
  • Make your own Christmas cards
  • Add little twinkles and extras that you can find in the store or make at home
  • If you’re giving a book always write a note in the book, to make it extra special
  • You can make your own voucher or just decorate the envelope for it

 

Hope this was helpful. Please let me know you ideas or tricks, how do you wrap gifts, when do you start buying them… I wanna know all!!

Don’t forget sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

Team work – makes the dream work!

I learned a thing or two about the Nanny world. I’m quite sure there is more to come though, but I really appreciate every position and all the things I can be wiser for after. Coming to the private setting from Nursery environment was definitely different, but I quickly settled in to this special work place and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Nanny life can be quite a lonely place. In nursery there is always a huge collective of (mostly women unfortunately), who can share their ideas, thoughts and help each other. You have so many opportunities to do different seminars that are furthering your knowledge and there is a lot of children, with many personalities and that makes it super fun an keeps you on your toes. I have been very lucky that in my years of Nannying I could still work alongside other Nannies or Maternity Nurses, and made great friends with so many. If your mind is open you can learn a wealth of knowledge from other professionals in your line of work. Plus, there is nothing better, than a really good team that supports each other.

I also came across a very small percentage of carers who are really hard to be working around. What I always try and remember is, that I work for the benefit of the children I look after.  I’m not at my job to compete with someone, bash them, not there to be doing something that is not good for the child just so it’s the opposite what the other person suggested.

I feel that every Nanny/Manny should be professional and respectful towards any other person she or he is working with, no matter what.

It could get a little heated sometimes, especially when it’s a lot of women with lots of hormones on top of each other, but we are all there to do a good job, and not to start a World War III.

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As a Nanny, you are first and foremost an example.

The way you talk and act says all about you, and tiny little eyes are like scanners, and nothing goes un missed. There is no problem if you are not BFF FOREVER ✌🏼 with someone the family you work for just hired, no problem at all. You also don’t have to agree with everything they say, but you should always be professional. Some characters just don’t match and that is okay. Don’t sweat the small stuff, be yourself, be kind, but also don’t allow anyone to walk over you. Learn to stand for yourself and your knowledge, your wisdom, your millage. You are experienced professional and you know how to do your job.

Working alongside someone else can be so amazing and you can make life long friends or just great colleagues. You also get that extra help, so you are not alone for everything, plus because you are not alone, you can provide children with even more activities than you would normally be able to. And sometimes being an only Nanny can be quite lonely, and you realise that the whole day, you only talked with a 1 year old who only says ”bla bla” and ”bu” back. It is really nice to have someone there, that knows exactly how you feel, so If you thinking about working in a team – go for it!

Do you have any experience with working in a team for fully staffed households? How do you find working in a team? Prefer to work alone? Let me know in the comments below, send me a message on instagram or email on the.lovely.nanny.work@gmail.com

Sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

 

 

We need a new title for career NANNIES

I was reading this post on Instagram from a founder of a first class private gym, about how everybody can be a personal trainer, but not every one is a great one. I can see a struggle in that industry, as you don’t really have to do years of studying and you can work as a Personal trainer. That than causes a side effect of having a poorly regulated market of good and bad. And I feel exactly the same about being a Nanny.

I feel discouraged when I talk about my chosen profession and I feel defensive. I’m not sure if anything really helps to say or explain, when people you are talking to, have no idea what it takes to be a great Nanny, that babysitter, Au pair and Nanny are not the same, that actually being a Nanny is a career you have chosen, because you want to, not because you want to have a few years of fun, before you find a real job.

Where I came from, being a Nanny is not really a thing, as state nurseries and kindergartens are available to most population. It’s also not a very well paid, if even a job in most of my friends opinion. Or they are surprised I get paid well and only do that?

I’m not really writing this post to defend or apologise Nannies, but I feel like, the more we talk about it, the more people will know, and realised, it is a job, like any other.

It had its own perks like being able to spend a lot of time outside, sing songs, have cuddles, see the world, enjoy the luxury, but it also have a downside like any other job, like never being able to go to the toilet alone (not even for number 2), eating lunch with someone on your lap or showing it down while they sleep, walk around with clothes full of glue, sparkles and snot, seeing a lot of poop on a daily basis, and if you are a live in Nanny, you can say goodbye to sleeping without interruption (unless you sleep with ear plugs) and having a real privacy.

Some of the Nannies are good, some are just doing it because they are young and want to enjoy the life before settling for a real job, and some are amazingly good. How to distinguish between them, does require a little knowledge about the profession. It also depends on what do you want In your Nanny, and what matters the most to you and your family.

Have you ever feel discouraged when asked what you do? Do you feel the title of your position shall be more according what you do? Like if you are a professional Nanny, temporary Nanny, Babysitter?  There should definitely be some difference between the titles or at least a mixture between Teacher and Nanny? What do you think?

Would love to hear your thoughts on the topic I sort off started.

Sharing is caring 😉

The Lovely Nanny xx

Nanny appreciation week

Nannies are awesome! I know that, because I am one. I also know so many of them who are more than brilliant and they all deserve pampering once in a blue moon (or a few more time).

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Most of the time Nannies will give away all energy to the family they work for and sometimes there will be nothing left. When you work long hours, weekends and holidays, you rarely have time to pamper yourself. I am so guilty of that. I will totally forget about me and then really when it’s necessary and I have nothing else to give, I will have to have a little me time. And than I will most enjoy a cup of peppermint tea, with my hair up and my face mask on. It does wonders as I’m sure you know!

Since it is NANNY APPRECIATION WEEK, I was thinking of letting you know my favourite things I use for my ‘me’ time, and than since SHARING IS CARING I would like to make sure one of my lovely followers can have a little pampering of their own. So I will GIVE AWAY a care hamper with a few of my favourite products. Here they are.

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This is my favourite product that are all very flight friendly, easy to transport and they do make such a difference when you need a quick ‘pick me up’.

First is NIVEA creme, the staple in my opinion, I never go anywhere without. It’s so universal and inexpensive a real classic. Good for face, nose when you have a cold, lips, body… Really a life saver!

Second is my favourite tea brand TEEKANNE! And also my favourite flavour peppermint. When moving around, traveling and just living a life on the go, I always keep a few tea bags in my purse. Tea is like a warm hug at the end of the day when you feel vanished, helps with indigestion and bloating and helps you relax. A winner in my opinion.

Third – face masks! I used a lot of drugstore ones, the expensive ones and then I found these. With a recommendation of Ellie Mecham I purchased them and instantly fell in love. I love a good face mask, but not always I’m in a mood or have time to watch if I’m going to wipe my mask somewhere by accident. With SKYN Iceland, I really don’t have to worry. They also feel like a cloudy snowman lay on your face and afterwards your skin does not feel tired or stretched and it’s really nothing else you have to do when you take it of.

Fourth is the yummiest lip scrub from LUSH. So natural and smells delicious. Lips can sometimes be forgotten but we still have to give them some love from time to time and I think a nice lip scrubbing goes a long way for healthy lips.

Last but not least is foot mask. This one is just one I picked up form Poundland. I had no idea this existed when I was searching for it, but it does, and it makes my life so much easier. Especially when traveling in summer.

An this is what I think a quick and efficient pampering session have to include. Of course when I have a little more time, or on holidays there will be a few more products involved, but for a fast recovery on the go this will do the trick.

I will pick someone who will follow all the steps to WIN the PAMPERING package (ALL the goodies from the picture and a few surprises). You will find all the details on my INSTAGRAM and I will ship the package worldwide. This is not sponsored, and it’s just my way of showing appreciation for all the great Nannies of the world and thank you for reading my blogs, commenting on my posts and sticking around.

In hope you all feel appreciated, not just week but all the time!

The Lovely Nanny xx

6 MUST HAVES

When you have or look after children, the amount of things you need can sometimes be overwhelming, but not to worry. In reality we don’t really need all that much, but there is a few things that are just must haves in every home that has children.

I tried gazillion products for children, and I’m sure there is gazillion more waiting for me to try ( and I’m very excited about that!).  Some will work for some children and other for other, but I have been lucky to stumble upon a few that work every time, and I really want to share it with you.

They are all products you can find on Amazon, or high street shops.

Witch Hazel gel

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I love Witch Doctor, because you can use it for the whole family. It’s perfect for babies starting to crawl, toddlers climbing everywhere, and adults. Works best when you put it on straight away after the bump, burn or graze happened. It feels like cooling gel, and leaves the skin bump, bruise and burn free. It really works!

Water Wipes

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I had a chance to try many amazing and less amazing brands, regarding wipes. There is so many on the market, but not all of them will do a good job. I think great wipes should be easy to pull out of the package without braking in pieces, have to have a little to nothing smell, and have to be free of chemicals, so you can freely wipe down the whole child if needed (and we all know that this is needed sometimes!) 🙂 Well Water Wipes have all that. Check them out!

 

Nipper Clipper

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One of the best little gadgets I came across. Cutting children’s nails can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a good clipper, and you can’t see where are you clipping. Accidents can happen, and the last thing you want is your toddler scratching your face down because he refuses to cut his nails. If you start with this one, you will not have a problem since day 1. They come along with this little S shaped file, and an app you can download. Get one here.

 

Sanitising water

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Just an essential in house with kids, or nursery. When it comes to maintaining toys (especially the teething ones!) and keeping pacifiers clean when out and about, I sweat to this little secret! It is so good! Want to try?

 

Eye Wipes

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I like to take kids out as much as possible, and we all like sandpits. Who doesn’t. That said, kids are playing and next thing you know sand is flying around, very normal, but it also comes really handy when you have a few of this eye wipes stashed in nappy bag just for emergencies like this, and they do happen on a regular. I never go without!

 

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Teething is the less pleasant time in baby’s life. Some of them will be semi fine, others will be in pain a lot. I find that these granules help a lot. Depending on the level of pain, but even in the most severe cases, gives a least a few moments of smiles. And they are homeopathic. Get them for your baby!

 

Please let me know, either here or on Instagram, what do you thing about the products if you are using them, or have use them in the past. Would be great to hear any positive experience. Or maybe you have your own product that are must haves? I would love to know!

Sharing is caring! 😉

The Lovey Nanny xx

 

Nanny Job

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Hi there!

I’ve been busy lately, and have been lacking on this blog, which I love, and I actually started, to write real things about childcare in general. There is so many aspects of THE JOB, whether you are a Nanny, Childminder, Early years teacher or something else, but the core is the same. This has been on my mind quite a lot recently, and it would be interesting to see whether you have any comments on the topic.

I’m an Early years teacher by degree, but I have been a Nanny for a while now. So I will mainly focus on what it is like to be a Nanny ( superpower human who is trying to rise tiny humans as the best versions of themselves).

I’m so surprised how so many times when I say I’m a Nanny, a lot of people will say “Oh you’re a babysitter?” or ” How nice you can play with children for your job” and other degrading comments. I often find defending myself with saying “I do have a degree in Early years education” like if being a Nanny is something everyone can do, and I’m just doing it because I don’t want to have a ‘serious’ job. I wish more people would understand what really do I do every single day at my job. It is certainly true, mostly anyone can be a Nanny, but it takes a special kind of magic to collide and become ” The Lovely Nanny “.

This post might be a wee long, but I’m really passionate about what I do, and this is what I think every Nanny should be or do.

  • provide the environment where children feel safe (physically and emotionally)
  • respecting the tiny humans
  • listening to them
  • hug them
  • making sure they are happy, carefree and healthy
  • be a good example
  • make sure children have healthy and nutritious meals
  • nurture a good relationship with parents and respect their parenting
  • let them be active
  • teach them to have confidence in their own abilities
  • help them develop respect for others and themselves
  • be educator and career
  • tell them you love them
  • ability to asses the development of each child
  • plan age appropriate activities
  • help them develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings
  • be a multitasker
  • providing opportunities to learn and explore on daily basis
  • read them every day
  • know every child is unique
  • sit on the floor a play with them
  • be very familiar with curriculum (whether you work in public or private sector)
  • help them think critically
  • honour their ideas
  • teaching them responsibilities and consequences
  • be patient, kind and generous with her time

While every day making sure toys are organised and cleaned regularly, clothes are organised by size and washed, bedrooms are tidy, diaries updated and filled in, meals cooked, parents updated on every new achievement and play area and kitchen cleared  by  the end of the day.

Being a Nanny is one of the best jobs in the whole world. As working with children with not only give you a lot of satisfaction but will also challenge you to be a better human yourself. Seeing the whole undamaged potential in a small person is a huge responsibility that you can’t take lightly.

Being a Nanny is one step further from being a parent during the day,  and saying goodnight at the end. Being a Nanny is having your heart filled with love, every time you catch a cheeky smile. It’s also explaining WHY, and being patient when putting on shoes. It’s also the times when you have to say no 34 times and be consistent while doing 10 other things. It’s running in parks, and going down slides, it’s saying well done, and giving high 5. Being a Nanny means never to cross the street on the red light and go out during the week, but it also means I get cuddles every day and ‘I’ll miss you’ when I leave for the weekend. And if you’re really lucky you can see them grow up.

Let’s be honest. Most of the days you will probably need some paracetamol, lots of coffee, waterproof shoes, glitter, sun cream, vitamins, phone with really good internet, some chocolate and the will of steel.

And some days will be all rainbows and butterfly’s.

Until next time,

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

HOW TO plan activities in 4 steps

Planning activities can be stressful, takes time and sometimes we get lost in what we can do with tiny humans to keep them entertained. Planned activities will ensure children learn and have fun, while also meeting their development milestones. It really does not have to be that hard.

If you go by this rule you can make up an activity on the spot. Let see how it goes.

PICK A THEME and do as follows:

     1.STEP: MOTIVATION

It happens before the activity and it is something that will spark an interest

2. STEP: PREPARATION

After motivation, actual preparation for activity, where you increase the interest in topic

3. STEP: MAIN ACTIVITY

The main event! 🙂

4. STEP: REFLECTION

After the activity you do a small activity to reflect on what you experienced

 

So for example if you would like to teach your tiny humans about profession: FIREFIGHTERS (as I have wrote before on my Instagram profile) you can go like that:

  1. playing with toys, watching a youtube video
  2. going for a walk, noticing things around you (especially in big cities)
  3. going to the local fire station, having a tour around
  4. after the trip to fire station, you can paint with water colours what have you seen, experienced

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I would always recommend that you do activities that are interesting to your tiny humans (if they have a special interest, like space, you can source activities from that and around that. Like learning colours ~ you can learn in through planets.

If you would like, I can put up a few more examples? Please do let me know in the comments down below what do you think about the activity steps, if they helped you, or how do you plan your activities?

Until next time,

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

ROLLERBLADING INTO SUMMER

Hello again! It’s been a while, but non the less, here I am.

So summer is here, schools are almost finished, kindergartens closed, and what to do with all the tiny humans with too much energy? You can teach them how to rollerblade, or better jet, if they already know, go put them on and have some fun!

When I was teaching in kindergarten I would organise sports days, when children would bring their bikes and rollerblades in and we would make a day out of it. I would do a little program, where we would first practice the basics and than have a competition where we would all cheer each other on. Seeing happy faces was the biggest prize I’ve got at the end. To the day, these are one of my best memories from my teaching life.

The Lovely Nanny rollerblading

Not only that rollerblading it’s fun, it also has many benefits to it and I’ll tell you why.

It is a great base for learning how to ski in the winter, while having fun all summer. There is a lot of similar movement that you can connect to skiing, but also just practising and gaining stability and posture, will give a great base for introducing skiing for the first time, as tiny humans will feel more confident straight away.

Overall faster muscle development than running or bicycling, rollerblading builds upper leg muscles, while gaining balance and control necessary to maintain the upright position, builds up strength and endurance. It is a low impact cardio exercise, with less stress placed on your joints and muscles, but most of all- IT’S FUN!! That said, not only children can have a blast, it is a perfect exercise for adults as well, especially if you suffer from joint problems.

When choosing the right rollerblades for you or your tiny human the most important thing is stability of the shoe with good thigh closure that is adjustable. Your foot has to feel stable but also comfortable enough. My personal preference has always been Roces  brand, but I have tried others too. If possible always try them out in a store, rather than buying straight online. And do not forget about the safety, especially if you or the children you look after are beginners. 😉

Hope you’ll have a perfect start of the summer!

The Lovely Nanny xx

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Let’s wrap this up

I thought this would be an appropriate first post, as it is very light and creative topic. I will get to more challenging question about early years, later.

So If you’re giving a gift for Mothers day, birthday, anniversary or basically any occasion that requires you wrap things up, this might be something you want to read.

I would do this activity with children from 1 year old, depending on their interest in art, and eating water colours. Needless to say you would be better off doing it one on one, so you can manage the steps and let tiny humans do the art themselves as much as they can.

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Preparing everything in advance will set you off for a good start and, let’s be honest, the smaller the children, the preparation will take way longer than the actuall activity. But that is okay, don’t be put of by that. As long as tiny humans are trying new things, and having fun in the process, that is a big win for you.

You will need:

~ Larger pieces of paper

~ Water colours

~ Potato

~ Knife

~ Smaller plastic containers or paper plates

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Depending on the age of a child you can prepare everything on the floor for younger ones and on the table for older ones. But really, do it as you normally do, it is better to prepare it in the usual environment because the activity will already be new. Children will therefore concentrate on the activity rather than get distracted with the whole new environment.

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Cut the potato in different shapes. Triangle, circle and square would be perfect for learning first basic shapes. For children to learn a new shape, it is better to start with two options, and than continue with 4 or more. Repeating the name of the shape often like: ‘Would you like to use a circle?’ and pass them the potato with circle shape. And so on, I’m sure you get the picture. You would do the same with colours. Use 3 primary colours (red, blue, yellow) and when they acquire them, you can include secondary colours (purple, green, orange).

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Have fun with stamping coloured shapes on the paper, don’t worry if they smudge them, if they paint themselves a little, as long as they are enjoying the activity and make happy faces, I would say you did well! Please do leave comments if you try the activity or have any questions.

I’m very happy to welcome you on my blog where magic never ends and hope you’ll stick around to catch some for yourself.

The Lovely Nanny xx