Archive for the Child Care Category

Rain & Snow Day Crafts and Activities, Oh My!

Kids Crafts

Are you stuck in the house on a bad weather day?

Is it too cold to go outside, or maybe you don’t want to get drenched in the rain?

On top of that, do you have little ones?!

No worries! The Excellent Nanny Service is here for you! We have some rainy day and snow in day crafts and activities for the whole family to do.

Board games! Hello?! Monopoly! Sorry! Connect Four! Life! The list of amazing and timeless games do not cease there. Bring out some friendly competition and see who still has it after you brush the dust off of your board games. It’s a great and healthy way to embrace the competitive nature in everyone and see who will come out reigning supreme!

pastries

How about bringing the kids into the kitchen for some baking?! This is a great time to share one of those family recipes in the cookbooks, or just mix some box brownies, precut cookies, or bake a cake! It’ll get messy for sure, but it’ll all be worth it when you see how much fun everyone is having around the kitchen and laughing.

Reading is fundamental, but you can also make it fun! By doing this and reading one of the kids favorite books, it’ll keep them entertained all while being productive. They’ll learn something and be engaged the whole time, or at least part of it.

Back in the kitchen we go for this next idea! Cooking a meal together! Cooking together teaches teamwork, discipline, and patience. Not only that, but it shows how to listen to one another to reach a common goal. Why not gather in the kitchen to cook something easy that everyone would like? Spaghetti, or any kind of pasta really can be made quick and easy. You can make any kind of homemade soup, nachos, salad, hamburges, and the list goes on, but let’s not forget about homemade pizza!

Hello photos! Make a scrapbook and collage out of those photos just lying around with no home. It’ll be quite a trip down memory lane and you’ll have fun with the kids. You never know what they might have to say or questions that might arise! This is also a great time to intertwine a little bit of a family history lesson while doing this activity. It never hurts to learn!

Do I hear a spa day?! What better way than for everyone to pamper themselves in the house?! But out the robes, fingernail polish, face masks, cucumbers (for your eyes), and play some soft music. Not only will it get your little one to be in a calm state, but they’ll really enjoy being pampered.

movie

Finally, movie day! Why not spend the day snuggled up under blankets indulging in the best family movies that you call your favorite?! It’s a win-win for everyone and what great bonding time it’ll be for everyone. Make some hot chocolate, pop some popcorn and curl up in front of the tv while everyone enjoys togetherness! It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made!

We hope this list helped! Who doesn’t like spending time with their loved ones?! Let’s not forget, that most of the time, it does not matter what you do with your little ones but just that you’re with them. Whatever you decide to do, whether it be going out into the snow and enjoying winter, or spending the day in museums, or even being inside the house, your kids just want to spend time with you.

Why don’t you tell us some of your favorite things to do when you can’t go outside?!

Oh baby, oh baby! It’s Cold Outside!

Let’s be honest, baby oh baby it’s cold outside! Winter is this amazing time of year that brings food, fun and family together, but the temperatures are dropping. Dressing a baby, or toddler, in the winter can be quite the task. Are the clothes too tight? Are they comfortable?! Are they sweating under here?! Can the cold air still get to them?!

 

So many questions right!? Well here are five tips to keep your bundle of joy warm in the winter time.

 

  1. Layer! Layer! Layer!

This trick will be your best friend and save you time and time again. Let’s start with the basics, a onesie or t-shirt, then a one-piece of leggings and an outer shirt. Pair that with socks and boots and you’re in for a treat, and your little one will be all cozy.

 

  1. What’s one more item!?

One of the good rules to follow is plus one. So you dress your baby, or toddler, in a similar outfit to what you’re wearing and just add an extra piece on top of that. Simple right?! Here’s an example. If you have on a button up, jeans, socks, boots and a jacket, simply dress your child the same and just add a hat.

 

  1. Let’s cover that gorgeous head of hair!

Your child’s head should always be safe from the cold. So why not get a cute beanie or hat with a chin-strap to ensure your child’s warmth?

 

  1. Check the feet and stomach!

When checking the temperature, always make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. A good way to check on this is check for the toes, if the toes are cool (not cold) and check the belly for warmth. It’s an age old trick that works every time!

 

  1. Breathe!

It’s going to be okay and you’re going to have questions, after all that’s what blogs, forums, mom and dad groups, and other sources of information are for. Everything is going to be alright and you’ll get through this winter just fine.

Helping Your Child Recognize Their Feelings

Not too long ago it was thought that the conventional wisdom was that babies were pretty much blobs who didn’t think or feel much before they could speak in words around the age of two.  Such an idea that a six-month-old could feel fear or anger, no less sadness and grief, was preposterous.  But thanks to an explosion in research on infancy in the last 30 years, we now know that babies and toddlers do feel deeply. Starting in the earliest months of life, well before they can use words to express themselves, babies have the capacity to experience peaks of joy, excitement and elation. They also feel fear, grief, sadness, hopelessness and anger—emotions that many adults understandably still find it hard to believe, or accept, that very young children can experience. Research has also shown that children’s ability to effectively manage their full range of emotions—also known as self-regulation—is one of the most important factors for success in school, work and relationships into the long-term.So the critical first step in helping your child learn to cope with her feelings is not to fear the feelings, but embrace them—all of them. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are what they are. Sadness and joy, anger and love, can co-exist and are all part of the collection of emotions children experience. When you help your child understand his feelings, he is better equipped to manage them effectively.

One major obstacle in doing this which I see quite often in my work with parents is that they are operating under the assumption that having a happy child means he needs to be happy all the time. Muscling through difficult experiences, mastering struggles, and coping with sadness and grief builds strength and resilience, and is ultimately what brings children a sense of contentedness and well-being.

What can parents do?

  • Starting in the earliest months, tune in to babies’ cues—their sounds, facial expressions and gestures—and respond sensitively, which lets babies know their feelings are recognized and important. This might mean stopping a tickling game with a four-month-old when she arches her back and looks away, signaling she needs a break. Or taking a nine-month-old to the window to wave good-bye to Mom when he is sad to see her leave for work.
  • Label and help toddlers cope with feelings. Emotions like anger, sadness, frustration and disappointment can be overwhelming for young children. Naming these feelings is the first step in helping children learn to identify them and communicates to children that these feelings are normal. This might mean acknowledging an 18-month-old’s anger at having to leave the playground, validating a two-year-old’s frustration at his block tower repeatedly falling or empathizing with a three-year-old’s sadness that his grandparents are leaving after a long visit.
  • Don’t fear the feelings. Feelings are not the problem. It’s what we do—or don’t do—with them that can be problematic. Listen openly and calmly when your child shares difficult feelings. When you ask about and acknowledge feelings, you are sending the important message that feelings are valued and important. Recognizing and naming feelings is the first step toward learning to manage them in healthy, acceptable ways over time.
  • Avoid minimizing or talking children out of their feelings. This is a natural reaction—we just want to make the bad feelings go away. “Don’t be sad. You’ll see Joey another day.” But feelings don’t go away; they need to be expressed one way or another. Acknowledging a child’s strong feelings opens the door to helping her learn how to cope with them. “You are sad Joey has to leave. You love playing with him.  Let’s go to the window to wave goodbye and make a plan to see him again soon.” When feelings are minimized or ignored, they often get expressed through aggressive words and actions, or by turning them inward, which can ultimately make children anxious or depressed.
  • Teach tools for coping. If your 18-month-old is angry that playtime is over, guide her to stamp her feet as hard as she can or to draw how angry she is with a red crayon. Help a two-year-old who is frustrated at not being able to get the ball into the basket brainstorm other ways to solve the problem. Take a three-year-old who is fearful about starting a new school to visit his classroom beforehand to meet the teachers and play on the playground so that the unfamiliar can become familiar.

Our children’s emotional reactions trigger our own emotional reactions, which can lead to a knee-jerk need to rescue or “fix” whatever is causing our child distress. But it’s important that we manage our own feelings and avoid this temptation, as it creates a missed opportunity to help children learn strong coping skills. Instead, see these experiences as teachable moments to help your child learn to name and manage the emotions—positive and negative—that add depth and color to our lives.  Show your child that a full, rich life means experiencing both the ups and the downs. Feelings are not “good” or “bad”—they just are. You are your child’s guide in sharing the joys and coping with the challenges. And it starts on day one.

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