I have recently made a pocket money chart with my five-year-old nanny charge. I thought that this is the age where pocket money would start being introduced. Not just that I thought by having set chores to earn some pocket money would give him some independence and a sense of pride of his hard work.
Anyway, it has been a huge hit and has even boosted his enthusiasm and confidence while completing his homework such as his reading, writing and practising his numbers – meaning his work is improving at school!
What you need:
- Coloured paper/card
- Lolly sticks
Start off by sello-tapping two A3 sized coloured paper or card together. Then draw some pocket-sized compartments and then cut out and glue together (see image). Write the days of the week on 7 of the pockets and ‘chores’ on the 8th. Then glue these pockets on your chart. We used multi-coloured pockets but you can choose any colours you wish. Then on your lolly sticks write out some chores that are age and stage appropriate. For example on ours we have…
- Get myself dressed
- Help feed fish
- Water the plants
- Help put shopping away
- Practise numbers
- Practise reading
- Practise writing
- Set the table
- Help with cooking
- Drying up
On the back of the lolly stick write how much each chore is worth – ours have 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 30p, 50p. At the end of the week mum and dad sit with him and help him work out his total pocket money that week.
I have also printed off the coin pictures and stuck them on his chart to start learning the face value of coins.
We also stuck on an additional piece of card and my charge wrote his name. Then we added some string to hang it up. Ta da!
As it’s half term I like to take the boys to different places a bit further out. During term time I can’t really take my 3 year old out places too far away just in case I need to pick up the 5 year old early from school. So we decided to visit one of the named top zoo’s in England, Drusillas Park!
I’ve never visited this zoo before and the five year old told me he hadn’t been either, but it’s great for children! As you enter you are greeted by different breeds of monkeys (which was the 3 year olds favourite) and different types of snakes, which literally came to the glass to meet us!
As you walk a bit further in there is actually a section dedicated to farm animals. You have little interactive games and lift the flaps to learn interesting facts about the animals too. There was a pull the rope game, which was rather fun called ‘Zoolympics’. This ‘Zoolympic’ challenge tested your strength against a Fox, a Beaver, a Serval and a Carthorse. The 5 year old and myself could actually match the Fox, the Beaver and the Serval’s strength surprisingly! But neither of us could match the carthorse’s strength! Throughout the zoo there are more ‘Zoolympics’ challenges such as a challenge to time yourself to match an animals speed, comparing your weight to different species and how long can you stand on one leg (imitating flamingos).
Now for any one who has a (nanny) child crazy about Thomas the Tank Engine or trains in general this is the zoo to go to. Drusillas have a Thomas the Tank Engine you can take a ride in around the park. At the moment where Halloween is arriving soon, they have just added a Halloween themed tunnel with spider webs, spiders, and skeletons inside. There is a sign outside the ride warning passengers just in case though. After the ride the 5 year old even said “Jenni I don’t know why they were warning us it was scary because it wasn’t!” and the 3 year old loved seeing all the pretend spiders!
Once you have completed the trail around the zoo and you have seen everything, you can relax and watch your (nanny) children play in the huge park area! There are sections so all ages can play.
On out way out of the zoo I was in desperate need for a coffee and luckily I noticed there is a Starbucks coffee take away bar just outside the exit – perfect! However, the 5 year old took this time to tell me he wanted to take an ice cream in the car which I had to say no to. Instead I convinced him he wanted to try his first ever ‘ice cream in a cup with strawberry sauce (meaning no spills!). He them downed his ‘ice cream in a cup with strawberry sauce’ within seconds! The ‘ice cream in a cup with strawberry sauce’ I am referring to is actually a ‘strawberries and cream’ drink just bought from Starbucks! I then had a peaceful drive back home with two boys fast asleep in the back of the car.
This was a perfect day out!
Nannying can be a rather lonely career. Some nannies like myself are sole charge nannies. This means that the parents go away all day to work leaving me completely in charge of their children. I have to admit, I prefer it this way. Nothing personal to parents, I just find if the parents are around the children’s behaviour completely changes, which can make life rather challenging for the nanny and the parents too.
Like I was saying, life as a nanny can be rather lonely. Of course you have the children to care for but I mean adult interaction. It’s not like a normal job where other workers surround you; it’s just yourself and the children you care for. Myself the only times I have an adult to interact with in the daytime is if I arrange play dates with other nannies or parents, go to toddler groups or during school pick ups. In my personal experience though during some toddler groups and during the school pick ups, as soon as you mention you’re the nanny and not mum, I get shut down and become almost invisible.
Ok, I’m not the parent but I believe that nannies are a rather important person in the children’s life. Some nannies work around 70 hours a week with their nanny children, some live in, you really do become part of the family. We don’t just take care of the childcare but we make sure everything runs smoothly while the parents are at work. Some nannies clean the house, do all the washing, ironing and dog walking amongst a load of other errands. I don’t clean my nanny family’s house or do the washing or ironing. Obviously I look after the boys, make sure my 5 year old does his homework everyday, arrange play dates, and take the boys out to numerous parks and libraries. But I also pick up groceries if I notice you’ve run out of something, return library books, go to school assemblies, take the boys to doctor appointments, take care of the animals, pick up parcels and the list honestly goes on. But our main priority as nannies is to care and love the children we care for and to make sure they are provided with opportunities to learn and thrive in our care.
I’m not complaining under any means. I have noticed in the nanny community that some nannies don’t feel valued, or appreciated. Sometimes as nannies all we need is recognition of our hard work by a simple – thank you. If the parents appreciate you, like mine do, being a nanny doesn’t feel so lonely. You feel like part of a family.
It’s that time of year again… Halloween! I love Halloween as there are SO many different activities you can get up to! The boys I nanny love being crafty and have a massive box of goodies which they call ‘The Mister Maker Box’. Unfortunately I am unable to show you all the pictures of crafts we have made as the boys are in them but I will share a few!
Thank goodness for Pinterest – if you haven’t heard of it check it out. It is a website with a huge range of pictures on any subject really. But for anyone who works with children and parents it’s amazing for inspiration on children’s crafts and activities.
So we made a spider in its web… All you need is a paper plate, paint, string, a pencil or scissors for poking holes, a tiny bit of glue and some googley eyes and that’s it! The first thing you need to do is make some holes around the edge of the plate. Then choose a colour to paint your plate and cover – then leave to dry a little. Time to get messy – next (preferably in a black, brown or purple paint – but any colour you desire) get your child to insert their hand(s) into some paint to make two hand prints – see image for placing. Stick the googley eyes on, you may need your spider to dry a little first. Once the paint has dried you can start threading your web on! Threading is great for those motor skills. Some children may need a little support or visual aid to thread the web around the plate! Once completed your spider in it’s web should be similar to this!
Add a little string to the back of the plate and you can hang him up in the house of decorate your house with for the trick or treaters!
We also made some little ghost figures. For this you will need some black or white card, some cotton wool, glue, scissors a pencil string and more googley eyes! Start by drawing a ghost on your card then cut out. Then you can start sticking your cotton wool on your ghost, followed by some googley eyes. Once completed you can add some string to the back to hang up!
I hope you all have a spooky halloween!
I suppose this should be pretty straightforward and I should start by introducing myself. My name is Jenni and I am a nanny. I care for two amazing boys and I want to start a nanny blog, which hopefully will lead into a parenting blog when I have a child of my own.
I’m here to talk about my adventures, activities and days out being a nanny and I hope you enjoy my posts. Let me know if you enjoy and if there are any topics you would like to hear about.