Activities · Recipes

Bitesize Pizzas Recipe!

One of my nanny charges (6 year old) favourite foods is pepperoni pizza! He likes to do activities with me after school so I planned on making some bitesize pizzas with him. Plus they would some tasty snacks!

Ingredients for bitesize pizzas:

  • Wraps
  • Tomato puree
  • Cheese
  • Ham

You could add a variety of different stuff though! You could use pepperoni, peppers, tomatoes, chicken, sweetcorn or mushrooms. My nanny charge is just a bit fuzzy with his food!

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  2. We used a small drinking cup to cut out small circles out of the wraps. Pop to circles into a muffin baking tray.
  3. Spoon some tomato puree onto the pizzas and using the back of the spoon, spread around.
  4. Grate some cheese and sprinkle it on top of the pizzas
  5. Add your toppings! As you can see we only used chopped ham. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any mini pepperoni.
  6. Pop the bitesize pizzas into the preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes
  7. Enjoy!

These bitesize pizzas are great snacks. They could be popped into the children’s lunch boxes for school too.

We didn’t actually pre grease the baking trays beforehand but as you can see they still came out fine!


These are so great as you can make them so different each time or but a variety of different flavours during each batch!

They turned out so yummy! Especially when they are still nice and warm. We may have left ours in there for an extra couple of minutes. Hence the tiny bits of burnt cheese!

These are really quick to make, they took about 10 minutes to prep and 10-12 minutes to cook. So roughly 22 minutes in total!

If you like this recipe why don’t you take a look at the others? Such as our mashed potato muffins or jam tarts.

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Nanny Jenni is back! 

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My site still needs little tweaks but my posts will be more regular now!

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Craft Activities · Nannying · Play

Junk modelling: How to make a Star Wars lightsaber

Yesterday the three year old and I decided to do some junk modelling. The three year old being a Star Wars fan I suggested that we could make a lightsaber!

You only need a few items which is even better. Plus you can raid your recycling box.

How to make a Star Wars Lightsaber

We used:

  • Two toilet roll tubes
  • One wrapping paper tube
  • Sellotape – however I suggest using masking tape
  • Red paint
  • Black paint

 

Step 1

First you need to tape the tubes together to resemble a sword – this is going to be Kylo Ren’s lightsaber! We used sellotape but I recommend using masking tape instead. This is because when it comes to painting the lightsaber the paint wont look as good over sellotape. It would look much better if you used masking tape in my opinion.

Step 2

Second you need to paint the lightsaber! We used red and black paint. Although it dried more of a browny colour. I let the three year old to mix up the three primary colours himself to make the colour black. He loved mixing up the colours to make a new one!

Step 3 

Third you need to let the lightsaber dry and then play with your masterpiece! If you wanted to you could also design some buttons to your lightsaber to make it look a bit more realistic. You could do this by either painting some on or by making some.

At the weekend the three year old dressed up and used his lightsaber for a fancy dress competition – he didn’t win but he enjoyed dressing up and showing off his lightsaber 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this post! Enjoy making Kylo Ren’s lightsaber and maybe even other lightsaber designs.

If you didn’t want to make a lightsaber though, there are plenty more things you could make still. Junk modelling offers room for imagination!

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Dairy Free Banana Bread Recipe

On Monday I was with the trio and the three year old and I did some baking. The three year old is going dairy free this week due to him having a constant cold! His mum wants to see if going dairy free helps him. So we made some dairy free banana bread (also to use up the old bananas!)

I like to set up all the ingredients and bits we need first to hand when I bake with kids – trust me it’s so much easier! See below what you need…

Dairy Free Banana Bread Recipe

You need:

  • 3 bananas – the riper the better!
  • 1 cup of soft brown sugar
  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Sultanas (or you can use raisins or other dried fruit – my mum has added apple pieces before!)

Method

  1. First you need to mash the bananas in a large bowl using a fork
  2. Then you need to add the sugar to the bananas and mix well
  3. Next add the eggs and mix all together – it will be very runny! 
  4. Fold in the flour and sprinkle in the cinnamon and mix well until the batter is smooth. Add the sultanas or any other dried fruit you desire. My mum sometimes used to add bits of apple to the mix 
  5. Pour the batter into a pre greased or in our case a loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper
  6. Bake at 180c for approximately 45 minutes until golden brown
  7. Poke the middle with a fork – if it comes back clean the mixture is cooked inside!
  8. Enjoy! It always tastes best when it has just come out the oven and is nice and warm

 

The kids had some of the banana bread for pudding and it was still warm! The twins had their banana bread with a little bit of butter on top! I told them that it is how I ate it when I was a child when my mum used to make it for me 🙂

Why don’t you take a look at my previous post on Banana muffins? You could use the same recipe here for dairy free. Banana muffins are a great grab and go snack!

Craft Activities · Nannying

Monster Plate Craft Kit for Children

For Christmas my three year old nanny charge got various craft box activities which we have slowly been getting through. This Monster Plate Craft Kit by PlayWrite was one of them. I hunted around the internet and finally found them if you wanted to try it yourself. You can find them here. I find craft kits are great as the children I nanny love being crafty.

Monster Plate Craft kit

The box comes with some paper plates, shaped foam stickers and some paint with a paintbrush. It was a nice simple activity that the three year old really enjoyed.

I helped him pop out the foam pieces but I let him place the foam on the plates himself. He carefully examined the paper plate pictures on the front of the box to copy – which I found impressive as he hasn’t done this before. He managed to get the foam stickers in pretty much the same positions as shown on the box. With the painting, I just made the outline of the monster face for him and he painted the rest of the face.

Once your child has finished you could always use a hole puncher to add a couple of holes to each side of the plate. You could insert a piece of elastic through the holes and tie together to make a monster mask!

The great thing about this kit is that you don’t need to follow the example designs if your child doesn’t want to. Your child could use to paint their monster different colours and decorate it how they wish to.

The product is aimed for children aged 3 to 5 years old. I hope your children enjoy it as much as my nanny charge did!

If you have enjoyed this post please take a look at some of my other posts. You may enjoy our Mother’s day crafts or our very own Star Wars lightsaber! If none of these then are are plenty more craft activities, recipes so feel free to explore!

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Mashed Potato Muffins

My six year old nanny charge LOVES mashed potato. We had some left over this week and instead of wasting it we decided to make some mashed potato muffins from the leftovers. I don’t like wasting food and the 6 year old doesn’t like wasting mashed potato!

Ingredients

We decided to add some grated cheese, an egg, some chopped up ham in with the left over mashed potato and just mixed it all together. You could add some different ingredients too if you like.

How to make the Mashed Potato Muffins

Pop all your ingredients into a bowl and mix together.  The mixture will look pretty runny! But trust me they turn out fine once cooked. Once all your ingredients are mixed together, spoon the mixture into a pre greased muffin tray.

Pop your mashed potato muffins into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes at 200c until the muffins are a golden brown colour. Take them out to cool for a couple of minutes once done. I used a fork to pop them out of the tin and let them cool down properly on a plate. They taste really good either warm or cold. They could be added to your children’s lunch box or snack pot.

The toddler and his friend had them for lunch the next day with ‘bits and pieces’. *Bits and pieces* is something from my childhood. It’s a simple lunch with a variety of snacky bits. They could be cheese cubes, breadsticks, cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks.

Enjoy!

If you have enjoyed this recipe, feel free to take a look at our other recipes! Why don’t you take a look at our dairy free banana bread or  our delicious jam tarts.

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Yummy chocolate brownies

The three year old and I made some yummy chocolate brownies last week. We had a LOT of left over Easter eggs that were literally taking over the larder cupboard. I mean they were toppling out as you opened the doors.

These brownies were really quick and easy to make too so perfect for little helpers. Baking with children is a great activity as it’s so good for their learning and development. Plus it’s fun too 🙂

You need:

  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 200g soft brown sugar preferably – we ran out of brown sugar and used a tad of white granulated sugar too!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

Method to make these yummy chocolate brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and grease a baking tray or use greaseproof paper
  2. You will need to melt the chocolate and butter together in a sauce pan over a low heat – set aside to cool 
  3. Encourage your child to help weigh out the sugar then stir into the chocolate and butter mixture. Then add the eggs and stir all together
  4. Weigh out the self raising flour and use a sieve to add to the mixture. Fold the flour in. The mix should be nice and smooth!
  5. Pour the mixture into the greased baking tray (or greaseproof paper baking tray). If you want to add any chocolate chips, marshmallows, nuts or any other toppings on top then go ahead!
  6. Bake for around 20 minutes at 180c. Just keep checking on them until cooked and the middle is soft. Let the brownies cool in the tin before serving! 

If you like this recipe why don’t you take a look at my other recipes? You could try cake trains or gingerbread men for example. If not these ones, don’t worry, there are more so take a look!

I hope you enjoy your brownies! Let me know if you added any toppings that go well 🙂

 

Activities · Nannying · Sensory Play

Dyed Spaghetti Play

Last week was a busy one. But our favourite activity last week was dyed spaghetti play!

This was the first time I actually tried it out and it’s very easy to make. You can make it in three easy steps.

You need these for dyed spaghetti play:

  • Spaghetti
  • Food colouring
  • Sandwich bags
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Cook the spaghetti as per the instructions
  2. Once the spaghetti has cooked, separate the spaghetti into separate sandwich bags and pop a few drops of food colouring in each separate bag
  3. You will need to seal the sandwich bags and using your hands mix the food colouring into the spaghetti. Leave for at least 5 minutes to let the spaghetti absorb the dye. The longer you leave it, the brighter the colours will be.
Tip: You can add a little bit of oil to stop the spaghetti from sticking together!

Voila! In three simple steps you have made some dyed spaghetti, perfect for sensory play. I gave the three year old some scissors to encourage him to cut the spaghetti. A great way to encourage his scissor and motor skills. The dyed spaghetti will last for a few days, however the colouring will fade a little. So you get to reuse it again!

You could make the dyed spaghetti at home or it could go down a hit if you work at a nursery! Could you imagine all those happy little faces when they see this?!

Sensory play is beneficial to children because:

  1. It is important for your child’s learning and development
  2. It stimulates all your child’s senses at once
  3. Sensory play encourages your child to play, explore and investigate
  4. It can be a calming influence on children and can be therapeutic

If you have enjoyed dyed spaghetti play why don’t you try my Dinosaur Ice Excavation activity or sensory bottles next?

Craft Activities · Nannying

Easy peasy card making activity

You don’t need many items for an easy peasy card making activity. As long as you have the basics then you are all sorted. You only need decorations, glue, paper/card and that’s it.

On Monday after school the kids were tired. I could tell they needed a quiet activity to get on with. So I set up the table with some PVA glue, sequins, stickers, pens and paper. I suggested they could make some cards or a picture. I said they could decorate it however they wished.

Time to do some card making!

They decided to make some cards for their granny and I happily sat there chatting to them with a cup of tea. They drew some lovely pictures of themselves and their granny and wrote some lovely messages inside.

I find it useful and much easier to clean up by putting the decorations into separate bowls. It will make it easy for the kids to see and pick what decorations they wish to use. Plus I always like to use a separate table mat to make sure the tablecloth underneath doesn’t get dirty.

After a little while their little brother came along and joined in with us too!

 

If you have enjoyed our easy peasy craft activity why don’t you take a look at our monster plate craft activity.

Activities · Baking · Craft Activities · Nannying

20 ideas to do with your children when it rains

When it rains we all know as parents, grandparents, nannies, childminders or other childcare professionals it can be a pain when to rains. Being stuck inside all day can send you all a bit crazy! So I have put together a little list of rainy day activities for you all 🙂

Don’t threat though. There are still PLENTY of things you could do to stay entertained.

See below for 20 rainy day activities

  1. You could just brave it and play out in the rain! Stick your welly boots on and your rain macs and go and explore outside! Make a mud cake, go on a bear hunt, search for creepy crawlies and splash in those puddles! However, this could not be for all of you out there. Which is fine because there are still plenty more ideas.
  2. Junk modelling! Get your recycling box out, some sellotape and your craft box and encourage your child to build something! A space rocket, a car, binoculars, a fairy wand. Anything!
  3. Painting – if you haven’t got any of your own paints in the house, you can make you own. You use half a cup of flour, half a cup of salt and half  cup of water. Divide the mixture up into pots, bowls or even sandwich bags and add a little bit of water colour or food colouring. If you don’t want to get paint everywhere or you have a child who doesn’t like getting dirty try out this Mess Free Painting Activity.
  4. Play with play dough. Make your own play dough – or use ready made play dough. You can use play dough cutters. You could even get out some candles, your pretend tea set and make some play dough food!
  5. Baking – bake some cookies or a cake. Baking is one of our favourites, it’s fun and it encourages the kids to practice weighing out ingredients and practice their numbers. Take a look at some of my previous blogs to find some various baking activities such as Banana muffinsJam TartsGingerbread men or Cake trains.
  6. Make your own homemade bird feeder – we made these last week and it was so much fun! The birds are loving them too.
  7. Cooking – Similar as above and I encourage my nanny children to help cook or bake even when it’s not raining. Encourage your child to help prepare and cook dinner. A good way to promote healthy eating and your child’s cooking skills.
  8. Build a fort. Grab some blankets, cushions and snacks!
  9. Make your own puppets. You could sew your own or you could use some old socks. We all know we have a couple of random socks with a lost mate. Once your puppets are finished you could put on your own puppet show.
  10. You could make you own candles. I have made them with my nanny children before and they loved it. It made a wonderful Mother’s Day gift too.
  11. Watch a film together – perhaps a good old Disney film?
  12. Good old fashioned colouring. My nanny children (the twins) love a good colouring in book
  13. Put on a show. I have introduced ‘shows’ with my nanny children. We dress up using the fancy dress clothes, wigs, jewellery and turn off the lights and grab some torches. They hide behind the curtains and I shine the torches on them as they come out to sing, dance or act out their favourite stories.
  14. Pretend play – my favourite would have to be pretend food. Such as playing shops, pretend cooking, playing restaurants or even having a tea party!
  15. Play a board game. My nanny children’s favourite ones are ‘guess who‘, ‘pop to the shops‘ and of course the legendary ‘hungry, hungry hippos‘! pop to the shopshippos
    guess who
  16. Another easy one – gloop play. Gloop is so easy to make and you only need two ingredients. Water and cornflour. But if you want to add colour just pop some food colouring in. I suppose paint could work too for colour. Pop two cups of cornflour into a bowl and one cup of water. Mix together – get your child to help! It’s messy, but so much fun. Plus a great sensory activity.
  17. Water/sand play. Get your kitchen bits out too, jugs, measuring jugs, measuring spoons, cups and different sized containers. A great activity as meets your child’s learning needs in so many ways!
  18. Make your own sensory bottles – click the link to view how to make them.
  19. Make music. Whether you use your own musical instruments, you take out the pots and pans from your kitchen or you could always make your own – such as your own rainmaker or guitar.
  20. Make your own jewellery. You may have some old beads and some string lying around the house to use. Or you could hand dye some penne pasta or macaroni and thread that onto some string.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you want more ideas let me know!