Autumn has arrived

leaves leaves leaves

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.

Sensory Play

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.

Key words for the theme

Areas covered in this activity: communication and language, literacy, understanding the world and expressive arts and design,

Playdough

Simple Ingredients

Everyone loves playdough!

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)
  • scents (optional)
playdough finished

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

2 simple ingredients

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.

Nanny Community

When I first started nannying many years ago, it was a lonely and isolated affair. The area I worked in did not have many baby and toddler groups, soft play or classes locally. If I wanted to do anything we had to travel or we spent time indoors, lots of arts and crafts. As much as I enjoyed my job and looking after the little boy, I got very bored and returned to nursery work.

Fast forward to 2017, I started my new nanny job. My new place of work had nannies everywhere, this was the start of my nanny community, the difference was amazing. The nannies in the area met weekly at various activities and groups, I settled in quickly with the help of my new community.

Two years later I am still here and our community is growing. The benefits of having a nanny community are:

  1. You have people to talk to close by who understand what you are going through, share tips and give advice.
  2. Your Nanny children will have plenty of children to play and socialise with.

Last Christmas another nanny and I hosted a party for the children in our area, we had around 15 children and their nannies or parents come together for festive fun. Even though it was busy and loud, it was the best fun to see everyone coming together.

Some days can feel long or more tiring than others, but having a community of nannies around definitely makes a huge difference. Great ways to find a community is going to local playgroups, parks and libraries. Connecting with other nannies will make a difference your job. I believe so anyway.

Let’s get baking

We have apples

The family I work for are luckily enough to have an apple tree in the garden and the time has come for yummy apples. So I thought it would be a great idea to make something yummy and get the little boy involved.

This was a fun and great for learning opportunities, including Maths; Communication and Language and Understanding the World (links to the EYFS).

I found a simple recipe online and we got baking.

Peeling apples
Placing apples in the tray
making the crumble
Tada

Each step was a great opportunity to discuss steps and encourage independence (the whole process was supervised).

Once it was all prepared it was placed in the oven and we set a timer and waited. This became a lovely treat for after dinner.

Outdoor Play

the best classroom and richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky.

Margaret McMillian

Outdoor play has a positive impact on children’s wellbeing and helps with their development. Play has a vital role in children’s learning and they begin to understand the environment and their surroundings. Which is where the saying “learning through play” comes about. Children will be able to explore in more ways then they would if they were indoors. They will use a range of senses and experience first hand: smells, textures and sounds.

While outside there are many areas of learning that can be covered such as, Communication and Language, Maths and Expressive arts and Design, to name a few. Being from a Nursery/School background, I follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), when I plan and arrange activities.

Bug Hunting

Resources used for day out

So my little boy (3) is really into bugs as most children are at this age. He was very excited to show me his bug hunting kit that he had received over the weekend. The minibeast sheets I got off the website Twinkl. We headed to Heartwood Forest to start our adventure. This National Park has so much room to roam around and explore the great outdoors and plenty of places to look for bugs, especially Langley Woods. We spent a few hours here looking around and counting dogs, this park is popular with dog walkers, then we finished the morning with a picnic.

Den building in the woods

My favourite places to go

Over the years I have worked with many children and have visited lots of places. It was not until this year that I decided to keep note of some of the best locations (link is included), I have been lucky to work with families that allow me to take their children out and about. I hope you enjoy the list and go out to explore with your little ones. I will do my best to keep updating it.

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

Back to routine

I go back to work in September after two months holiday, I work as a term-time Nanny, as much as I have enjoyed the time off, I am so ready to get back into routine. It might sound crazy but I want to hear my alarm go off in the morning, I want to commute to work and I want to be busy running around after my charges. I have spent the last week organising my work wardrobe and planning activities/ideas for the upcoming weeks.

Update

First week is over and I am glad to be back at work. Settling into my new routine and adjusting to looking after two boys 3 years old and 7 months (before the holidays I had one boy). We took it easy this week and went to the park and the library but planner is at the ready and playgroups, rhyme time and outings are all in place for the weeks to come.