Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Creative nanny Wednesday: Apple Season

Apple Fingerplays, Songs, Books and a Snack

Eat an apple; (Bring right hand to mouth) Save the core. (Close right hand in fist) Plant the seeds. (Bend down touch hand to ground) And grow some more. (Extend both arms out) Here's a great Raffi song about Apples and Bananas. If you don't know the tune, you can listen to it or buy it here

I love to eat Apples and Bananas
I love to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I love to eat, eat, eatapples and bananas
I love to ate, ate, ateapples and bananas (say with the long A sound)
I love to ate, ate, ate apples and bananas
I love to eat, eat, eat epples and benenes (say with long E sound) I love to eat, eat, eat epples and benenes
I love to ite, ite, ite ipples and bininis I love to ite, ite, ite ipples and bininis (Long I sound)
I love to oat, oat, oatopples and bononos (Long O sound)
Repeat I love to ute, ute, ute upples and bununus (Long U sound)

Repeat I love to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.

You can find lots of great books about apples here and don't forget the one by Dr. Suess: 10 Apples Up on Top

Don't forget to do this fun snack for all ages.
Take an apple and cut it into wedges. Give each child 2 wedges. Spread peanut butter (if your child is not allergic, if your child is allergic you could substitute almond butter or sunflower butter) between the wedges. Then take mini marshmallows and add teeth to your smiling mouth.
Feel free to share your favorite apple activity here.
If you would like to feature your craft ideas here on Creative Nanny Wednesday, email us at regardingnannies(at)gmail(dot)com

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Coloring Pages 24

Today we are sharing with you a website created by Jimmy Hoog from Sweden.At the site visitors can print and color more than 2000 images for free. Mr. Hoog developed this site because he wanted easy and clean, printable coloring pages with no advertising.

It is very easy to find pictures to color on the site.

All of the pictures are suitable for children.

Jimmy Hoog is a web developer and he designed his coloring pages site to be user friendly for parents, children, nannies and preschool educators.
A computer, a printer and crayons is all you need. If you would like to save the image on your own computer, just click the "green plus" icon at the top right corner of each image. The icon will now turn red. Go to "My Images" written in blue at top of the site. Your saved images will show up there :)
Mr. Hoog is also working on developing another function where children can upload their colored images and have them presented on the website.
If you go to:
You can use the images to learn some new words. It’s also a great way to teach the alphabet, create a matching game or even make your own flashcards.

Theme based images: can be used during Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays etc.

My favorite feature on the site is that you can change the size of the image just by clicking on the user friendly resizing tool.

With more than 2000 images you are likely to find lots of things you can use on this website. The website is also updated with new images frequently. This is one you will want to bookmark to use over and over again.
Check it out:

Jimmy Höög is a 30 year old web developer from Sweden. is his latest project.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Painting to Music for Elementary & Middle School Aged Children

Painting to Music for Elementary & Middle School Aged Children by Cindy Wilkinson

There are some really cool ways of integrating painting with music for children in elementary and middle school. (These activities may also work for pre-school aged children who have had previous experience with painting projects, although you may want to simplify it some.) Since most kids this age have already mastered many of the basics of working with different types of paints, brushes, etc., you can really get down and get creative!! Here are a few of my favorite activities.

Jackson Pollack was an American painter who experiemented with liquid paints and various objects to apply the paint including brushes, sticks, and even basting syringes. His style was called the "drip and splash" technique. Doesn't this description just call out to young children to join in and explore their creativity?

Integrating this approach of painting with music has endless possibilities. Since most schools or average households don't have access to an actual canvas, you can use large sheets of butcher block paper or an old solid colored sheet. Put out some paints (thin tempera is what I use); then some objects such as cups to drip the paint from, brushes, sticks, etc. The fun part starts when you choose what music you will play to get children into the mood for their painting extravaganza. This might be a good time to get out some of your "oldies but goodies" and rock out while the kids are painting! Or you might use this as a time to introduce your painter to opera. Be creative and think of music which may inspire your young artist.

A great variation of this activity is to have the children paint the bottoms of their feet. (Again, I usually use tempera paint.) Then put on some music with a fast beat and let the children dance around on butcher block paper or a sheet. The results are totally awesome! You will have a work of art which you will treasure forever. This also works well as a group activity. Let several children work together on a footprint dance painting, or if you are an especially fearless teacher, your whole class can do it together. Arts education organizations stress the importance of collaboration as a key fundamental of their curriculum. This is a great way to accomplish many goals: experimenting with color, fostering creativity, moving to the beat of the music in a new way, and working together with other budding artists to create a masterpiece.

My final activity is a bit different, but can be very meaningful to the young painter. Put on a recorded song with lyrics which tell a story; folk songs work really well. Some examples would be "Puff the Magic Dragon", "Sweet Betsy from Pike", and "Cockles and Mussels"... There are too many to mention them all, but you get the point; now think of some songs you know or like that would work for this activity. Set up each child with an easel with paper and paints. First, play the song and have the child listen to the story within the song. Then play it again as the child paints and watch as their impression of the song emerges in the painting. Be careful not to coach the child, just let the artist use his imagination and create what is meaningful to him.

Whether you use the activities which I have listed above or you are inspired to create some new activities of your own, painting to music is an experience your child will never forget!

Cindy Wilkinson is a music teacher in the Denver area. She has recorded several children's CDs: Jumpin' Up to the Moon, Jumpin' On Down the Road, and Jumpin' Into Dreamland (soon to be released). In addition to her work in the music field, She has also been a professional nanny for 30 yrs. In 1998, She was honored as the International Nanny Association's Nanny of the Year!
To order her CDs you can go to

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Creative Nanny Fall Leaf Rubbings

Fall Leaf Rubbings

To do this you will need:


Go on a short nature walk and collect some leaves in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Then set out leaves, paper and crayons and let your child choose a leaf.

Place the leaf under a sheet of paper and rub it with a crayon. (Sometimes it works better if the paper wrapper is off the crayon and you can use the side of the paper.If the child can’t rub and hold the paper still, you could put the paper on a clipboard, use paperclips to hold the paper together or just hold the paper for them.)

Rub the paper with the crayon and let the magic begin.

The impression of the leaf will appear on the page.

If you want to take this one step further you can offer scissors and let the child cut the leaves out and hang them on a string in the window.

Don’t forget to do some for yourself. It will bring back wonderful memories of your childhood.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How to Make a Smilebox!

Smilebox Basic is free and I used it satisfactorily for over a year before my employers upgraded me to the Smilebox Club. It is only $5.99/month or $39.99/year and gives you access to unlimited premium Smilebox designs, lets you choose from additional music selections or download music from your own collection. You can try Smilebox Club free for a 14 day trial and cancel anytime. Smilebox Club members can also send their creations without ads (full screen), print keepsakes and burn DVD's to be played on regular TV. You can also buy the cards individually for about $2.99.
A new feature, just added this month, allows you to view Smileboxes on a digital frame using a memory stick. What a super gift idea for the upcoming holiday season! Handy suggestion: Smilebox has a design called Simply Calendar that would be the perfect format for cute photos taken throughout the year. The other day, after returning from having dinner out, I asked my preschool charge if he liked the new restaurant we had tried. He replied, "Yes, can I see the Smilebox?" Check out and get ready to send some smiles! Here is an example of one of the Smileboxes that Nanny Gael Ann created.

Click to play this Smilebox invite: Thankyou firestation
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