Recently my friends and I tried this great idea we "borrowed" from some mommy bloggers. And it is a GREAT idea for all nanny groups big or small.
Google Busy Bags and you will get a whole bunch of ideas for these homemade bags of fun! The idea is that they are simple activities that are made that kids can do with some direction or on their own. Preferably they will become self sufficient with them even if at first they need help.
Bags range in complexity from simple matching games or letter activities to more complex math games etc.. They are hopefully self checking so that kids can see the correct answer themselves.
Now you could make busy bags yourself and many people do. But it can get pricey and can be a lot of work to make individual bags. To get a whole bunch of bags fast- we organized a swap.
Each person in the swap makes 2 different kinds of bags. We started an email thread so we could tell everyone as we picked which bags we were making. Then we made bags for each person participating. In our group there were 7 people, we each made 2 different bags and 7 of each so we all walked away with 14 different great bags!!
I keep the bags in a drawer in the kitchen and the Caterpillar (my 2 year old) begs to do them. I introduced them one at a time and made sure that she understood each bag's activity before starting on the next one. Now she can get out something fun while I tidy the kitchen or while we are waiting for mom to come home.
Our favorite bags are the iSpy rice bottle, the fishing game, the hanging clothes game and the letter matching cards. We still haven't tried all the games we have!!
I can't wait to do this again. It was fun and cost effective- for about $50 we got the materials and walked away with so many great and fabulous learning activities that are great for transition times, waiting times and independent play.
Let me know if you have done this or if you want to try!!!
Here are some great links!
Walking by the way Blog
Motherhood on a Dime
Money Saving Mom
AND here is a link to my pinterest board where I have loads more ideas!!
April is national poetry month.
Poetry may not be something we think about after we are done with high school english class but it has huge benefits for kids of all ages.
From simple finger plays (here is the beehive, but where are the bees?) to Dr. Seuss to Shel Silverstein, poetry can enhance a child's ability to read expressively, introduces new sounds and provides some creative thinking skills.
Young children benefit from the rhythm of poetry. It exposes them to concepts like rhyme and meter. It is helpful for them to learn to distinguish between certain sounds or phonemes and can encourage them to "play" with language which is crucial for early talking!
Early readers can explore the humor or deep emotion through poetry. It can be helpful for reluctant readers to see whole thoughts in just a few words. It is even easier for them to approach the page as it doesn't appear so daunting.
Kids can learn about imagery. It is exciting to them that poems can be interpreted in any number of ways. And the complex thoughts and emotions that poetry expresses means that the same poem that makes a 2 year old laugh can make a 6 year old imagine and a 12 year old reflect and expand. This makes poetry great for using in multi aged groups like we as nannies often have!
So why not go to the library and check out a book of poems this month! What are your favorites? How do you use poetry in your job?
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live 'em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give 'em.”
― Shel Silverstein
Need an idea for quick and simple motor skill play? Great here is a simple one- make a line!
We just put a long line on the floor with masking tape. Can be on carpet or hardwood (but check in a spot first that the tape doesn't ruin hardwood in your home)
Then we hop on the line, hop over the line, skip on the line, dance on the line - you get the point. This is a great way to work on language skills as well as you can talk about over, on top of, as well as action words like crawling, skipping, hopping, tip toeing.....
Encourage kids to try some other deceptively simple tricks. Like keeping both feet on the line like a tight rope. Or try putting objects on the floor and having child stop while walking (or running or skipping) and pick up object without moving their feet. This is a tough skill for those 2/3 year olds!
Try putting on some music and asking kids to move on the line in response to the music. Is it fast or slow? Does it make you want to do something funny as you move or does it encourage you to move like a ballerina?? You can talk about rhythm and the effects of music on mood.
For older kids practice changing directions on line, make the line turn or be wavy. Ask the older kids to make up activities for the younger kids!
This activity increases equilibrium and helps kids coordinate movement. It works large muscles and also is helpful for the connections between their will and their movements. As you use music it can be a great way to incorporate some emotional words into the play and help them use their body to indicate mood.
Well, change is good right?
Sometimes though it is not easy.
This change is hopefully going to be easy and GREAT! We have a newly designed website and a new address for the blog. Hopefully you can change your RSS feed (or sign up if you haven't already) and you won't miss a thing.
I am particularly excited to utilize some of the great features of the new website. Like more videos, and a new onsite registration process for Nannypalooza. Hopefully it will work. (crossing fingers!)
So thanks for stopping by and supporting Nannypalooza. Be sure to share the site with your friends!