Posted in Blog

A typical nanny day

What happens in a 10 hour day?

What I like about my nanny job and working with children, is that everyday can be different. As long as meals and naps are scheduled the day can be anything you want it to be. Before Covid-19 took over and changed the way we did life, I took my nanny child on lots of day trips and we had lots of play dates with other children and nannies.

My work day begins at 8 o’clock and I finish at 6 o’clock, I work 10 hour days sometimes a little more. I will not lie, some days I leave work extremely tired and other days I leave feeling like I have conquered the world.

This is what a typical day could look like: (pre covid-19)

  • 8am work begins – I normally walk in and the boys are finishing up on breakfast, I take over from the parents.
  • 8:30am B3 starts nursery. Its a 10 minute walk from home which is great.
  • 10am now depending on the day B1 can have a messy play at home, play date home or at another house or a activity class.
  • 12pm collect B3 from nursery
  • 12:30pm lunch time
  • 1:15pm B1 has a 2 hour nap. B3 will have free play 1:1 learning time
  • 3pm B1 should be up and its snack time for everyone
  • 4-5pm outdoor activites or play dates
  • 5pm dinner and stories
  • 6pm home time.

Now there are a few variations to our day, depending on weather or activities, how the boys feel and general life. It is important to have routine for children as it helps them learn and understand the world around them. Time keeping isn’t necessarily important but it does help a great deal.

Routines and schedules vary due to families and children. It can look similar to mine or completely different. There is not a golden rule but as long parents, children and nannies are happy, literally anything goes.

Posted in Blog

When do you start to talk to children about race?

Black Lives Matter

Picture from Sacree_Frangine Instagram.

This past week has been emotionally and mentally draining. I am sure from the title you can guess why. I have a love/hate relationship with social media, it can be used for so much good such as, sharing precious moments and being up to date with the latest trend. But it also has many downsides, negative news, trolls and the fact the information can be shared constantly without being filtered. I have had to take many breaks to keep my mental health at peace and not overwhelm myself with all that is going on.

The internet and social media has been working 24/7 on sharing news, support, love for the victims of racial hate crime and police brutality. This has been amazing and I love that so many people have come together. However, there have been a lot of people who have been spread hate and negativity.

I have seen a few comments saying “my child is too young to learn about racism.” A child is never too young to learn about what is wrong and right. A child is not born a racist it is learnt behaviour and we all have a part to play in children’s development and learning.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, Understanding the World – People and communities, it states that early years settings have to provide resources to help children learn about themselves and others, helping them to understand differences and similarities with their peers. As a early years practitioner, I created many activities for children to learn about cultures, festivals and family traditions with various stories, videos and crafts.

at birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. at 3 months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers.

kelly et al, 2005

It is never too early for us to talk about race and culture with children. Children are sponges and observe and pick up more than we know. If we do not talk to our children, someone else will and we do not want our children getting information from the wrong sources. We want our children and the next generation to know from the start about equality and fairness.

From an early age black children are taught from their parents and caregivers that they have to work harder to achieve the same as their white counterparts. From an early age black children have are labelled and put in boxes before they speak and people get to know them. So if black children are exposed to this from an early age then white children should also.

Posted in Blog

Nanny Essentials – what’s in the bag?

Whats in the bag?

The Mary Poppins Bag, where you literally pull out anything for everything and any occasion.

I remember going for a walk down to the high street, in my head I am thinking this will be quick, I do not need the bag. How very wrong was I!?

Since then the bag goes everywhere even when we go down to the garden. Here is some of the things that are always in my bag…

  • Notebook and pen
  • Nappies, wipes and changing mat
  • Tissues and antibacterial wipes
  • Sun cream / umbrella
  • water and snacks
  • money / debit card
  • change of clothes

This list is my basic essentials for daily use and trips out, I will add and take away depending on where we are going, also what does not fit in the bag, goes in the pram or car.

Posted in Blog

Back to work

After spending four weeks at home, I went back to work. I am very excited to be back doing what I enjoy and being out of the house for a few hours.

back together

I am about to start week three of work with the boys and I am happy with how it is going. It took a few days to get into a routine of activities, meals and garden time, not a strict routine, but giving us structure to our day.

We are fortunate to have a garden and fields around the house so we are still getting fresh air and some exercise in. On the wet and rainy days we do a exercise/ music and movement activity to keep active, which we are all enjoying. The Body Coach is doing amazing videos on YouTube.

P.E with Joe

The boys are doing very well with the changes, the oldest boy understands that things are different because of Covid-19, and is enjoying all the games and role playing that we get to do. The youngest probably does not understand what is happening and may never this time of his life. However, with all that is going on, I am providing activities for both boy’s development and keeping them learning through play.

Bug Fossils

I am missing the play dates with other Nannies and doing different trips, but we have managed to have a few virtual play dates via the various apps available. I have been looking at a few Instagram Nanny pages, for inspiration and having professionals to talk to. We are going through this together and its great to reach out to each other.

Times are still uncertain and we do not know how much longer things will be like this. I am happy to be back to work and have amazing and supportive employers during this time. I no longer say I am looking forward for things to go back to normal, because what is normal? But I will say I look forward to go out without restrictions and being able to see family and friends.

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Stay Home – Stay Safe

Nannies cannot work from home

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, within a few days I went from getting up everyday and going to work, having a jam packed schedule to being at home and watching everything on Netflix and snacking out. Within weeks Covid-19 has been all we have thought ans spoke about. We all think about what we could do if we had more time, and just like that we got it. The UK government put us on Lock down, well some of us anyway, I know there are lots of people that are working from home or now as we call them, key-workers in our emergency services, supermarkets and many more roles supporting the country.

From the start nannies have been in the grey area of “can we work?” “should we stay home?” Schools and childminders are closed unless they are caring for vulnerable children or children of key-workers. Many voices have expressed what they think nannies should be doing, but at the end of the day it will be an agreement with families and nannies. I am aware many nannies are working and some have had work terminated because of the uncertain times we are in. By time this goes online, I would have been at home for 3 weeks. I have been in constant talks with my employers about whether I should be working or at home. Fortunately for me, I still have a job and as soon as we get word from the government I will be going back to work.

Since I have been at home, I have been doing the usual things you do when you have time off. I have cleaned the house top to bottom, I have cooked meals from scratch and eaten dinner at a decent time, I started a 1000 piece puzzle which is taking a very long time to complete. I could literally go on with what I have been filling my time with. Some days I spend too much time watching boxsets and reruns of shows I have seen a million times. I also think about what I can learn in this time or pick up an extra skill. But please do not apply pressure to be doing anything if you do not want to.

With all that is going on, I try to limit my screen time and how much information I take in from the news and social media, as it can become very overwhelming. Some days I switch off from everything. I am fortunate to be living with family, so we are going through this together, which I will be forever grateful for.

I hope everyone out there is staying safe, especially if you are still working. If you are not working I hope you can enjoy down time, family time, crafting time. However you choose to spend this crazy period we are in, try not to overthink what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Remember we are in this together.

Toto x

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Play dates, soft-play and playgroups

Every week I plan for a trip to a playgroup, soft play centre and arrange play dates. Being social is just as important for the children as it is for nannies. Our week varies from indoor and outdoor activities.

The children can experience so many different learning areas when involved in these activities, such as communication and language, physical development and understanding the world. They will meet people from different cultures and learn about family units.

Soft Play

Perfect for when the weather is a bit wet and cold, I work in an area where we have many to choose from. The boys have their favourite locations and always get excited when I say it is a soft play day, it often follows by “are we going to the one with the balls?” I love the variety soft play centres have to offer, some provide coffee/tea and juice with entrance fee. Some centres also hold separate classes for a fee but then you can play in the centre free of charge.

Playgroups

Often held in churches and and run weekly during term time, fees are small and often covers play and tea/coffee and snacks for the children. I find that playgroups have a family/community feel. Parents and carers catch up and swap tips and stories while the children play. Some of the groups have themed weeks and set up activities accordingly.

Play dates

Play dates are lots of fun, a few nannies take it in turn to host and we get together catch up and the children play. Tea, coffee and snacks included. The children start to build great friendships with their peers.

I have added a link of some of the places we enjoy going.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/ShpYLvAcnjkbisDB6

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Love is in the air….

Valentine’s Day crafts

Card for the parents

I try to do crafts based on the season and holidays. I think it is important for children to experience and understand the world around them. For feb we covered Chinese New Year and valentines. Arts and crafts are the easiest way to cover each topic, exploring textures and making things.

I have a love hate relationship with hand prints, its a stressful time to try and get the perfect hand print. But I managed to do it. The canvas I let the boys choose hands or brushes to do their art work. I loved that the boys were able to make art for the parents to keep.

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The year is well under way….

So I know its been a very long time since my last post, life really did get in the way.

However, I am back and ready to continue on my journey and sharing what I do daily. A lot has been happening over the last few months, Baby is now 1 years old and cruising around, won’t be long before he is walking. He is full of beans and loving life, everyday is eventful with him. Boy 3 is enjoying Nursery and learning lots. Our days are full and eventful and I would not change anything. Well maybe just the weather. 🙂

I have lots of food recipes to add and activities and days out to post, so stay turned.

Toto x

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One week to go….

So it has been a few weeks since I last wrote a post. I sit down to start writing and basically fall asleep. The last few weeks have been hectic, Mum Boss (MB) went back to work which means I have been flying solo. I knew this day would come but it happened without me even realising it.

Then it became the season of colds and flu, baby came down with sniffles first, then I got the flu and was wiped out, then came back to baby and toddler with colds. We have chilled days, wild days and “we made it” days. Sleepless nights baby and parents, not eating any food days and anything goes days. To say the least its been eventful.

Just making it out days

AND just like that, it is now the countdown to Christmas. I am not a huge Christmas fan but i do the activities for the children. We have manage to start to do some crafts and will be doing a few outings. Winter Wonderland being one and visiting Santa.

Starting to look like Christmas

Anyway back to the title, I have one week left of work then I am off for Christmas. That will give me lots of time to catch up on adding meals and everything else. Thank you so much for joining me on my journey so far as a Nanny, its been great.

Toto x

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Messy Play

We all love messy play or do we?

I personally love it, I have worked in nurseries and schools and had to clean up after 30 children. So messy play with 1 or 2 is a breeze. So much can be explored and learnt with messy play, so many topics can be covered and you can do it over and over again without getting bored.

I introduced cornflour to B3 this term, he is not a huge fan of getting his hands dirty, so thought this was a happy medium of mess and clean because of the texture. Something to this day I am still fascinated by. It pours and drips likes a liquid but is solid under pressure. B3 was amazed by it and mainly loved the fact it dried quickly and he could wipe his hands. Baby steps. I allowed him to add transport toys to explore.

Seasonal messy play is something i enjoy, so quick and easy to prep and most of the time cheap and cheerful to prepare. I mentioned before that Autumn was my favourite season and I like sharing that with my children i look after. Leaf picking and conker collecting is something I get excited about as soon as summer is over. B3 literally fills my pockets and bag with conkers so its only right to have activities with them. We did conker rolling in paint to create pictures, we used them to have a tea party with. We even used them in place of marbles. There is so much you can do with them and it brings outdoors, natural and playing together.

Tea Party

You can add messy play to most topics and themes as there is always something to make or explore. It can be as messy or as clean as you like. Do not let the tidying up stage stop you from having fun.

Go crazy!