Category Archives: Adventures with Children

“Play is the highest form of research.” -Albert Einstein

Hello, today I’d like to talk about the importance of activities in our lives, specifically children’s lives. I was a nanny at the beginning of this year and the parents would get upset if I let their children play for too long. They, instead, insisted that I sit them down, make them do a pile of worksheets each and then read five books. They were 4 and 6 years old, the 4-year-old wasn’t even in any kind of school at the time and the 6-year-old went to Kindergarten every week day. I thought that it was ridiculous that they expected so much from such little children. They would actually cry when it was time to do those work sheets and books. They hated it. You know why? Because forcing a child to do those things actually isn’t good for them. Yes, they need to learn their ABC’s and to count to like 100 before they start school but leave the homework and worksheets to the school age teachers. There really is no reason to sit there and FORCE a 4 and 6-year-old to do countless worksheets and read books that are a little difficult for them. Mind you, the 4-year-old couldn’t read at all.

Play is the BEST form of learning for children. They learn math, science, language skills, and countless other things that are needed before they start school. Instead of forcing them to do a math worksheet, introduce them to a game that has numbers. Math isn’t just math problems, it starts so much earlier than that.

This semester, for my summer classes, I have been taking a child development class and we are discussing developmentally appropriate activities for children 2-5 years old. Worksheets shouldn’t be given to children that young because it actually does begin to kill their creativity.

I can go on forever about what to do and what not to do but the next time you feel like your child needs to really learn something, let him play with blocks or play dough rather than handing him or her a stack of papers to work on.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Thanks for reading!

“We don’t remember days, we remember moments.” -Cesare Pavese

I was at the child development center at my college this week doing observation hours for my class and I always come away from there with various things on my mind. You know, you can really learn a lot from interacting with children. They see a simpler life than we adults do. Sometimes I want to be a child again…it was so easy, so fun, so wonderful.

Today I want to talk about my childhood…the happy parts. I also ask that you share any memories or stories from your childhood with us in the comments.

canstock8800594     k14119234

Childhood seems like so long ago for me, I can honestly barely remember anything before third grade. I know, that’s terrible for someone in their twenties but there was a lot of traumatic experiences in my early childhood years and my brain blocked so much out. However, with what I do remember, I want to take you back to the mind of little me.

Before I was in Kindergarten, I remember getting up every weekday morning with my two brothers (on my mom’s side) and watching the Aladdin television show until their bus came. They would leave and I would go back to sleep. I also remember my oldest brother (of the 2) playing Barbies or house with me while the other brother wanted nothing to do with it because I was a girl and he didn’t play with girls. As I got older, he became more open to engaging in activities with me but it didn’t happen overnight. The older I got, the more I wanted to be apart of their stuff. I tried joining in wrestling with them, I tried playing with the bugs with them; anything and everything they did, I wanted to try as well.

After they went to live with their dad, my childhood was very different. I was an only child at the age of 6 and it was lonely. I managed to create my own imaginary friends so that I wouldn’t be so alone. They were always there with me, even when people told me they were childish. They were always there for me and even protected me sometimes. I really worked my imagination back then.

When I was seven, almost eight, my life changed agin and I went to live with my mom’s parents. I was still the only child but I began to make friends with people in the neighborhood and at school. I even started having friends over at the house…that is, until I started getting grounded because I was such a bratty child. I really feel sorry for how I acted as a child, my grandma didn’t deserve that and I wish I could apologize to her.

One of my fondest memories while I was living with my grandparents was one of the times I wasn’t grounded, of course. I had friends over and we decided to go exploring on the 1.5 acres that I lived on. We made it all the way to the back of the property and there was a little trailer back there. We decided to make that a little house and we began playing in it. Looking back, there were probably spiders and other creatures in it that would freak me out today but back then I wasn’t so fearful. I didn’t know that there were so many things in the world that could potentially kill you so I didn’t care that there were spiders crawling around. I guess my friends didn’t mind either.

Life changes as we get older and sometimes it’s really hard for children when so much change goes on. I know that all of the changes in my life really effected me and who I became. It wasn’t easy but it all became part of me. I learned from my experiences and I have memories of things that matter, to me. I remember favorite toys like Shelby (Furby’s cousin, shown below) , I remember favorite people (my friend Valerie), I remember my fifth grade teacher inspiring me to write. There are so many things that, if they hadn’t have happened, my life would be different. These things, these people, these memories, make me who I am and I definitely don’t want to be anyone else.

There are a lot of people that I have told about this toy but it seems like no one knows a bout it but me. This is Shelby, Furby’s cousin, and I had one similar to this. I actually wish I still had both my Furby and my Shelby but I don’t.
There are a lot of people who I have told about this toy but it seems like no one knows a bout it but me. This is Shelby, Furby’s cousin, and I had one similar to this. I actually wish I still had both my Furby and my Shelby but I don’t.

I hope this brought up some good memories from your childhood. Or even some from your children. Again, I would love to read about them in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks for all of the support.

“Learning is not a race to information, it is a walk to discovery.” -Unknown

In my child development class right now, we have to come up with thirteen different lesson plans and then present three of those to the class. Two out of the three we present to the class we have to present to at the child development center. I will be doing my first presented class activity on Tuesday and I am actually quite excited about it. It’s called Ice Egg Excavation. I originally saw the idea for Glow in the Dark Ice Egg Excavation but decided that Tonic water was too much and there is a whole controversy on it being healthy or not so I figured it would be ok to not use it and just use tap water. Pinterest has a few different ideas, I’ll include the link below.

What I did was I took a box of small animals and, with the help of my dear husband, shoved them (gently) into balloons then filed those balloons with water. Once they are filled and tied, I place them in the freezer and leave them there overnight. I made 2 a few days ago so I was able to look at them last night, when I had the chance. When you’re ready to use them, you cut off the balloon and voila! All you do id put them in a tray or bowl and give the children little droppers and a cup of luke-warm water to drop on the ice eggs to melt them. Watch their amazement as the animal/dinosaur/treasure some out. I love it.

This activity can be done inside or outside but I would prefer to do it outside when it’s a little warmer but not too out out. It’s a great way to keep them cool!

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Pinterest.com Ice Egg Excavation Ideas

Have you tired a similar activity? How did it go? What did they kids think? Leave us feedback in the comments! Thank you for reading.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” -Henry Ford

So, I know that it is Tuesday and I was supposed to post more about my life as a nanny but I got home late and had a horrific headache…more like a migraine, yuck!

So, as I posted about last week, I am a nanny for 2 crazy little boys (ages 4 and 6). They definitely keep me on my toes. Thankfully yesterday they were very understanding about my head and were quite good. Most days they run around screaming and fighting. Yesterday there was much less of it. Perhaps it’s just that they finally realized that if they are bad, I tell their mom and then she gets to discipline them how she sees fit. The first couple of times I told their parents about their poor behavior, they boys cried and said that I wasn’t supposed to tell them.

Anyway, that’s enough about that. Let me tell you more about my job. I work 4-5 days a week at various times. Yesterday I worked for over 12 hours (which I always hate because when they boys are in bed, I’m ready to go home). I always get Wednesdays off, after I finally asked for that day to always be off so that I could focus on school. You see, when I was first hired, I was hired to work Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Then all of a sudden she wanted me to work Monday-Saturday. I finally got tired of it and got the courage to ask for Wednesdays off. I also don’t work every Friday and Saturday, which I am thankful for because I can’t handle those boys all the time. I have come home before and just cried because I was so overwhelmed with everything. Do you ever feel that way at work? It’s a horrible feeling.

What is the “usual” routine, you ask? Well….there isn’t an actual “normal” routine because my hours are not usual. But at the beginning, the boys’ mom made a schedule to refer to when I needed to. They have breakfast about 8:oo am then the 6-year-old goes to school. I’m supposed to do about 30 minutes to an hour of “school work” for the 4-year-old (so he can be all ready for Kindergarten) while the 6-year-old is off at school. After the 6-year-old comes home they have lunch then have “quiet time” where they watch a little TV. After quiet time it is time to go to the park to burn some energy. It’s a nice little sandy park with 2 slides and a couple of other things. They love to take their beach toys and build sand castles. After the park we go back home, do a little more “school work” and the 6-year-old has to read at least one book (he always throws a fit because he hates reading…even if it’s 2 pages with a sentence on each). I let them play a little while I prepare dinner, then they are eating when I’m done. There is always some veggie on their plate with dinner (mom’s orders) and the 6-year-old cries because he hates veggies. After dinner is bath-time. The 4-year-old goes first then the 6-year-old. Never bathe them at the same time because they just fight about it and it’s just crazy. After bath time, they watch a movie and get into bed. At 8:00pm, lights are off and it’s time to sleep. They throw a fit because they hate going to bed and they want to be awake to see mommy. Last night the 4-year-old said I was a bully because I was making them go to bed…he usually says stuff kind of mean because he says it to the parents and they don’t correct it.

That is my “typical” day as a nanny. Thanks for reading! For those who are nannies or work with children in any way, what do you do on a “typical” day? How do you help the children learn and grow? How would you deal with threats from a 4-year-old? Let me know your responses!

We watched Gumby before going to sleep this past week, the boys loved it!
We watched Gumby before going to sleep this past week, the boys loved it!
JP
This is the 6-year-old practicing his alphabet. He messed up on the letter Z then cried for about an hour because he didn’t want his mom to see it. He believes she never makes any mistakes and he doesn’t want her to see that he messed up. I tried talking to him but it just made him more upset…it made me sad.

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” -Mary Poppins

I am a nanny and this quote seemed to fit my (new) Monday weekly posts. On Mondays I will be Posting something about my adventures as a nanny. But this week I want to talk about how I got this job…

Let’s go back…a few years. Before I started college I wasn’t ever sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to work with children. I had baby sat in the past and thought about being a nanny but wasn’t sure if that would work out. Well, in 2011 I decided that I wanted to major in Child Development and started down that path. It was exciting, I loved the classes I took (and still am taking, and yes, I still love them). Summer of 2012 I got my first nanny type of job. I was a “Mother’s Helper” for a few months and loved it. I took care of 4 children, ages 4,6,8, and 10. I didn’t do much but I came to love it. I then worked as a cafeteria helper at an elementary school, which was fun because you never know what kinds of children you will run into. After that I began working at a daycare, which my BFF Michaela had told me about, and I felt like THAT WAS WHAT I NEEDED TO DO IN LIFE (yes, that needed to be in all caps). I had finally figured out what I wanted to do. Sadly, only after 2 months of working there she fired me because…well, she told me that because she knew I needed the money and wanted me to look for another job on top of that one (I was working 1 hour a day, 5 days a week).  Well, I got a job interview at Build-A-Bear, which I had been applying to quite often since I had turned 18 and I was excited. The interview was about an hour before work and it was near my work so I thought it would be great because interviews take 5-15 minutes, right? WRONG! An interview at Build-A-Bear lasts an hour and a half because it’s a group interview. I was late for work and called her as soon as the interview was over and she fired me over the phone. I wasn’t too happy about it. And then I didn’t even get the job at Build-A-Bear. Oh well, such is life. It’s not like I made much anyway…I felt like what I was making all went to gas anyway, since I lived all the way across town.

Fast forward 2 years (because I was gone for 18 months on my LDS mission after that) and I began applying for child care jobs left and right. I went onto care.com and applied for every listing on there. I was given an interview from a mom of 4 children; 2-year-old boy, 3-year-old twin girls, and a 6-year-old boy. I went to the interview and she liked me and wanted me to go to “phase 2” where I meet the kids. Well, I guess that didn’t go well because she didn’t hire me. A week after that, I got another interview for the job I have now. I love the family and the boys, even though they are crazy, I love them.

Tune in next week to hear what goes on in my life as a nanny.

nanny post
This is when we go to the park to get some sun and to burn some energy.
We like to get crafty and this is what we come up with. I mae the big ladybug, the girl, and the little fuzzy purple monster
We like to get crafty and this is what we come up with. I mae the big ladybug, the girl, and the little fuzzy purple monster