Friendship Friday – Kayse Pratt

Friendship Friday Meet Ups

Friendship Friday Meet Ups – what is that all about? And where is the party?

The party is actually here in this space.  It will be a fun five minute or less introduction of some really cool people who could be a great resource for you.

This week I’m introducing you to my friend Kayse Pratt.

Kayse Pratt

She is a ROCK STAR organizer. Kayse and I met a few years back on the God Sized Dream Launch Team. I quickly came to admire her organizational skills and adorable printables . I may be creative with handmade items but Kayse can make any home run smoothly. If you are wearing the hat of a nanny and household manager, I would highly recommend the following items:

I also would suggest you sign up for her newsletter. She often sends tips and previews of her new items.  I am confident you will fall in love with her and her products.

Until next time my friend  – HAVE A GREAT DAY!

 

 

I Had A Cool Ass Nanny

-I had a cool ass nanny-

One day on Quora I asked “What are some cool activities your nanny did with your child?” I had expected parents to answer the question but then I received a reply from a teen named Moni Johnson.  It quickly reminded me why I love what I do. Check out her response:

Moni Johnson, You won’t see me with children for a good while

56 Views

I had a nanny (I’m a teenager) so I just really wanna answer this question cause I had a cool ass nanny.

Some of the coolest activities she would do with me is…

  1. Let me ride on her motorcycle. Yes, she had a motorcycle and she would sometimes use it as transportation to get from her house to my house, the store, etc. And when I would ask to go with her to whatever place (depending on how far) I could get on with her. It was SUPER fun. The air blowing in my hair, riding down fast lanes, and seeing the faces of my peers when I pulled up… lol. I couldn’t help it. It was fun
  2. Bake sweets. Cookies. Cakes. Brownies. Lemon bars. She would whip it up. And it was the same thing for any kind of dish. Her skills were admirable and delicious
  3. Watch movies. We did movie marathons. Scary movies, comedy movies, best movie of the year movies, etc. There had been a time when we had watched the Gallows. O.O Never. Again. Nope.
  4. Go to the pool. This was around summer time and it was very hot, so we would take a trip to the public pool. It was always so fun being with her in the water, like we would play games and spy on people who seemed “suspicious”. Lol. Very fun
  5. Collect coupons. She had a biggg scrapbook of coupons. I would sit with her on the floor and help cut them out of magazines and organize them. Then the next day we would buy 5 boxes of Jolly Ranchers, a few bags of chips, a LOT of washing detergents, and whatever we thought we needed (we usually had a cart full), for no more than five dollars. Sometimes even for free. Coupons. They are useful, people. Use em.
  6. Love me. (Yeah, not an activity but still worth mentioning). She claimed me as her daughter. And I honestly saw her as a mother, or even a big sister. She was way more than just some nanny or A nanny. I remember her telling me “Whatever you need you can tell me and I’ll help you get it. Whoever messes with you messes with me. You have my number? Call anytime.” I was really upset when she couldn’t be my nanny anymore. But, some things happen and change.

So, I don’t wanna mention her name but if my nanny sees this then she will know I adored her VERY MUCH.

What do you hope the child or children you care for will say about you one day?

Watercolor Ice Painting

 

Watercolor Ice Painting

Making watercolor ice (ice cube paint) is a blast. It was fun watching Kate figure out how many drops of food coloring she wanted in each ice tray slot to create different shades of color. The emerging little color blender learned to correct a color combination when she added too much or not enough food coloring. She thoroughly enjoyed the experimentation.

Watercolors

Watercolor 2

Here are a few helpful tips if you want to take on this adventure:

  1. Develop this activity in two parts. Part 1, create the colors and allow the ice cubes to completely freeze overnight. Part 2, begins with frozen paint to allow maximum creative time to paint with the quickly melting ice cubes.
  2. This project is best done as an outside activity.
  3. We used toothpicks in our trays but I would highly recommend using popsicle sticks to gain more control over the ice cube when you’re painting.
  4. We recommend heavy duty paper watercolor paper or white cardstock paper.
  5. If you want to add dimension to your picture try using a white crayon to create a water resistant look.
  6. Reuse the colors by placing the tray back into the freezer after your pictures are created.
  7. When you are ready to dispose of the colors I would suggest pouring the colors into a grassy area rather than a sink.
  8. If you spill any food coloring on a counter, I would suggest using Clorox Wipes to clean up the area.

This is a simple activity that yields a lot of fun creations. Here are all the supplies you need to start your ice watercolor painting.

Supplies:

  • Ice tray
  • Food Color
  • White Crayon
  • Popsicle Sticks or Toothpicks
  • Watercolor Paper or Cardstock Paper

We would love to hear what you think of the activity.

 

 

 

5 Star Service

Dear First Year Nanny, (1)

Dear 1st Year Nanny,

When you hear the words “Five Star Service” what do you picture? For me it was a conference I attended at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. From the moment I walked into the hotel I was speechless. Each person at the conference was treated as if they were penthouse clientele. I still chuckle when I think about looking down at the table place setting and being amused that I had watched the movie Pretty Woman so I knew what fork to use.

Being treated with such care showed me what excellent and above and beyond service feels like…it felt good. Contrary to what you may think, parents decision to keep a child home with a nanny is a commitment to provide their child with personal one on one care. Most but not all cost for nanny services is equivalent to private education tuition. Entrusting their child into your care means the parents value your expertise. In return we should be providing the families with excellent support and care.

Giving exceptional nanny service to your families will make you a precious asset to the family dynamics. It’s your ability to stay one step ahead of the parents and the children that makes you PRICELESS.  Anything above and beyond what is expected helps the family team dynamic to gel.  It helps lighten the child care load and gives the parents additional moments to connect with their child when they get home.  The gift of time is what makes our service a five star experience.

What are some ways you go above and beyond to help out your family?

 

 

Screen Time Battle

Screen Time Battle (1)

Creating a whimsy environment in theory should be easy. Children are naturally curious about their world and want to explore it. However, you will quickly find children also love the allure of screen time. Rather it is their favorite cartoon or game app, getting lost in the virtual reality has become the norm in our society.

According to Great School, in their recent article,  Managing Your Child’s Screen Time, we should limit their screen to less than two hours per day. Yet read the alarming stat shared about screen time:

“While most experts recommend no more than one to two hours of screen time (TV, DVDs, computers and video games) per day, most kids are in front of a screen 45 hours per week,” says Katz. It’s important to consider that it’s not just TV but all forms of media that need to be considered when setting guidelines. “Kids need to have time to go outside and play, and pull from other experiences besides the media,” notes Green.

http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/managing-your-childs-screen-time/

YIKES! Forty five hours is a full time job in our world. Should children really have a full time job in front a screen? NOPE

For children who are under five years old, monitoring their screen time is rather simple due to us controlling the electronics. We can place remotes, electronics and games above eye level and out of their reach. However, once a school age or teenager obtains an electronic the battle to zone out begins. Watching hours and hours of TV is the goal. It’s our job as nannies to limit the amount of screen time for a child.

Keep the child active and engaged. I would suggest the child earn screen time in 15 minute increments. For example  in the morning I have the child outside and active for at least an hour. After our play time I will do a craft project or game. After two hours of activity I will allow the child 15 minutes of screen time. During that time I am usually making lunch.  Once lunch is ready, the electronic goes off. Even if they grumble and try to negotiate a longer time, you have to stick to the rule of 15 minutes.

It’s important to explain to the child that screen time is not a given. Switching the conversation to what you’ve earned from participating in other activities allows you to have screen time. Rather you are conducting an art project, having water play or playing board games it is essential to let the child know when the next opportunity to use the TV, iPad or tablet will occur.

In the beginning the battle could consist of grumbling, whining or even crying. Be consistent with your expectation, provide fun and engaging activities and the child will come to love your adventures over screen time. 

What are some ways you decrease the screen time of the children you care for?

 

Sensory Play -Touch

Sensory Play Post

Childhood should be messy and adventurous. I love watching children discover new things through their senses. Just looking at their faces you see their developing minds are always curious and wondering what an object is or trying to figure out how something works.  They are discovering their world through their senses.

PBS describes sensory play as the following:

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities and sensory tables facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively. Learn all about child development through sensory play, find activities and crafts that encourage sensory play and discover how to make your own sensory table below.
http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development/sensory-play/

At the end of the month, I will provide childcare for three children all under the age of 5 years old.  In chatting with their mother I learned that the children love animals.  Instantly I knew I wanted to create sensory boards for the children to explore.

Here are the boards Kate (my little 7 year old buddy) and I created this week

POM POM BOARD

Pom pom Sensory Play

PIPE CLEANER BOARD 

Pipe Cleaner Sensory Play

BUTTERFLY BOARD 

Butterfly Sensory Play

CROCHET & FELT FLOWER BOARD

Crochet Flower Sensory Play

FAUX FUR BOARD 

Faux Fur Sensory Play

FEATHER  BOARD

Feathers -Sensory Play

We were grinning ear to ear when we looked at our finished project. I can’t wait to share the boards with my new little friends at the end of the month.  If you are interested in creating your own boards here is what you need and the helpful tips for your creations

  • Wooden Picture Frames (.99 cents)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Acrylic paint
  • Feathers
  • Buttons
  • Faux Fur
  • Pom poms
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Large plastic butterfly
  • Scissors

All items were purchased at A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts.

Instructions:

The project can be completed in an afternoon. Kate and I painted the frames first. The paint dried rapidly during the current heat wave here in DC. Next we hot glued the items on the back of the boards provided with the frame. We trimmed all items down to fit within the frame. It’s important to make sure the items are all secure so it can be used multiple times.

We would love to see your creations so please send us a link or hashtag #creativenannies on Instagram or Twitter so we can see your awesome sensory play boards.