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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
B3 is in love with all things transport. This place covers that and more. There is so much to see and do, the Village has a play area for children so they can run around and have fun. They also have a train ride that goes around a small section of the park.
The detail in the model village is out of this world. From the items in the shop window to what the people are doing in their gardens. Some of the areas has moving parts, running water and sounds such as church bells going off. There are also trains that go around the village and stop at stations. As you walk around the village, you can read history of village and about the makers and builders of it.
There is also a cafe onsite with a range of food and snacks all, picnic benches outside so you can bring and enjoy your own food. There is a gift shop filled with great items and your only problem will be getting your little ones out.
Finally to end your trip you can have a look in the education center which is filled with genuine artifacts from the time period 1930/1940s. You and your little ones can have a look at history and take part in what is out at the time. On our visit we got to use a typewriter and B3 got to scoot on a wooden scooter and ride on a old fashioned bike.
Hope you get a chance to visit this amazing place.
Water play using a sink, is a great way to allow your child to still have fun playing and exploring water if you do not have room for a water tray. I saw this on social media and thought such a good idea. You can create lots of different scenes using props and toys.
B3 loves water and currently really into bugs so I created a swamp and filled it with bugs and water animals. He loved this and spent lots of time playing and making up stories. Then once you have all finished you simply pull the plug and let the toys dry.
Areas covered in this activity, communication and language and understanding the world.
My favourite season has arrived and I am over the moon. Everything from the colours, smells and sights I am in love with. The weather is not perfect especially if it rains, but the leaves and the conkers make excellent activities. One thing I like doing is a scavenger hunt for autumn objects.
I started our autumn theme with a sensory activity, with dyed rice, key words and conkers and acorns. B3 had lots of fun mixing, filling and emptying and counting. He also made up his own story with the squirrel and the nuts.
We talked about the textures and colours of the tree nuts. When we go out I got B3 to look out for the tree nuts and we collected more.
It is very easy to make the dyed rice, it is literally 3 steps and it took me less than 30 minutes to prepare it all. Activities for children do not have to be with lots of expensive items, it has to be inviting and interesting.
place rice in a sandwich bag
squeeze in paint and shake mix together
place on tray to dry and within 30 minutes it is ready to play with.
The rice will last a long time if kept in containers with lids on it.
Areas covered in this activity: communication and language, literacy, understanding the world and expressive arts and design,
Homemade playdough is so simple and very easy to make and you get hours of fun from it. I used these ingredients and it took less than 30 minutes to make.
2 cups of flour
1 cup of water
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of oil
food colouring (optional)
I mixed the dry ingredients together first then the wet ingredients, I sprinkle a little flour on the worktop and roll out the dough until light and not sticky. There are so many activities you can do with playdough.
It is perfect for fine motor skills, imaginative play, maths and communication. I make playdough mats to help guide play with my children.
Moon dough is perfect for babies especially as they like to put things in their mouths. unlike playdough it does not have salt in it. I used 1 cup of baby rice and 3 tablespoon of coconut oil. Mix together and that is it, perfect sensory activity.