Summer Holidays

We have a little over 3 weeks of summer holidays left here in UK and I thought now is the time for me to start putting my thoughts back on the paper (or computer – but you know what I mean!). 

I assume there is two camps of childcarers and parents out there. One camp is patiently waiting for school to start and the other one is dreading the school runs and rush. I get it! At this point the routine (or what is left of it) has evaporated with the heat wave Europe has the pleasure to experience and you might be feeling a little done and tired. Maybe the kids are not behaving as ‘great’ as the usually do, and you are wondering weather you can manage to survive the last weeks with grace and dignity, while also having lots of fun. I am here to assure you that you can and also give you a few helpful hints if you need them. 

When I find myself overwhelmed with work, children, anything (and I do, just like everyone else!) I tend to go back to basics. Maybe even have a tiny little meltdown, than I brush myself off and start thinking of things that helped In the past. And just as we get overwhelmed at times, children get overwhelmed with a lot of things. There is so much happening around them, and as they are not equipped with tools to identify feelings and process them in the most gracious way, they simply overflow their cup daily, and the spillage is seen as a tantrum, scream, slap, pinch…just to name a few. 

Now, we as adults know, that most of the time, when children act out, is usually because their basic needs are not met. They act in a way that they think will get their basic needs met, and if that does not happen, they try another way (and boy they are pretty resourceful ha?). The way adults try to correct children’s behaviour is to act when negative behaviour presents, which might work for some time, but sooner or later negative behaviour will still continue, you feel stuck, tired and overwhelmed with constant warnings. Sometimes behaviour even gets worse. That is when you have to draw a line and start over. 

So if you find yourself drawing a line and having a little ‘enough is enough’ moment, here is a few tips you might like to try out. 

  1. Plan a day or morning or hour with just you and the kids, without any other distractions, no playdate, playgroup, class etc. Take the kids to the park and just play with them, forget about preparing flawless organic snacks and just sit down with them, talk to them, listen to them, hug them, be silly and see what happens. 
  1. Praise the good behaviour – it pays off! Children need a lot of instant feedback, praise when it happens not two days later.
  1. Make them your little helpers – if you cannot get them to do their chores, promote them to your assistant, and don’t get upset if they spill a little water when they bring the cup from the table.
  1. Relax! Yes it is absolutely essential that the kids are safe, fed and thriving, but they will not remember if their toys where all tidy and in right boxes, if the clothes were matching and what you ate. What they will remember is, how much you hug them, how they felt around you, how much bugs they saw on the garden on how much they made you jump every time they showed you a spider!
  1. Read a book with them (any will do) and cuddle on the sofa. The book by Carol Mccloud is absolutely a winner when you need to reinstall some positive behaviour. I think it is absolutely genius to present the idea of filling people’s buckets when we are kind, do something nice and taking away from them when we are not. It is not complicated and very easy for children to imagine the whole thing.

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At the end of the day the thing we all agree upon is, giving children a childhood that will give them wings and teach them how to fly them. It doesn’t make a difference if you are a parent, Nanny, Manny, childcarer, Teacher, those goals are the same. 

Hope you will enjoy the rest of the summer, and if you are starting or already started school, have a great start!

Sharing is caring,

TLN

EASTER CRAFTS WITH KIDS

Easter means that spring is almost here! Although it might not seem like it, as the snow keeps falling, but first spring flowers are peeking out now, and I hope we can soon bask in beautiful spring sun. Easter is such a good holiday, as there is million thing we can do with kids. Winter blues are nearly gone, so we can use all the colours of the rainbow. Weather you celebrate Easter or no, you can join in on the crafts. Here are some ideas and a look through what we did this year.

FLOWER BOUQUET

We started with this easy but so beautiful flower bouquet. Using yellow and orange thin paper for the flower bit; green ribbed paper for the stems; pink and yellow ribbed paper for decorating the glass vase.  We also needed glue, scissors and green and yellow felt tip pens.

This craft will let children practice shapes (as we used circle and star – sort of) and also cutting them.  It introduces them to different papers and how to cut them. Children love sticking things together with the glue, so they will surely love to do this craft.

You will need equal amount of yellow flowers, orange circles and green stems to be cut out first.

When you cut all the needed shapes, put one flower together with the kid. Ask them how it should go, what do they think. It’s good to visualise it before glueing all together. Than you can just let them do the magic. We have bent the green stems in half, so it gives the flower a little more stability. At the end we just simply decorated the glass vase (recycled yogurt pot!! ♻️) with 3 red and yellow strips and put on a handle – all with paper glue stick. So easy and so beautiful. I think it turned out really nice, and it’s a great easter/spring decoration that totally brightens up the room.

EASTER EGG

This craft is a little more complex but super fun and the result is just so cool. You will need: water balloons, string, white glue, colour paints of your choice (we used red and blue that I than mixed in pink and purple) a little water to add to glue and colour,  plastic plates for the glue colours to go in (and some plastic bags to put them in if you are using the kitchen Tupperware – or you can use disposable plates), spoons to mix the colour and glue together, scissors, old newspaper for protecting the table, and old shirt or paint cover for the kid and some disposable gloves if you want (or you can get your hand messy which is also fun).

Than you start with preparing colours. There is no specific recipe, pour glue on the plate and add colour, than add some water (I would suggest not to much). Cut the string on about 30 cm long (eyeballing it)  – It would be a little better to just use one long string, but  depending on the kids age, you can adjust this, so they don’t get frustrated with a tangled mess.

Put all the pieces of cut string in colours and while they are soaking up the colour, blow balloons up and tie them to a string. It’s great if you have something where you will be able to hang the balloons up while they are drying – we had a lamp over the table witch was perfect, but anything will do. Just make sure you protect the area beforehand and have everything ready for when you finish with them, as your hands will be sticky and gluey.

Than just take a ballon and start placing strings around it as much as you can so the ballon is all covered. Once you are done, hang them up and let them dry overnight. Next morning pop the ballon inside and you will get a beautiful Easter egg decoration.

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For extra special egg put small chocolate eggs in the ballon before you blow it up and than once you pop it there will be chocolate eggs peaking out through the string.

FREE PAINT

Since there was so much oriented activity, I though it might be nice to add a little free bonus activity, where we have just used white paper and finger paint. My only instructions were, to paint something that they think looks like spring. I think activities like that are so important, so we can see the child’s creativity on its own. It is also very calming and it’s really good to use it from time to time, when we do a lot of big projects or when we see the kids are restless. It helps them to gather their thoughts and relax. This beautiful painting is the result and I love it!

 

Easter is such a good time to do arts and crafts with the kids and there is endless possibilities – just peek on Pinterest if you need more inspiration. Hope you liked our ideas, and our end results. We had so much fun doing them and are so happy to share them with you!

Happy Easter everyone!🐰🌸🌼

The Lovely Nanny xx