Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere!

Water, Water Everywhere!
by Kellie Geres and Glenda Propst
Regarding Nannies Development Team

A great idea for a theme week or events during your own Camp Nanny. Perfect for these hot summer days!

For the readers …
o Babies: Water Water Everywhere, baby einstein
o Older: Down comes the rain by Franklyen Branley and Ajmes Graham Hale
o We Hate Rain! by James Stevenson
o Do I Have To Take Violet?by Suci Stevenson
(deals with older sibling issues being saddled with a younger sibling in a beach setting)
o The Berenstain and Too Much Vacation / The Berenstain Bears Go to the Beach
by Stan and Jan Berenstain Bears

And for older kids (tweens and teens),
The Arm of the Starfish and A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle

Make sure to check out your local library. They have all sorts of funny books about animals, kids, and characters in the bath. Ask your librarian for tips.

Itsy Bitsy Spider
Row Row Row Your Boat
My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean

A water park, the pool, the lake
At home - water balloons water gun fights, slip and slide
Water Safety Tips

Art Projects
For tots:

Put chalk and paintbrushes on paved area for experimenting with water and chalk, and how "painting" with water darkens the pavement.

Squirt Bottle Painting
Squirt Bottle
Large Paper (Kraft Brown Paper is good)
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**

o Painting with Water:
Give the child a bucket of water and a large paint brush and let them paint whatever they want outside.
o Squirt bottles/paint brushes to paint the driveway on hot days.
o Set up a water carnival in the yard: Wading pool is extra special if the end of a toddler slide is put into it.
o Balls and water toys can also slide down the slide.
o 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.
o Have spill proof bubble wands, and pans of water for making bubble piles.

Sink or Float an inexpensive dishpan or bucket works well for this activity.
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:
I like taking 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 the use paint brushes to decorate paper, 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.
Look for the rainbow.

A water wave bottle with food coloring/water & mineral oil.

Investigating the different forms of water - frozen ice, snow, steam liquid - how it gets that way.
For small children, simple "tea" parties and pouring water from pitcher to cup and cup and cup.

Washing hands & mopping the floor.

Sand and water table

Talk about fish and other things that live in water.

Cornstarch & water makes an amazing concoction.
Cornstarch And Water
Is It Liquid Or Solid?
In Drilling Fluid: The Lifeblood of the Well you can read about Visplex*, a substance used in the drilling fluid that transports cuttings from the bottom of a borehole to the surface. Visplex has the unusual property of being able to change form. When it is at rest it is a gel. When it is in motion it becomes a free-flowing liquid.

A mixture of cornstarch and water also changes viscosity depending on whether or not it is agitated, but in a different way. Investigate for yourself and see how it behaves.

Tools & Materials
To conduct this experiment you will need:
o 1 pound (500 gram) box of cornstarch
o About 1 2/3 cups (400 milliliters) of water
o Mixing bowl
o Variety of small tools and objects for exploring such as:
o Small coin
o Small rock
o Popsicle stick
o Metal spoon
o Plastic spoon
o Notebook or pad and pencil, or a computer to record your observations.

The Experiment
Here's what to do:
Make a cornstarch and water mixture. Pour the cornstarch into your bowl and then add the water. Mix the two together by lifting the mixture from the bottom of the bowl to the top with your fingers until there is an even consistency.
o Play with it. Use your hands, a spoon, a stick...
o Make note of properties such as size, shape, texture, weight, hardness.
o Consider these questions, and test them out for answers:
o How does it behave when you stab it quickly with a finger?
o How does it behave when you rest a finger lightly upon it?
o Can you pick it up?
o Can you break it?
o Can you pour it?
o When does it behave like a solid?
o When does it behave like a liquid?
o Can it suspend a solid, such as a small rock, a coin, or a piece of wood? Do these objects float on the mixture or sink into it?
o Record your observations in words and drawings. It's good to work with a partner and take turns playing and recording. It's difficult to write or type with this gooey mixture all over your hands.

To make a backyard water slide, all you need is a grassy hill and about 30 feet (9 meters) of thick plastic sheeting. (Do not use plastic garbage bags. Plastic sheeting thicker than a garbage bag is available at hardware stores.)
First make sure there are no rocks or sharp objects on the hill. Then position the plastic, securing the corners and sides with U-shaped plastic garden stakes. Adjust the sprinkler so it sprays on the sheeting and slide away. If you do this with friends, always slide a safe distance apart.

Here's a wet variation of a traditional touch football game. Divide kids into two teams. Each player carries a squirt gun. Players tag each other by squirting. The longer you play, the wetter you get and the harder it is to hold onto the football.

Set up an obstacle course using lawn chairs. Fill four buckets to the top with water. Put two full buckets at each end of the course. Divide a group of kids into two teams. At the word "go," the first racer on each team picks up a bucket and runs to the end of the course, trying not to spill the water or bump into the other runner. Then the runners each grab a second bucket and run back to the starting point. The next runner on each team grabs the two buckets and runs the course. The team with the most water left in the buckets wins.

Wearing a bathing suit, use washable finger paints to make colorful designs on your arms and legs. (Keep paint away from your eyes!) When you're finished painting your "masterpiece," hose off or run through the sprinkler.

One way to make money and stay cool is to water your neighbors' gardens, hose down patios, or wash cars. Make sure you have the right equipment, then put up signs in your neighborhood to advertise your services.

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

You can be a "water detective"!
Investigate to find out how much water a leaky faucet wastes in one day. Find out if there are any leaky faucets in your house.

You will need:
• a faucet
• a watch or clock
• a piece of paper
• a pencil or pen
• a one-cup measuring cup
• a bucket
• a pitcher or watering can
1. Turn on a sink or bathtub faucet just enough to make it drip. (If there is a faucet in your house that really leaks, use that one.)
2. Write down the time.
3. Place the bucket under the dripping faucet.
4. Leave it there for one hour, and then turn off the faucet. (Or move the bucket away from the leaky faucet.)
5. Fill the measuring cup by pouring from the bucket or dipping the cup into the bucket.
6. Empty the cup into the pitcher or watering can. Write down the amount of water you measured.
7. Keep pouring and measuring until the bucket is empty.
8. Count the number of cups of water. (If you lost count, repeat the pouring and measuring from the pitcher or watering can.)
9. Multiply the number of cups collected in one hour by 24 hours in a day. Look at the chart to see how many cups of water make one gallon, and then divide this number into the number of cups you collected to find out how many gallons of water the dripping faucet would waste in a day. Use the water in the pitcher or watering can to water flower beds or houseplants.
10. Check all of the faucets in your house or apartment (don't forget outside faucets!) to see if any of them leak.

IMPORTANT! Talk to the adults at your house about getting leaky faucets fixed. Usually a faucet that leaks just needs a new rubber washer.

3 clear plastic cups (we used disposable cups)
Mercury/old fashioned thermometer
2 pieces of white paper
1 piece of black paper
clear cover (we used press n seal or saran wrap)
cold refrigerated water (necessary)
1/2 cup for measuring

o Start by placing the pieces of paper in the sunlight (better if outdoors)
o Next, place a cup over each of the different papers
o Measure out a 1/2 cup of water into each cup
o Set up journal to read cup with white paper, cup with white paper & cover, cup with black paper. Also note an area for time on the side-starting temp., 10 minutes, half hour, hour.
o Take starting temp of water
o Have child make a hypothesis and note it-ask "why" they think that will be the result. For fun, add your own hypothesis unless you know the outcome already.
o Cover one of the cups on white paper with plastic wrap
o Test each cup after 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and an hour and log it in journal. At the half hour mark, you should see a huge different between two of the cups.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Camp Nanny

by Kellie Geres
Regarding Nannies Development Team

One of the best times I had as a nanny was the time I spent with twins in Atlanta. An amazing group of nannies in the area that in the summer, put together Camp N.A.N.N.Y (Neat Activities planned by Nifty Nannies for You – catchy huh!)

The organizers of Camp N.A.N.N.Y created a summer of events and outings for participants to ensure a fun summer for all! For a small fee ($10 per family) you got access to their calendar of events, a custom designed t-shirt, contact list of participating nannies and children and the opportunity to attend any or all planned events.

Some of the events included …
A tour of the local fire department and lessons in fire safety and goodies (fire hat, stickers, books, etc.) for the kids.
A visit to an exotic animal shelter, personalized tour and picnic.
Pool day at a local nannies swim club.
Visit to a local community airport, tour and lunch at the restaurant while watching the planes come in.

Nanny Karen Yatsko has planned three weeks this summer for her 11 year old charge and six of her friends’ ages 10-12 years. Camp Karen (her boss came up with the name) events include …
Monday, Wednesday and Friday are craft days and Tuesday and Thursday are for cooking. Outings include goofy golf, movies, tie-dye t-shirts, volunteering at a local animal shelter, bowling and NEW this year is Geo-Caching ( Camp Karen is so popular there has been a waiting list! The parents pay a fee to cover costs, Karen plans out a calendar in advance and everyone has a great time!

Want to plan your own Camp NANNY?
Come up with a name.
Determine camp costs … printing, mailing, t-shirts, misc. supplies, venue costs.
Determine cost to join.
Gather info on area attractions, community venues, kid friendly attractions.
Create registration packet.
Plan your calendar of events.
Get the word out to area nannies, nanny group members about your summer plans.
Have FUN!

Next week, we’ll bring you theme ideas and more summer camp ideas you can use to make this the best summer ever for your kids and charges.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recipes for kids with Food Allergies by Tonya Sakowicz

Since this is Food Allergy Week, today we are going to feature some recipes for kids with specific types of food allergies.

The following recipes are from Tonya Sakowicz

Dairy Free Banana Bread

1 cup white flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour (can sub 2 cups gluten-free baking flour)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

3-4 bananas, very ripe

3 T. oil, 3 T. water, 2 tsp. baking powder, mixed together

1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Set aside. In large bowl, mix flours, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. Place bananas in small bowl; mash with spoon. Add sugar; oil, water and baking powder mixture; and canola oil. Stir until well-blended. Combine with flour mixture. Mix until all ingredients are moistened. Pour into prepared pan and bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*Instead of using a 9x5 inch loaf pan, I used two loaf pans about half
the size.

*Also makes great banana muffins

Gluten-free chicken Nuggets or Strips

2 cups of Rice Chex or Gluten-free rice crackers, crushed

¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp garlic salt

2 eggs, beaten*

1 lb of chicken breasts, cut into nuggets or strips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cooking sheet with Pam. Combine all ingredients except chicken and eggs. Dip chicken into egg mixture and coat with rice mixture, pressing it onto the chicken. Put on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

*You can make this egg-free also by substituting rice milk, but the “breading” will not stick as well. You can also sub fish (halibut or cod) for the chicken to make fish sticks

Tofutti Cheesecake recipe

Tofutti Cheesecake (gluten-free option included)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blend together:3 tubs of Tofutti plain cream cheese (this is a soy cream cheese)

1 cup of sugar

1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice (more or less to taste)

1/8 cup of fresh orange juice

½ tsp each of lemon zest and orange zest
2 tsp of vanilla
Mix until creamy.

Fold in 1/4 cup of flour.
Pour into a premade graham cracker crust (store bought or homemade***) in 9" pan or so.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until just brown.
Cool on the counter to room temperature.

Now here's the hard part: you have refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.

Top with fruit or eat plain.

Dairy Free Pie crust: (see parenthesis to make it truly dairy-free)

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (Trader Joes are the only brand I could find that are dairy-free—to make gluten-free, sub gluten-free ginger snap cookies)

1/3 cup white sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted (sub dairy-free margarine)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended .

Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool.

If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

Tonya Sakowicz is a INA credentialed nanny with over 20 years of nanny experience. During that time, she worked with several children with food intolerance or allergies. 5 1/2 years ago she became a mom to a little boy who had severe allergies to wheat and dairy and and a mild peanut allergy. Her little girl, now age 2, has dairy intolerance and severe fish and seafood allergies. Tonya has served on the board of NAN, as a special committee head for INA in their Nanny to Nanny Mentor Program for several years and has taught at many of their National Conferences. Tonya was voted the Professional Childcare Provider of the Year in 2003 and nominated for the International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year in 2004. In addition, that same year, she was deeply honored with a nomination by her peers for the National Association of Nannies Harriette Grant Memorial Award. Tonya currently works as a Newborn Care Specialist, primarly doing consultations on sleep issues, reflux and food allergies

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Variations on traditional handprint gifts for Mother’s Day

Variations on traditional handprint gifts for Mother’s Day

A classic Mothers Day activity to do with children is the ever popular hand print with the traditional poem. As many times as I have done this project either with a group or with my individual charges as a professional nanny, it still makes me cry.

My Handprints
Sometimes I might upset you
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprintson furniture and walls.
But everyday I grow a bit
And soon I'll be so tall
That all those little fingerprints
Will be so hard to recall.
So here's a special handprint
Just so that you can say
This is how my fingers looked
When I placed them here today

Here are several variations of the handprint verse.

In addition to that here are some other ideas of things to do with handprints that make
beautiful keepsake gifts.
You can make a beautiful butterfly with hand and footprints by doing this:Make a side ways print of the left hand, a print of the foot, and side ways print of the right hand, or you can do a print of both feet with the toes at the top and use the childs thumb to make the body with their thumbprints.
I used thumbprints to make the spots on the butterfly and thumbprints to make the body, but another variation would of the one made with the hands would be to use the foot for the body.

Taking the project and putting it in a frame immediately makes it more special because it makes a beautiful display.
If you have older children you might think about doing the Dozen Poses that Kellie shared with us for Valentines Day.