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.
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:
You have people to talk to close by who understand what you are going through, share tips and give advice.
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.
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.
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.
the best classroom and richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.