Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cowboy Day

This week we will talk about Cowboy Day.

Cowboy Day was enjoyed by all. We all wore our cowboy hats and cowboy boots if we had them. We wore bandanas around our necks and we all had clip on sheriff badges.

We made vests. We took brown paper bags, cut them up the middle, cut out arm holes and a neck space and fringed the bottom for our rootin tootin cowboy vests.

Then we panned for gold.We filled the wading pool with a shallow amount of water, and sand. We added lots of toys and trinket type treasures.We took small rocks and painted them gold.We gave the kids aluminum pie pans with holes poked in the bottom and let the kids pan for gold.
For lunch we ate out of aluminum pie pans. We had baked beans and hot dogs sitting on the floor around the pretend campfire.
We put blankets over the chairs and created tents to sleep in during our "pretend night" under the stars.
We sat around the campfire (made of blocks) and sang songs like
"She'll be Coming Round the Mountain"
"Home on the Range".
Red River Valley
and Yellow Rose of Texas.

Cowboy day was a great memory. There are lots of things you can do and kids of all ages can join in the fun.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Princess Day

What little girl doesn't like to pretend to be a princess.
When my now 10 year old charge was about 3 or 4, we started a summer tradition by inviting 2 or 3 of her friends over and proclaiming it to be"Princess Day"
We always started Princess Day out by making a crown. I usually got silver and gold card stock and had the crown already pre-cut. (Today I think you can probably go out and buy pre cut crowns out of card stock or fun foam at a party store) We would decorate our crowns with glitter and rhinestones and while that dried, we would work on our magic wands.
As the girls got older there was more that they could do but the basics for the magic wand were:
Long bamboo sticks
Pre Cut Felt Stars with adhesive on the back (Pink or White)
Shimmery Curling Ribbon
We took our bamboo stick (pointy end up and removed the adhesive backing from the felt stars. Laid one star on the table, laid the bamboo stick in the middle of it, and put the other star on top of it.
Then we attached curly streamers to the points of the stars and around the handle of the stick.
For lunch, we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into heart and flower shapes. We also had carrot sticks and ranch dip and for desert we had strawberry short cake with whip cream and pink and purple sprinkles.
After lunch we pulled out the dress up bin, put on our crowns, waved our magic wands around, put on some ooh lah lah dress up shoes and read the book "The Princess and the Pea"
Then we played our own version of Princess and the Pea.
We took the 6 cushions off the couch, put them in 3 stacks of 2. We took a small rubber ball and hid it under one of the cushions.
The princesses would hide their eyes one at a time. Then they had to come in, and see if they could figure out which set of cushions the pea was under.
Another year, I took a frog shaped candle and we played "Find the Frog"One person hid the frog and the others had to look for it.

The last year we did Princess Day the girls were 7. We did all the above activities and we also made a picture frame. We decorated it with rhinestones and letter beads and then after we got the pictures back we put them in our picture frame.
My little princess is almost 11 years old now. She goes to sleep away camp and flies on an airplane by herself. She outgrew Princess day many years ago, but today when I called her on the phone to ask her to help me remember what we did on that special day, she remembered it all with great detail.
Whether you are a parent or a nanny, our kids grow up so fast. We wonder where the time goes. Our memories and a few pictures are all we have to remind us of those wonderful, happy, carefree summers.
Embrace the moments!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grass Hair and Tissue Paper flowers

You will need:
Containers (pots, cups)
Soil, grass seed Craft materials (such as wiggly eyes, paint, markers) to decorate a face on the front of containers

Talk about how the children can grow grass "hair."

Decorate your pots and give them names.

Next, prepare to plant by scooping soil into containers (count the scoops!) and adding grass seed (cover with a light layer of soil). Water (mist) and place near a window.
Children will learn:
How to care for something,
To observe, measure, and chart the growth of seed to grass
Count how many days it takes to grow the grass hair.
Your child can develop their fine motor skills by cutting the grass hair
(this would be a good opportunity to discuss not cutting their own hair or their friends)

Seed art:
Glue a bean on the bottom of a sheet of paper and have the child draw what they think will come out of it. Then plant a bean and watch to see how true the drawing is. Again you can keep a journal and count how many days it takes until the bean starts to sprout. You can also let the child draw a picture of what it actually looks like each day.

Tissue Paper Flowers. Kids of all ages enjoy this fun craft!
Make a paper garden with tissue flowers & pipe cleaner stems .

Directions for Tissue paper flowers

Supplies:1 package of multicolored tissue or crepe paper

1 package of green pipe cleaners.


Take four to five sheets of the tissue paper and layer them (if you want multicolored flowers, use different colors).

Cut into 8-inch squares.

Keeping the sheets layered, take one set of squares and fold it like an accordion so it looks like a thin rectangle.

At the center of the rectangle, cut a small v-shaped notch on both sides.

Take the end of a pipe cleaner and twist it around the notch.

With the stem pointing straight down, gently pull up one layer of tissue into the center.

Pull up the remaining layers, one by one.

Repeat for the other side of the flower.

Once all the layers are pulled up, fluff them in place to look natural.

Continue making more flowers with the remaining stacks of squares.

Tips and variations:

For sturdier stems, wrap two pipe cleaners together.

Cut smaller or larger squares to change the size of your flowers.

Add more layers for thicker flowers or less layers for thinner ones.

For a shiny effect, dip the top edges in white glue and then dip in loose glitter.

Make smaller flowers and string them together as garland.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Water Play

Here are some things you can do for water fun: You can go on an outing: A water park, the pool, the lake You can do Water play at home - water balloons, water gun fights, slip and slide (with close supervision)

Use these opportunities to talk about water safety. Swimming pools, Water safety, never swimming without an adult. :

Art Projects For tots: Put chalk and paintbrushes on paved area for experimenting with water and chalk, and show how "painting" with water darkens the pavement. Squirt Bottle Painting You will need: Squirt Bottle Water
Paint Large Paper (Brown Kraft Paper is good or you can buy banner paper) Chain link fence Clothes pins Fill a squirt bottle with a 1 part paint 2 parts water mixture. Hang your large paper on a chain link fence with clothes pins. Squirt out a painting with your paint squirt bottles. I recommend you make up a couple different color bottles. **Wear a smock**

Painting with Water: Give the child a bucket of water and a large paint brush and let them paint whatever they want outside.

Use squirt bottles/paint brushes to paint the driveway on hot days.

Set up a water carnival in the yard: Wading pool is extra special if the end of a toddler slide is put into it.Balls and water toys can also slide down the slide. Buckets and shovels can be used to fill with water and pour on the adults feet...adults make appreciative and "woo...that's cold!" remarks.

Have spillproof bubble wands, and pans of water for making bubble piles.

Activities Sink or Float
You will need a Sink or Dishpan. A bucket could work too.
Talk about how some things sink and some things float and then take various objects and talk about if you think they will sink or float.
Then put them in the water and see. Float eggs in salt water versus regular water to see if there is a difference.
How can shape help objects float?
Take some modeling clay and container ½ filled with water.
Drop balls of clay into water. Ask "Did your ball float or sink?" How can you change shape so it will float?
Have child shape clay into boat. Test shape by placing in water. Determine which shapes float best and talk about why.

Puzzles with water scenes for rainy day
If it rains - Mud puddle walking in the rain Messy Fun: Take dirt and add water: Watch what happens and talk about it.

Make Music with Water: Get several cups or glasses the same size. Fill them with different amounts of water. Gently tap with spoon to see how they sound varies with each different amount. Try different shapes of cups, or glasses vs. ceramic vs, plastic etc.

Make your own rainbow: Take small bowls and one large container of water to a water friendly area and allow the children to fill small bowls and then add food color to change the water, then allow them to mix the waters together and then use paint brushes to decorate paper, coffee filters, fruit or any other water friendly surface. They love the colors and then once they mix them it's even more fun. Another way to make a rainbow (Prism)Take a glass of water on a sunny day and hold it or set it so that the sun shines through it.You can also carry it around the room and let the child find the rainbow.

A water wave bottle with food coloring/water & mineral oil.
Take a bottle like a plastic water bottle, remove the label. Mark 2 lines about 1/3 each. Fill the bottle to the first line with water, add food coloring. Fill the bottle with baby oil or cooking oil to the next mark. Put the lid on tightly. It is a good idea to glue the lid on and then tape it on so the bottle doesn’t leak. To add interest you might add some objects to bottle before you seal it. When the water moves the oil and water separate creating a wave effect.Do this with lots of adult supervision.

Investigating the different forms of water - frozen ice, snow, steam, liquid Talk about how it gets that way.

For small children, they will enjoy simple "tea" parties and pouring water from pitcher to cup and cup to cup.

Cornstarch & water makes an amazing concoction.
Take some Cornstarch and add Water Is It Liquid Or Solid?

Caution: Water can make certain surfaces slippery.
Be careful!

Thanks to the Worldwidenannies Yahoogroup for these great water play ideas!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Introducing..............Regarding Nannies

Introducing: Regarding Nannies

Together with Alice Shaffer and Kellie Geres, we have created a new blog that will focus on all aspects of being a nanny.
Each week we will bring you:
Monday Moxie – is a roundup of nanny tidbits, news from the industry, some of our favorite websites and more.
Tuesday Tip Jar – the best and most useful tips to help you in your personal and professional lives.
Wednesday – Let’s Be Creative! Join The Creative Nanny as we bring you crafts, recipes and activities from guest contributors and some of our favorite websites and blogs.
Table Talk Thursday – interviews with some of today’s top nannies, profiles of nanny support groups and guest writers bringing you perspectives on issues we all face.
Financial Friday – The Financial Nanny brings you tips and resources for savings, spending and being financially secure.
We will also have giveaways, product and book reviews, and much, much more!
To kick things off we are giving away FOUR INA Memberships – one each week, starting today, July 6. The details of this give away will be released later today.
Visit every day, tell your friends and become a part of the site dedicated to YOU!