Being an Engaging Super Nanny
You need to be a Super Hero. This is no joke. It’s just this simple.
Most super nannies understand that the most import part of their responsibilities is keeping the children safe and creating an enriched environment. Today, I will be discussing the enriched part of the role.
Ever sat wondering what to do with your work kids? What about on rainy days? More often than not, nannies are stuck on what to do daily with their work kids and often choose play dates to keep their little ones from turning the house upside down. While socializing with other children is important, it is also essential as a caregiver to create a stimulating, learning environment with their work children. Fear no more, here are a few tips that we think would help for a more active day.
First, choose age appropriate activities. If your peanut is a newborn, then you already know that other than long walks and tummy time—you are looking at lots of hugs, snuggles, kisses and lots of talking to a baby who is a great listener. That’s right! You are going to be talking to a little bundle of joy who won’t reply to you for many months. So, talk away, tell them your secrets, no one is judging you.
As a former nanny, whenever my work kids turned 6 months this was when things got real, but exciting! It was all about storybooks, colors, textures and shapes. Have you ever tried to read to a 6-month-old and find that they are not interested in the book? Well, if you know a 6-month-old that will sit through stories, I’d like to meet that baby. Part of the cruising stage is being curious about everything and everyone. With that said, our little explorer will not sit through a book. So, what do we about this? Well, it’s simple—continue reading. What’s more important than a baby sitting through a story is the words that they hear. Introducing words, colors and shapes is very important at this age. You must be active enough to keep up, so if they’re crawling or rolling away, you follow them with your words. Remember, from the moment they are born they are absorbing a ton of information the first few years of life. So, every moment is a learning opportunity.
If your charges are between the ages of 1-3 years of age, there are so many fun things to do with them. My favorite activity was painting–with the parent’s permission of course! It is also fun to build structures with them and to introduce age appropriate puzzles. You can introduce them to different textures such as clay, mud, felt or sand. On a beautiful or rainy day, take the toddler out for a stroll. Always stay engaged. If they can walk, let them stroll and take in the environment. Give names to everything that catches their attention. We all know kids love cars, talk about the different color, shape and type of cars you see. On a Fall day let them collect leaves and rocks that they can later paint on or use to paint with.
With older kids, put the screens away. There are so many board games that are fun and can help pass the time. My former work kid always won when we played the game Sorry, and I pretended not to see that she miscounted the spaces every time. Feel young again and use your imagination. Build a fort, explore new worlds—be a superhero or a monster. Start teaching them chess if you can play. If you are a fan of extravagant puzzles, that is something that is fun to start and can take days or weeks to complete. If you are a baker, bake healthy treats with your charges. And the most important of all is talking to them, getting to know their feelings. Ask them, ‘how was your day at school?’ ‘What’s on your mind?’ ‘What would you like to do?’ Asking questions is like a compass on where to take your next step with your charge. There is never an excuse to not have something engaging to do with your work kids’ day to day.