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

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