How to Make Glitter Slime

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How to make Glitter Slime 

Supplies

  • 1 Bottle of Glitter Glue
  • 1 teaspoon of Borax
  • 1 cup of Warm Water

Instructions

  • Pour the  glue into a mixing bowl
  • Mix borax and warm water together
  • Pour about half of borax mix over the glue
  • Mix it together
  • Knead the slime until it becomes a thicker consistency
  • ENJOY!

Check out this video from Emmy Made who uses liquid starch instead Borax.

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Rain Cloud Experiment

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How to Make a Rain Cloud 

Supplies

  • Shaving Cream
  • Food Coloring
  • Glass Vase or Jar

Instructions 

  1. Fill the vase with water
  2. Add the shaving cream to the top
  3. Add drops of food coloring, if you have the neon  food coloring I  suggest using the light colors first and then move to the darker colors
  4. Watch the rain droplets fall to the bottom of the vase.

For the curious learner who will have lots of questions on how a cloud and rain is formed I  suggest watching  2 Minute School below

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Moon Sand

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Moon Sand

Supplies:

  • Flour
  • Baby Oil
  • Sand Toys
  • Storage Container
  1. Measure out 8 cups of flour.
  2. Add one cup of baby oil.
  3. Mix the 2 ingredients together.
  4. Place the moon sand in your storage container.
  5. The moon sand will stay fresh for up to 6 months.

Help Tips

For toddlers:

The first go around you will need to model for the child how to build. Teach the child words like fill up, pat, pour, stack.

For preschool age children:

Ask the child to help with measuring out each cup of flour and baby oil. They will love to mix the ingredients together as well so be sure to have a deep mixing bowl. This encourages the child to practice saying their numbers.

How to Play:

  1. Allow the children to build and create sand scupltures in the moon sand.
  2. You can also add theme sand toys such as beach, cooking utensils or construction trucks. This provides the children with an opportunity to pretend play being either a cook, construction worker or a civil engineer.

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Eyeball Ping Pong Drop Game

 

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Another wonderful Dollar Tree find were the Eyeball Ping Pong Balls. They were located in the Halloween section.  Immediately I thought – what a cool fine motor skill game for toddlers and preschool age children that I work with.  I also discovered infants like to make noise with the container and pick up the ping pongs.

Here are the steps to make your own Eyeball Ping Pong Drop game:

Supplies:

  1. Trace a circle in the center on the lid of the plastic container.
  2. Cut out the circle using either an exacto knife or a sharp pair of scissors.
  3. Arrange the stickers on top of the lid.
  4. Trace the inner circle of the lid.
  5.  Cut out two lid size clear contact paper circles.
  6. Place the clear contact paper circles on each side of the lid.
  7. At the center of the lid there should be a clear covered hole. You will need to cut out the clear inner contact paper circle to allow the eyeball ping pongs to go through the top.
  8. Place the eyeballs into the container.
  9. Place the lid back on the container.

How to Play the Game:

  • Take the eyeball ping pongs out of the container.
  • Allow the child to place the eyeballs into the holes.
    • For infants or toddlers you will need to model the skill a few times before they catch on. Infants may want to shake the container to listen to the noise the ping pongs make.
    • For preschool children you can practice counting numbers as they drop the ping pongs in the hole.

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Giraffes Can’t Dance Activity

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This summer I read  Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker -Rees and instantly fell in love with the story. If you have a child who struggles to fit in or feels like no one likes them, I would take the time to read this story. It celebrates UNIQUENESS and being who you are created to be.  A WIN WIN in my book.

Extension Activity

Host a Dance Party. Add a little twist by playing Freeze Dance  where the child dances until the music stops and has to freeze like a statue. It will keep the child listening, laughing and dancing.  Older children will want to look at your hands so they know when your are pausing the music so keep them guessing by dancing crazy yourself.

I’ve created a Just Dance Playlist to get you started. HAPPY DANCING!!!

Sign up for free activity ideas from Creative Nannies here

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Superhero Pretend Play

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Pretend Play is one of my favorite activities to do with children. I love to hear children create a story and assign the adult a perfect role in the game.   Carrying dramatic play items in the nanny bag is essential. It encourages children to be whimsy and imaginative. I’m always on the hunt to find little gems I can add to my bag without putting a huge dent into my budget.

One day, I was shopping at Dollar Tree and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black cape and a blue with red trim cape hanging on the shelf and thought…..

BATMAN

CAPTAIN AMERICA

SUPERGIRL

It would be a great pretend play gift and would cost less than $3 each. SCORE!  My niece and nephews are going to love their little play date surprise.

Supplies:

Instructions

Download the logo template from Vanilla Joy here

Batman

Captain America

Superman

  1. You will need to decrease the pattern by 50% via a copier in order for the logo to fit perfectly on the back of the Dollar Tree size capes.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces and lay them out on the felt.  Be sure to notice where you need to line up the pattern on the fold.
  3. For the Batman and Supergirl logos, I hand sew the bat and S onto the yellow shape first. Then I placed the logo on the cape, pin it in several places to avoid slippage and hand sewn the outside of the logo.
  4. For the Captain America logo, I attached the red circles to the white circle first. I  suggest working from the inner circle to the outer circle.  Once you have completed the circle,  place the star on the cape and hand sew it on. Next place the stripped circle on the cap. Once again I  suggest working from the inner circle first to avoid puckering.

HELPFUL TIP: I used transparent nylon thread to hand sew the logos onto the capes. 

Masks:

Download the mask patterns from Cutesy Crafts Superhero Mask

  1. Lay out the mask on the felt.
  2. Cut out the mask.
  3. Base stitch the elastic on the mask. To give it a finished look, I suggest putting the elastic in the middle (front mask piece of felt, elastic, back mask piece of felt).
  4. Top stitch the inner eye hole of the mask.
  5. Top stitch the outer edge of the mask and the eye hole.
  6. For the Captain America mask, I add the wings on last.

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I Had A Cool Ass Nanny

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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

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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?

Screen Time Battle

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

Kool -Aid Play Dough Design Competition

Kool Aid Post

Play dough is always a hit especially when you make it from scratch with Kool Aid. It smells great and dare I say it – it’s edible. LOL. I made the batch above  with my three year old buddy Vanessa, who is a play dough aficionado. The dough is extra soft and the consistency of store bought play dough. We made grape, cherry, and lemon flavors during our play date.

On another play dough adventure with my seven year old buddy  Katie, she suggested that we have a timed competition on who could make the best design. We had five minutes to design before casting our votes. Being the competitor that I am I quickly said I’M IN!

Here are a few snapshots of our creations.

Eventually her brother Evan joined the fun and took the competition to the next level with his a bowling lane design.

HANDS DOWN – Evan was the winner of that round.

The reason I loved this activity with Katie was because her imagination and creativity instantly ignited. All summer long I have been trying to get her to tap into her creative side. I was delighted when she came up with the  design game. We played several rounds and even convinced her older sister Haley to give it a try. She designed a fairy house with a fairy taking flight. Haley is currently the reigning champion of the Kool Aid Play dough competition.

FUN DAY FOR ALL!

Helpful Tip

I’ve tested out a couple of recipes and my favorite one is from Pam at Over the Big Moon. You definitely want to add this one to your Pinterest board. I stored the play dough in zip-lock bags and they are still soft two weeks later.

What are other cool things you can do with play dough?