Saturday, November 27, 2010

My favorite Graphic Resources on the Web by Glenda Propst


A Few of my Favorite Graphic Resources

I have always been a crafter, I have always loved being creative and encouraging the children in my life to do the same.  I shared my favorite graphic resource with my former neighbor and good friend Tracy and she and I used to spend our days creating with computer graphics. These days Tracy uses her creative skills on her company SweetTpies Dessert Studio but I still enjoy computer crafts.
I used to create the templates myself but  today there the graphics sites that make it so much easier by offering candy wrappers, decorative gift bags and boxes, can covers, bag toppers and pretty much anything you can imagine.
The following websites have creative projects that you can download for a reasonable price and print out and use over and over again. All you need is a computer, a printer, paper and an imagination.
I hope you find something here that you enjoy as much as I do.
Most of these sites have graphics you can download and re use, newsletters with ideas tips and discount codes for 20-25% off.
The first one is PC Crafter this is the first site I found and started using. They have a fabulous message board with tutuorials and links and ideas and pictures, verses, recipes and anything else you could want. This is great for party favors. PC Crafter also has a graphics club you can join where you pay a yearly fee and you can either get your graphics on a disc in the mail or you can download them to your computer for future reference. They also have a wonderful feature on your account where anything you downloaded before you can download again if you switch computers. You can also search their graphics, get a free preview of the graphics in the set and see a craft that was created with those graphics just by clicking the link. If you don’t want to join the club you can still download individual sets of graphics and get a set of graphics with a them for anywhere from $1-$10.They also offer creatable cards, recipe templates, scrapbook paper. I think you get the idea.The other companies offer many of the same features including things you can download for FREE.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
http://www.pccrafter.com
The snowman graphic came from http://www.pccrafter.com
The Santa Gift tag is by Gina Jane Designs at http://www.daisiecompany.com/

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This is one of my favorite writings by Charlotte Grimes about how we pass on our traditions from one generation to the next.
Whether your Thanksgiving is for 2 or 20, count your blessings and hold tight to your memories.

By :CHARLOTTE GRIMES WASHINGTON DC

Two At The Table, Many In the Heart

THANKSGIVING MORNING the comforting ritual starts: Preheat
the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the turkey breast from its store-bought cellophane cocoon.

"Why on earth would you do all that cooking?" people sometimes ask. There are only the two of us, you see, my husband Tom and me, in our household. "With no one else there," people sometimes ask, "doesn't it make you lonely?"

They are interesting questions, and I set a part of my mind to considering them, while another part and my hands take over the familiar holiday tasks.

Stick the turkey in the oven to roast. Lay it on the kitchen counter, for testing the doneness, my mother's old two- pronged meat fork, its’ wooden handle worn smooth by her hand.

Thanksgiving, of course, is a day of big family gatherings, of scores of relatives - children, cousins, aunts, grandparents - gathered around the table. Even today, when it's commercialized into the beginning of the Christmas shopping sea son, we think of it that way - the Nor man Rockwell painting of American family life. But I sometimes wonder if the image is fair to either Thanksgiving or the family. From its year long hiding place above the refrigerator, down comes the turkey's oval serving platter. It is a lovely thing of china roses edged in gold, bought by Tom's grandmother as a young bride. Out of the drawer, ready for the carving, comes My father's old silver handled hunting knife. Its blade is thin ,from his patient sharpening on a whetstone, al- most too fragile for the job. Someday we'll have to retire it. But not today.

Once upon a time, like a fairy tale that some of us lived, a family was a chirping brood of grandparents, parents, and children all sharing the same house or street or county. And a gathering-in of the clan for work, for crisis, or for Thanksgiving was simple. A walk from the bedroom to .the kitchen table. A short journey by buggy, by car, by bus, to the family homestead.

Time to start the stuffing. With oysters. The recipe is from our friend Claudia.

But in a shift that my generation knows all too well, the journey got more complicated as, first, our parents moved away from our grandparents and then we moved away from our parents. The clan scattered. We went away to college. We met spouses from other cities, from other states, maybe even from other countries, and made our lives in other places. We moved from city to city, following our jobs. And families got smaller.

Today, the Census Bureau tells us, most of us are one- and two-person
households: The child grown up enough to have a place of his or her own; the
spouse who's moved out after a divorce; the widow or widower growing older
alone; couples with no children, or none yet; and empty-nesters whose children have flown.
Now for the side dishes. Roger's deviled eggs, with crumbled bacon. Aunt
La Verna's sweet potato casserole, spiced with orange juice. For a green vegetable, Kath's sautéed cabbage and onions. Aunt Erline's rolls, golden brown and gently
covered with the special green tea towel, a gift from Chuck and Anne, to keep them warm.
To be sure, the roosting instinct is strong and come the holidays many of us still load our cars or scramble aboard airplanes to travel to wherever the clan is gathering.
But some of us - more and more of us, I suspect - awake one Thanksgiving morning knowing that the big family gathering of children, grandparents, cousins and aunts isn't possible this year.
Not enough time off from work to make the long trip. Not enough money to buy
the airline tickets. Too few of our grand parents, or even our parents, still alive to draw the much smaller clan together. That could be lonely, I suppose, if Thanksgiving could be no more than a
reunion. Or if it were easy to forget how our lives are enriched by relatives who leave us heirlooms and memories, by friends who give us something of themselves.
Ah! the feast is done! It's far more than' the two of us can eat, of course. Later,
we'll take a plate to Tom's mother, in her nursing home. Another to our neighbors, Bob and Cindy, who also will be two for Thanksgiving and who hate to cook any- way. And another is set aside for the homeless man who haunts our neighbor- hood, with whom Tom often shares his everyday sandwiches.
But I revel in our Thanksgiving ritual and -as Tom carves the turkey with my father's knife and my mother's fork to lay the slivers on his grandmother's platter-
as I pass him Roger's deviled eggs, Aunt LaVerna's sweet potato casserole,
and Kath's cabbage dish, Claudia's stuffing, Aunt Erline's rolls from under Chuck and Anne's tea towel - it's hard to be lonely when I think, with gratitude of all the people at our table.
Happy Thanksgiving and Abundant Blessings to You and Yours

The Creative Nanny

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hand Print Turkey and Verse

Head over to Regarding Nannies to get the directions and a free pdf file of the verse for this adorable handprint Turkey.

You might also like this project

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple Cider Pancakes from Nanny Bridget



Apple Cider Pancakes              
From The Kitchen of:Nanny Bridget

Apple Cider pancakes are the perfect recipe for these cool, crisp Autumn mornings.

2C Bisquick
1 1/4C Apple Cider
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbs Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
Chopped apples Use your judgement

Mix all ingredients. 
Fold in apples.
Use 1/4 C per pancake
ENJOY!!!

Bridget is a career nanny in Connecticut. Bridget has been a nanny for 12 years.  She is nanny to 3 wonderful kids ages 12,10 and 2.  Bridgets love for cooking and baking has rubbed off on all her kids.  Bridget lives in West Springfield MA with her husband Mike and their cat Umalicious.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fabric Acorns: Creative Nanny Wednesday

Thanks Nanny Gael Ann for sharing the link to this fabulous tutorial on Fabric Acorns.
The perfect project for Fall.
To get the directions visit
Zemphira's Creations and see her step by step tutorial complete with pictures.
If you decide to do this activity, be sure to send us your picture!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How to Dry Leaves by Glenda Propst

Creative Nanny Wednesday
How to Dry Leaves by Glenda Propst
Fall craft ideas are a staple for any professional nanny.
There are lots of different art projects you can make with leaves but do you know how to dry leaves?
Go on a nature walk and collect some bright and beautiful leaves.
After you have gathered your leaves lay them out for a while to be sure they are not damp.
Take a sheet of newspaper and lay  paper towels on it. Then place your leaves on the paper towels.
 Take a second layer of paper towels and a sheet of newsprint and lay that on top.
Gently slide this into an old phone and  place in a dry, ventilated space. Your leaves will be dry in about a week.
You can use them for art projects or you can keep them in the phone book until Thanksgiving, take them out of the phonebook and use a Metallic Gel Pen (available at craft and scrapbook stores) to make name cards for your Thanksgiving meal.

Read more at Marthastewart.com: Dried Leaf Place Cards - Martha Stewart Holidays

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apples: Songs, Books, Fingerplays and a Snack

Apple Fingerplays, Songs, Books and a Snack by Glenda Propst

When the leaves start falling,and the weather starts getting a little cooler you know it's time to pick apples.
This is a great outing for  nannies to do as a group.
Apple Season is a great time to be outdoors, go on nature walks or make a great snack with the apples you pick. Today I am going to share with you some "Apple" fingerplays, songs, books and snacks.

The Apple Tree
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up high in the apple tree (point up high)
Two little apples smiled at me (make apples with fist and smile)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (Pretend to shake the tree)
Dowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn came the apples (Make motion like apples falling out of tree)
MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....were they good!!!!!!! (rub tummy)

Apples
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

Apples and Bananas
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 benene
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
Here's a recipe from Family Fun for some Apple Dip that is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
Apple Dip Ingredients


1 1/3 cups peeled, cored, and diced apple

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons apricot preserves

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

INGREDIENTS FOR CHIPS:

5 (6-inch) flour tortillas

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

Combine all the dip ingredients in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate the mixture until chilled.

Brush the tortillas with butter, then cut them into wedges.

Arrange the wedges on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 350º F until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let them cool before serving. Serves 4 to 6.
 
Here's one more simple apple snack for Apple Season.
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 Glenda(at)regardingnannies(dot)com

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creative Nanny Wednesday ~All About Me Book








Whether you are a Professional Nanny, teacher or grandparent, mom or dad,
Check out the All About Me Book today  by Greta Schraer

Regarding Nannies to learn about todays craft!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Creative Nanny Changes

I wanted to let you know that there will be changes to Creative Nanny. When Regarding Nannies launched last July, Creative Nanny Wednesday was one of the components of the blog that was featured each week. The posts started on Regarding Nannies and jumped to this page.
Since Regarding Nannies moved to Word Press in July, I realize you have not always had weekly updates on Creative Nanny.
Regarding Nannies will still do a Creative Nanny Wednesday feature but the Creative Nanny will simply contain a link to that article.
I will be working toward doing weekly posts on on this blog so if you have ideas that you would like to share, please email me! I would love your ideas.
Here are the recent Creative Nanny Wednesday postings that you might have missed if you are not signed up for Regarding Nannies.

 
 
 

If you have ideas to share please send them to glendapropst(at)gmail.com

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Creating a Restaurant

Regarding Nannies Development Team member Kellie Geres shares with us a favorite memory of when she and her twin charges created a restaurant in their home to surprise mom for her birthday.

Years ago I attended a workshop on creative play with children. One of the suggestions was to use items around you and play restaurant. I took those suggestions a step further and with my 6 year old twins at the time we created an event and memory that will last a lifetime.


So the idea was to create the Grand Opening of our restaurant 1717 Larchmont. That was the address we were living in at the time. A few weeks before our grand opening, we mailed a hand designed invitation to mom, inviting her to our event.


Read the entire story at Regarding Nannies Creating a Restaurant

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Creative Nanny Wednesday: Introducing Children to Classical Music



Introducing Classical Music to Kids Part 1

by Cindy Wilkinson

Have you ever wondered where to find some new ideas for introducing your child to classical music? We have all heard of the upbeat Hooked On Classics CDs. And most likely you have also heard of the Baby Einstein classical CDs for kids, such as Baby Mozart and Baby Bach. While these are all wonderful CDs and ones your child will certainly enjoy, there are many other resources out there which you may also want to explore.
This blog will be the the first in a series of three in which I will be sharing some wonderful ways to introduce the world of classical music to your child. Both this blog and the second in this series will feature amazing websites you will definitely want to visit. In the final blog, we will explore some creative hands-on activities which can be done at home or at school, enabling children to experience the magic of classical music!

To read the rest of Cindy's article click on this link, Introducing Classical Music to Kids Part 1
and while you are there be sure to read how you can win an INA  membership.
Cindy also has another great article on More Ways to Introduce Classical Music  so be sure that you don't miss any of the links.
Don't forget to pass  the opportunity for winning the INA Membership on to your support groups and yahoo lists.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Simple Ideas for Bento-ing



Yesterday Bonnie Mills shared with us her love of Bento Boxes. Today I am going to share a few links with you that have ideas on how to do Bento with your children or your charges.
I highly recommend the Kawaii Bento Club.
They will introduce to the basics of Bento, give you simple ideas to get you started.
Here are a couple of fun and simple ideas from Bento Blogs  that you can get started with and if you decide to try "bento ing" let us know! We would love to see your own creations!The first one is from the "Eye Candy Blog" These cute little mozzarella and cherry tomato sticks are simple to make and healthy to eat.



The second one is these cute little penguins made from hard boiled eggs, carrots, and olives.
The instructions can be found on "Taste of Home Blog"


The last one is these corn dog mice. You will find the instructions on the "Enslaved by Fairies Blog"
 
Happy Bento-ing!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Creative Nanny Wednesday: Recipe For A Playdate Party!

Creative Nanny Wednesday: Recipe For A Playdate Party!

Over at Michigan Professional Nanny Association's NannyTips blog, Tara Lindsay posted an awesome Recipe For A Playdate Party!  They have given us permission to reprint it here at Regarding Nannies!  They are actually holding their 3rd Annual Red, White & Blue Playdate Party today! Have fun everyone!  Thank you for sharing this with our readers MPNA!

Recipe For A Playdate Party!

Are your charges counting down the days until summer break begins? Or perhaps they are too little for school and you are gearing up for lots of sun soaked summer fun!

For the past few summers, our group has had a tradition of summer "playdate parties" that have been a roaring success...so much so that we've carried them into the rest of our year. This summer, we have three such playdate parties planned for our paid members. (as per MPNA policy, events held at private homes are open only to paid MPNA members and specific guests of the hostess).

 

To read the rest of this awesome Recipe For A Playdate Party 

please visit Regarding Nannies Creative Nanny Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun with Nature!

Summer is in full swing and the little ones are looking for things to do.  Get outside and connect with nature.  Here are some ideas for learning and appreciating all that nature has to offer - many in your own back yard!

Baking with seeds

Discuss how plants come from seeds. Open a bean seed and show the tiny plant inside. Explain that there are some seeds that we plant to grow food and other seeds that can be eaten just as they are (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and caraway seeds).

Make some muffins and top them with seeds.

(Sample recipe – Mix one package of dried yeast with 1 cup warm water. Mix 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar together. Add yeast mixture. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Break into balls and put into greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with poppy and sesame seeds on top and let the dough rise. Then bake at 350F for twenty minutes).

Sweet Potato Plant

Fill a small jar 2/3 with water and place a sweet potato (narrow end down) into jar. Secure the potato in place with toothpicks. Place jar in a warm, dark place and add water when necessary. When a stem appears, place the jar in a sunny window and observe the growth occurring each day. Can record the growth in a small book by drawing pictures, pasting cutouts, or colouring in the number of leaves on a sweet potato picture.

Making Rain

Bring a pot of water to a boil. (Caution – keep children away from heat.) Place several ice cubes on a chilled plate and using potholders, hold the plate above the steam rising from the boiling water. Notice the droplets that form on the bottom of the plate and fall back into the pot. Explain that the steam is warm air rising. When it meets the cool air around the plate, droplets are formed. This is similar to the moisture in a cloud that causes rain.

Windy Day Fun

Construct and paint box kites to fly outdoors to observe the effects of wind.

Using a large paper bag, fold a two-inch lip around the rim of the bag. Open the bag and have child decorate it on all four sides. Add streamers for fun. When the bag is dry, cut off the bottom, leaving the four sides attached. Punch a hole along the folded rim and tie a length of fishing line through it. Fly the kite in the wind on a windy day.

Pocket Plot

Take a lid off a tub or jar and sow some seeds in it. Create a tiny home for all your tiny toys.

- Take a clean lid – the bigger the better

- Lay down some damp tissue

- Sprinkle on seeds – use a mixture of mustard and cress seeds. Place seeds only in the areas that you want covered.

- Cover them up – place a piece of cardboard over the lid.

- Let them grow - if you water your pocket plot regularly, it will last longer.

- Decorate – add small rocks and a small toy.

- Enjoy – you can even pick some stalks to put in a sandwich.

Lost World

Discover a place that time has forgotten, where creatures roam freely among the lush foliage. In the forgotten world, anything goes – from the smallest man to the biggest animal. Watch the tiny people hide under the plants, threatened by the terrifying monsters. Create a world of your own and live your own world adventures.

- Prepare the land – using a large tray (example 16 inches x10 inches and 4 inches deep). Spread a layer of gravel, about 3/4 inches deep over the bottom of the tray. Cover the gravel with a thick layer of compost, almost to the top.

- Plant the landscape – using small, young houseplants (ferns and palms are ideal). Make a hole in the soil – about the size of the plant's roots. Pop the plant into the hole and lightly press it down. Place some soil around the edges to level it out. Use some big stones or small pebbles to add to your landscape. Use gravel to make a winding path.

- Remember to water your world about once a week. Add some plant food every so often to keep the plants healthy. Your world should stay indoors, out of direct sunlight – although of course you can take it outside to play with. If your plants grow too big, you may have to replant them, or simple make a bigger kingdom. Spraying your plants every two days, will keep them fresh.


Visit the zoo.

Walk in the forest. Many local and state parks offer guided tours and look into group outings.

Gather twigs and sticks and leaves in the forest, and have each child design and make a "fairy house".

Gather fresh pine needles and make a pine pillow sachet. (cut 2 matching pieces of fabric, stitch around 3 sides and turn inside out, put in the pine needles, tuck in raw edges and whipstitch closed.)

Get permission to use a section of the garden for a children's garden, let the children pick flower or veggie seeds, and follow the directions on the packet to raise their choice plant throughout the summer.

Have a backyard scavenger hunt of nature items you know are there (one live ant, specific leaves, clover leaf, smooth stone, baggie of sand, 3 pieces of human-produced trash, a blade of grass, a forked twig, etc.) . Serve snack of "bug juice" (sweet juice) and "ants on a log" (raisins on a celery stick stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter). Lunch: "Sticks and Trees" (penne or ziti and broccoli crowns)

Roll down a hill.

Keep a journal/sketchbook of live wild creatures (animals and bugs) the children see during the week.

See how many they can collect.

Get some celery stalks, fresh from the store. Trim the bottoms off until even, however, do not trim the leaves at the top. Get a few glasses and fill half way with water, add a few drops of food coloring to each glass, all different colors. Mix the coloring well and then place on stalk of celery in each glass. Wait a day or two and watch the leaves of the celery change colors! If you have older kids you can talk about why and how this happens. Younger kids will be amazed regardless.

Get a white carnation and submerge in water dyed with food coloring, watch how the flower turns colors.

Seed art:

Glue a bean on the bottom of a paper and have the child draw what they think will come out of it. then plant it and watch to see how true the drawing is.

Use a paper plate and color the outside yellow or make petals with yellow construction paper and fill in the inside with sunflower seeds.

Make a paper garden with tissue flowers & pipe cleaner stems or with paper muffin cups.

Directions for Tissue paper flowers

Supplies:

1 package of multicolored tissue or crepe paper

1 package of green pipe cleaners

Scissors

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. Glue a pin on the back of a flower for a fluffy lapel decoration. Make smaller flowers and string them together as garland.

Go pick blueberries/strawberries/apples, etc

Grow a potato or carrot top, grass, beans, flower garden

Make a rock garden

Visit your local japanese/rose garden

Make pressed flower art

Make your own Miniature Garden.

You will need:

• Scissors

• Ruler

• Cardboard box - shoe boxes are great

• brown paint

• small mirror

• bits and pieces from the garden such as moss, soil, gravel, ivy, twigs etc

• shells

• plasticine

1. With a pair of scissors cut the cardboard box so that it is just 1 1/2 in deep and paint in brown. Allow to dry.

2. For the pond, place the mirror in the bottom of the box. ( Could also use tin foil)

3. For the garden, arrange the magazine pictures, moss, and shells inside the box.

4. For the trees, stick the twigs into a piece of plasticine and place them among the moss and shells.

5. Scatter the gravel and soil to cover any bare patches.

6. Finish odd the garden by decorating it with pieces of ivy.

Check out Magic Cabin for kids gardening and nature products

Discuss the importance of bugs in a garden.

With older kids you can start a compost pile.

Bird Watching:

Go out with some binoculars and find a particular kind of bird. Once you find one that the kids like, do some research, what do they eat, where do they live, what colors are the male and female, what color are their eggs? Take some pictures and make your own bird book.

Stan Tekiela has a wonderful series of books that are field guides to birds and trees of most states. The ones for Birds are called “Birds of Missouri” and he has them for most every state in the United States.

You can find them on his website http://www.stantekiela.com/

They are less than $15.00 and definitely worth the money. Mine is worn out from all the times I have searched through it trying to find that bird at my bird feeder. Every house needs one.

Plant easy flowers like Zinnia's , sunflowers they grow fast with little help.

Go to a garden center and talk about what you see.

Look on the internet about the flowers you found.

Go on a plant hunt with a notebook drawing and write the details of what you find.

You can do the old bean trick in the damp paper towel, it will sprout after just about 5 days

Weed your garden, or weed a elderly neighbors ( great for older kids)


Grow grass hair

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


Have children discuss how they could grow grass "hair." Decorate pots and give them names. Next, prepare to plant by scooping soil into containers (remember to count!) 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

• How many days it took to grow (pull out those garden journals!)

• Fine motor skills by cutting the grass hair (this would be a good time to discuss not cutting their own hair or their friends

Websites:

http://www.netmums.com/lc/gardening_with_children_tips.php

http://preschoolerstoday.com/resources/articles/indoorgardening.htm

http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr063.shtml

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0328jack.html (Different variations of Jack and the Beanstalk on line)

http://www.stonesoup.com/main2/StoneSoup.html (Story on line)

http://www.storybin.com/sponsor/sponsor116.shtml

http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/family/feature/famf107stonesoup/famf107stonesoup2.html

Songs and Poems:

Grow Little Seed (poem)

I'm a little seed in the deep dark soil. (Children kneel on their knees, covering eyes)

The warm breezes blow. (Fan the kneeling children)

The gentle rains fall. (Lightly spray water over the children – use a spray bottle of water)

The hot sun calls the seeds to rise. (Children slowly get to their feet)

The blue sky waits for the surprise. (Children stretch their arms high over their heads)

Happy plants grow from seeds. (Children smile)



We Planted a Little Seed
(sung to the tune "I'm a Little Teapot")

We planted a little seed in the dark, dark ground. (Kneel and pat the floor)

Out comes the warm sun, big and round. (Circle arms over head)

Down comes the gentle rain, soft and slow. (Wiggle fingers for rain)

Up comes the little seed, grow, seed, grow! (Stand with arms stretched high.)



Picking Some Big Ears
(sung to the tune "Skip to My Lou")

Standing in the corn field out in the sun,

Picking some big ears one by one.

Cooking up the yellow corn, oh what fun!

Munching on sweet corn, yum, yum, yum!



Read:

Eric Carles the Tiny Seed

Your First Garden by Marc Brown

Mrs. Spitzer's Garden by Edith Pattou

Jack & The Beanstalk

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Jack's Garden by Henry Cole

Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens

'Growing Vegetable Soup' & 'Planting a Rainbow 'by Lois Elhert

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Simple Things to do on a Road Trip


Car Games
It’s that time of year when families load up the kids and head for the beach or the mountains or the lake.
Entertaining children on a road trip requires a little planning ahead, a little organization on your end but the end result provides a happier vacation for everyone.
Now I could just tell you to buy a DVD player hook it into the back of your car (one per child) sign up for Redbox and be on your merry way but if I did that it would be too easy and this article would be too short, plus……….in my opinion…..that isn’t fair to your children.
There are lots of games you can play in a car that require no planning, just a little thought. One of our favorite things to do in the car was sing.
We sang silly songs, crazy songs, rhyming songs, church songs until we couldn’t think of anymore.
  1. The Ants Go Marching
  2. Found a Peanut
  3. 100 Bottles of Pop on the Wall
  4. Clementine
  5. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
  6. Supercalifracilisticexpialidocious
  7. If I had a Hammer
  8. Home on the Range
  9. On top of Spaghetti
  10. She’ll be Coming around the Mountain
  11. This Old Man
  12. Little Rabbit Foo Foo
And no matter what we sang, my dad drove in silence until we sang “Do Lord” and then he would join in the fun and sing along with us for a few minutes.

The other thing we did in the car was play games. We played “I’m Going on a Trip” where one person starts the game and the next has to repeat what the person before them is taking and add something of their own,then go on to the next person and they repeat it plus add something and on and on until no one can remember anymore.Another version of that game is to have the person bring something that starts with the first initial of their name.

Another fun game is the Alphabet game. You start with A and have to find something that starts with that letter before you can move on to the next letter. We always got stuck on X.
We also played a fun game called “How far is a mile. We would choose a starting point, and then from that point, we had to let the driver know when we thought we had gone a mile. It was a great way to get a sense of how far a mile really was.

Another car game which requires participation and being alert is the license plate game where you see how many different state license plates you can find.

The last game I am going to share with you is a favorite.The game is simple. It’s called “Cows and Cemetaries” You divide into teams, usually the left side of the car and the right side of the car. You count the cows on your side of the car. When you come to a cemetery………..you have to bury your cows and start over. My kids have played and loved this game for years and their family has spent lots of hours traveling in the car.

Teach your kids to use a map. Print one out from the internet or buy an atlas but teach your children how to use it. Even though we live in the days of GPS, map reading is a skill that every child should know the basics about. My dad used to give me the map and tell me to find the way, and to this day I am an excellent map reader!

Books on CD are excellent for family road trips. You can even get some classics for everyone to listen to together.There is no better way to instill a love for books in your children than by sharing some of your favorites. You can borrow them from the library, download them online to your IPOD or rent them from Cracker Barrel. How about-  Harry Potter, Tom Sawyer, or The Bobsey Twins to get you started!

Family road trips should be about making memories together, not just getting through it.

If you have Road Trip ideas or song suggestions please feel free to share them with us.

*graphics by PC Crafter.com

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Creative Nanny Wednesday: Recipe For A Playdate Party!

Creative Nanny Wednesday: Recipe for a Playdate Party!

Today we are sharing a wonderful blog post by the Michigan Professional Nanny Association on the Recipe for a Playdate Party!

Are your charges counting down the days until summer break begins? Or perhaps they are too little for school and you are gearing up for lots of sun soaked summer fun!

For the past few summers, our group has had a tradition of summer "playdate parties" that have been a roaring success...so much so that we've carried them into the rest of our year. This summer, we have three such playdate parties planned for our paid members. (as per MPNA policy, events held at private homes are open only to paid MPNA members and specific guests of the hostess).

Past playdate parties have included our annual "Red, White, and Blue Playdate", "Kid-lympics 2008" (which coincided with the 2008 Summer Olympics), a Mardi Gras themed party, a rather spontaneous St. Patrick's Day event, Winter Sports Extravaganza, and last year's highly successful "Pirate Party Playdate". This summer we'll enjoy our patriotic party once again and add in "Flag Day Playdate Party" in June and "End of Summer Luau Playdate" in August. Our playdate parties traditionally run from 10am until 1pm with each guest bringing their own picnic lunch.

We've received several email requests from nanny support group leaders in other communities about these events, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to share our simple recipe here:

Pick a theme. Along that theme, set up a few simple snacks, choose a simple craft activity, one (or more) large group structured game/activity, and invite your guests. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

to read the rest of the Recipe for a Playdate Party!  please visit 

 Nannytips Blog by Michigan Professional Nanny Association

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stamped Paper Cube: Great idea for Fathers Day from Nanny Gael Ann and her "creative assistant"


What you need:
blank paper cubes (I got mine from Oriental Trading Company)
rubber bands
magic markers
rubber stamps
stamp pad



Use the rubber bands to stabilize the pad.
I also found it helpful to hold the paper tightly for my creative assistant.

Then decorate away with rubber stamps... 



Or magic markers on three sides (the fourth side has the glue on it).





Close ups of some of our favorite sides













Just add a bit of ribbon and a pen and these would make great gifts!
For dads or grads or teachers or as a small thank you gift.