Bedtime routine for a 3 and 6 year old

I feel like a good bedtime routine is important. Especially on school nights.

The facts

It’s been proven that getting a good nights sleep is equally as important to eating a balanced diet and exercise. If your child doesn’t get a goods night sleep this can affect their overall mood and concentration the following day. Those who don’t sleep well are more likely to become overweight. This is because they eat more food throughout the day for extra energy. The three year old I nanny wants to eat all day long. He is usually after chocolate, crisps or something carby like pasta or biscuits. This is probably due to him still not sleeping through the night so he needs the extra energy!

Children aged 3-5 years should get between 10-13 hours sleep a night and children aged between 6-13 should get between 9-11 hours. Now, the boys I nanny for the 3 year old especially still doesn’t sleep through the night. So I try to get them to sleep by 7pm on school nights.

Our bedtime routine:

4:15pm – we get home from the school run. The boys will play for a while. I potter around sorting out the 6 year olds book bag and start sorting out tea.

4:30ish-5pm – Homework. Wednesday evenings is spellings and Thursdays is reading. Spellings always take longer, but reading is usually completed within 5 minutes! So we get some playtime.

5pm-5:20pm – Dinner time. The boys eat well and generally only take about 20-30 minutes max.

5:30-5:50ish – the boys play or watch a little television. I tidy up! Washing and drying up. Hoovering up dropped food. I Start running the bath and set out the pajamas. ‘Set up the rooms’ – turn down beds and close blinds and curtains.

5: 50ish-6:20 – bath time. After bath the boys clean their teeth and have their last wee wee before bedtime.

6:30 – all three of us snuggle down in the six year olds bed and the boys get to pick a story book each. I read their bedtime stories to them and kiss and cuddle the six year old and tell him goodnight! I take the 3 year old to his room and cuddle him to sleep. Then stealthily crawl out of bed to go downstairs to tidy up any remaining toys.

7pm – by 7pm I usually have the boys fast asleep!

On Friday evenings are a bit more relaxed. I don’t usually put the boys to bed – unless the three year old is falling asleep! I try to keep the boys up so mum and dad can spend time with them 🙂

If you have liked this post why don’t you take a look at some of my others? Such as rainy day activities or birthday present ideas?

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!


  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!

Make sure you stay tuned and subscribe to my page to stay connected and receive emails to notify you when there is a new post 🙂

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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!)


  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!


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.


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 Recipe

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


  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.