Snow days

Strange ha, it’s March and I feel the winter has just properly started. It’s snowing outside, it so cold and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring! Unfortunately we don’t really have a choice though, so I thought, I can write down a few things, tricks and hacks, that helps you survive the last span of cold snowy days.

ACTIVITIES INSIDE AND OUTSIDE

Sensory boxes

You can make sensory boxes with snow and some toys and let children get to know the snow inside first. Sensory boxes will keep them occupied for a while and they will use and learn:

– Practical Life Skills (dumping, filling, scooping)

Play Skills (social play and independent play)

– Will help with Language Development

– And they will use their Senses (Touch, sight, sounds, taste and smell)

 

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Declare a book day!

There was a World Book Day just a while ago, but you can make your own one whenever you want really. When the weather is really bad and there is no way you can go outside, search on the book shelf and get out some new books or books you haven’t read for a very long time. That way it will be more exciting. Let the kids choose the books they want to read. Take in turns, let them have a go at reading (telling) the story. They practice public speech and develop their imagination. It also never hurts to catch extra cuddles!

 

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Go out and roll in fresh powder

Give the opportunity to experience all the snow is. For some children that will be a very special occasion as they do not usually get much snow or perhaps live in the country where there is none. Dress them warm (I saw a really cool trick to help keep kiddos gloves dry if you don’t have the ski ones on hand – you put disposable gloves over them!) It might be a bit strange but it will keep them dry for a bit longer so they can finish making the snowman – or snow frog 🐸 😁!

 

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Do experiments with snow and water

– Colour the snow with syringes full of different colours (make sure you protect the area) Could be done outside or inside.

– When it’s really cold put some water in ice trays and leave it outside overnight – to make ice, than bring it in and observe what happens over time (you can also colour it with paintbrushes )

– What melts faster (water, salt over snow) experiment

That is just a few ideas from the top of my head, if you search, I’m sure you’ll find many more to fill your days.

 

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I hope you will love my ideas for fun snow days. Obviously this is just a scope of the things you can do, but those ones, were always very well received, with the kiddos I look after. Now, we only need more snow days!

Have a fabulous week!

The Lovely Nanny xx

Presents with love

I really don’t have time to do anything more complex now, but I love doing creative projects. Like renovating old furniture, painting a wall, or doing a small artsy gift for a loved one. I decided to share this one with you.

I bought this jewellery box in 1 eur store (like a Poundland or Dollar shop) and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! Using things I have on hand anyway and some creativity I manage to do just the perfect gift for one very special little girl.

First I sanded the edges a little- such a pro like me with no sand paper but many nail files – and it worked just as well ( have to get a tad creative there already!)

Than I paper-mache dusty pink tissue paper on in a few layers. I wanted some colour but not all too much. I used half and half water and glue (the clear one).

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Than next I cut out this snowflake that I found on my Christmas wrapping paper. It looks so pretty and soft almost like a lace, plus pink is her favourite colour and I happen to know that she adores Frozen – so no brainer!

I glued the snowflake on top and than I paper – matched the top as well. I wanted to add some glitter so I dusted the inside of the cover with silver glitter and I used lots of glue so the glitter was nicely secure and will not go anywhere while the jewellery box will be used. Than the rest around I painted with white colour.

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I love a little contrast and you know how lovely are bags that have a really nice lining. I wanted to get that look, so I used a spotty tissue paper that goes really well with pink and I paper -mached it inside the box. I think it look really well, and it completed the look I was going for – cute and girly but also nice and not too tacky.

I bought some nice plastic rings and hair clips. I can never resist buying those, especially for little girls and I added them inside.
Than all I had to do is wrap it nicely and give it! The best part!

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I really enjoyed doing this project, and I hope to do a few more in the near future. Maybe I will post another one I did a while ago. If you are in to things like this ( I am so so much!) than I would love to hear from you, and if you have any other ideas, that would be nice to hear as well!

Until then – don’t forget – sharing is caring!

TLN xx

 

P.S.: By now the gift was given and she loved it so so much! 😍

 

Christmas cookies

I try and do some cooking an baking with kids now and than. It’s a great way to learn patience, measurements, and just the way around life. Cookies are of course the best, because there is so much they can do-making the dough, rolling the dough, pressing the shapes – and they also get to decorate them once they are baked! What a joy!

Look what we were able to do this year!

 

We made the dough together and than rolled it out. I let the kids do as much as possible and we had lots of fun.

 

It is great to watch them when they try and choose all the cookie cutters we have, add things on top and just really enjoy themselves.

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We also had Christmas music on the whole time, and had a little dance party every time in between when we had to wait for one batch to be done.

GRANDMA’S COOKIES

750 g flour 

300g sugar (try using coconut sugar instead of white one)

250g butter

150g cream

4 egg yolks

1ts baking powder 

a pinch of baking soda

Vanilla 

 

Squeeze butter and flour together until it becomes all dry and dusty and there is no more bottle visible. Than add baking powder , vanilla and baking soda. In a separate bowl mix sugar and egg yolks. Also add the cream. Mix dry and wet bowls together and use your hands while doing it! It’s the most fun and the kiddos can join! Bake on 170 for about 11 min (depending on how thick you make the cookies, your owen …but the cookies should be pale when taken out). 

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Decorate them after they are completely cooled down. And don’t forget to eat as many as you can! You can also leave them plain, store them in a tin containers and enjoy them with family 😉⭐️

Until next time…

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

HOLIDAY WREATH

We are being a tad creative in this holiday season and It’s just so nice! I wanted to share with you our lates creation.

⭐️ This is an advanced craft you can do with a slightly older child (4 years +). It is activity that slowly evolves to the finished product. We had been gathering material on our walks, talking about what are we going to make, talking about the colours, the shapes and things we are going to use. Even though every step in not possible to be done by a small child (hot glue gun) is it still great to involve them in all the steps and explain what we are doing and let them do as much as possible (like choosing pinecones you will then glue on the circle and so on – could also practising counting -how many pinecones do we need to fill out the circle…). ⭐️

 

Have a look at these lovely pictures!

 

 

First we cut a circle from recycled carton (try and use what you have at home, every one have a used box or two-we all love amazon am I right!). Use a plate to do a circle or something else, depending on how big of the circle you want. Use hot glue gun to make everything easier, but never leave it unattended with tiny humans around. Then really, just as you wish, start placing pinecones around the circle and make a wreath (make it a fun activity even though you’ll be the one to glue them on) 👆🏽

 

 

Next we have previously picked this little bananas (as we like to call them) and some other nice tiny branches and we just sticked them around to fill the gaps and make it even more festive. I found these jingle bells in shop called Flying Tiger and thought they would be perfect to put around the wreath as little one love the 🌈 colours. Together we have put them around and I just love the whole look! Doing the crafts like that is a great opportunity to also sing some festive songs (or any songs) and make the experience super christmasy! Our favourite songs to listen are from Super simple songs creators –  do you know them?

 

 

We added the last touch with some pink glitter. Mixing white glue and glitter together I let the tiny one do all the work. This completed our wreath and we were both very pleased with our lovely holiday wreath! Last thing we will do is just out some ribbon or string and hang it on the kids bedroom door.

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What crafts are you making this season? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear all about it!

As always sharing is caring 😉❤️

The Lovely Nanny xx

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

SPAGHETTI SENSORY PLAY

”In play experiences, combining the sense of touch with the senses of vision, hearing, taste and smell helps build cognitive skills’

I’m stealing this brilliant idea from my fellow Nanny who is also a good friend of mine. We actually did this together once and I must say the kids loved it! So I would love to share it with you! It is super easy to make, but provides a lot of joy! It is a wonderful idea when you need a quick entertainment or a long play session.

👉🏼 This sensory play can also be super helpful when a child is particularly fussy with eating foods with a wet texture such as spaghetti. The use of sensory play can assist the child in touching, smelling and playing with the texture in an environment with little expectation.

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But first I would just like to quickly touch on why sensory play is good.

  • Sensory play helps to build nerve connections in the brain.
  • Sensory activities prompt children to use scientific processes while they play.
  • It is proven that engaging a child’s senses while presenting them with a learning task helps them to retain the information and fully comprehend it.
  • Sensory play is therapeutic on an emotional level and helps to calm and soothe children during difficult times or before bed.
  • Sensory play facilitates language development, problem solving skills, cognitive function, and fine and gross motor skills.
  • Playing with sensory materials helps children to develop their creative process.

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”Cognitive skills are those skills we use when we solve problems and create novel ideas from current ideas.”

Cook spaghetti as it says on the package. Than divide them into as many bags as you have colours. We did three this time, but you can get super creative. Than tip a few drops od dye into the bag (depending on how strong you want the colour to be) and a few drops of vegetable oil. Than mix them together to spread the colour all over spaghetti.

TIP: Leave the coloured spaghetti to dry if you don’t want the colours to stain your hands!

After that, it’s just fun! Use some forks, food tweezers, little figures, little cars, cups different sizes…

FUN FACT: Did you know that ZINC helps maintain healthy cognitive development? You can read a little more about it in this article here!

As always, 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

Banana bread muffins

Nothing says ”fall is here let’s get cosy” as the smell of banana bread around the house. I have been using the same recipe for a long time, and it it very easy, as most of the time I’ll bake with children. The result is always amazing and just the thought of having a decent recipe that I can count on on every time is pretty cool.

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That is why I would love to share it with you, as you might be looking for one just now. I searched for a healthy one and stumbled upon that one. Its from the blog called ”Cookie and Kate” from the author Kathryn Taylor. The reason I prefer healthier versions is as I am not too comfortable to give children lots of unnatural sugars or white flower. I think these ingredients have no nutritional value for them or anyone, and they really need only the best to grown up to be healthy and strong. Ingredients in this recipe are whole and good while they still make the yummiest banana bread you will have. Sometimes we make it in to a muffins and sometimes in to a loaf, really depends on the mood.

 

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Whisk Whisk

 

Here it is:

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil or high quality vegetable oil* ( I always use coconut)
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)
  • ¼ cup milk of choice or water (I always got for water)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat white flour  ( I always use spelt flour or buckwheat )
  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…

 

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Yummy!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave — when making this with children it is so fun if you say these are little snow mans that are melting)
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Divide batter in 12 muffin cases evenly (even better if the are colourful or have on them something Disney!)
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before eating – HAHA IF YOU CAN! (if making a loaf you will probably need about 55-60 min in the oven)

 

To add a few notes.

When making it with tiny humans, it’s best to prepare everything out already measured. Depending on the age, you might want to measure it together and practice. Let them do as much as possible, it does not matter if there is a few shells when the beat the eggs-you can pick them out! Stirring is their favourite thing, but mostly, being included, no matter the job. There is nothing better than seeing their little faces light up, when they can do the grown up things and than see the final product.

 

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Sharing is caring!

Hope you will love the recipe as we do! Please let me know if you make it, tag me or leave a comment!

Also Sharing is caring!

The Lovely 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

activities

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