Nannying

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Beverly, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Hi everyone! I wasn't really sure where to put this post because essentially I'm looking for other posters who watch a few children for more than 8 hours a day. I'm a certified teacher and took the nanny job after being an underpaid and undersupported daycare teacher. I work with 3 kids right now. Two of them are 3 y.o. and one is 2. They're amazing kids and I have a great time working with them, but I often work 9 or 10-hour shifts starting early in the morning, and sometimes it's exhausting and goes by slowly. I think I do a great job of planning DAP activities, but I'm finding the 2 y.o. to be a challenge because she tends to interrupt the academic activities and of course I'm trying to respond to her needs & work on potty-training while keeping the other two busy. There are limits to what we can do because I can't transport them anywhere outside of walking distance. (And within walking distance, there's a tiny park... that's about it... :whistle:). I guess the cold weather is giving us even more cabin fever, even though we have played in the snow quite a bit. :cool:

    Compared to daycare, just having enough materials to keep the kids engaged is a challenge. We do art every day and read new stories every day, and I keep some go-to materials there (dry erase markers, playdoh, magnet letters, etc) along with other thematic activities that I plan, but it's really not the same as having a whole classroom full of manipulatives at your disposal. Anyone had a similar experience?
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Sorry, I haven't worked as a nanny but am considering leaving my teaching position to do a home day care as I recently had a little one. Some things that my little one and I do (she's almost a year) is marble painting, baking cookies, building with blocks, and with the weather-snow coloring. These are low material activities that she loves!

    I do totally wish that I had all the day care supplies available that I did when I taught in the day care setting!
     
  4. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Thanks for the reply. Good luck with the home daycare. My husband has been teasing me about starting one for awhile, but I'm not very business-oriented and I like keeping my work separate from my home.. even though not being able to leave my employer's house much does kind of blur that distinction! The kids I work with don't have much in the way of blocks. That might be a gift from me at some point, although I already got them different Christmas presents. ;) Sometimes I feel like these kids have 5-minute attention spans. Granted, all preschoolers will have short attention spans, but when you try to split a 10-hour day into 10 minute increments.. well.. I think I just need more stuff! LOL. It's such a change from the 5 y.o.s I had before.
     
  5. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Girl, get yourself to the dollar store! There are loads of items that you can make into manipulatives. You can get stamps, paper, gel/shaving cream to write in, etc.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Oh! Great ideas!
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    I think that you also should look into small games. They might love to play some search games (you just hid a few objects around the house) or try doing exercises with them.
     
  8. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    LOL, thanks Kteachone. I did just get some shaving cream and I have stamps, and we've done scissor practice. I think I just need to find some more durable stuff that will retain their interest and not require me to keep buying. (After all, I am trying to at least break even with this income- not go further into debt! Ha ha). I'm still trying to figure out how best to split the 2 y.o. from the other two and still have everyone visible and happy. For some reason, she does not get along with her one sister at all. They can't share, but she plays very well with her other sister, and the older sisters play well with each other.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Do they have a doll house or kitchenette? I know that we loved playing house when I was little! We may not even have played together, but played in the same area. Parallel play is big in 3 year olds.
     
  10. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Parallel play would be great, but the main issues are: problems sharing, group silliness (you know what I mean- when playing the Memory Game turns into "Let's all just throw the cards in the air, weeee"), and dependence. I guess comparatively, my daycare students were more independent in some ways. They knew what to expect and weren't all up in each other's grills all day long. Ha ha. Whereas with these kids, the older one wants to follow me around and comment on the 2-year-old's poopy diaper, and I'm thinking, "Isn't there something else you would rather be doing, sister dear?" So, they're just not staying engaged and it becomes more draining for me to constantly split my attention or pull something new out of my bag of tricks. All part of the adjustment to younger kids I guess....:dizzy: They don't have a dollhouse or kitchen set. Maybe one of these days I'll just have to sit down with the parents and make some suggestions for other things they can get for the kids. I don't want to seem greedy or create any difficulties for the parents.. but... it seems like I either need more materials from the parents or the ability to transport the kids so we can break up the boredom with some field trips.

    This schedule has really helped me understand what parents go through, much more than just teaching did. Having a preschool child pretty much in your back pocket alllll day long is quite different from getting a lunch break or prep periods or teaching an older class.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Yes definitely.
    What do they have available. With daycare-you don't have to have an activity all day. They really can just play or watch you.
     
  12. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Oh, construction paper, glue, scissors, baby dolls, a few toy dishes, enough Duplo blocks for 1 child lol, stuffed animals, and I bring everything else.
     
  13. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Wow! I have way more toys and I only have one child!
     
  14. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    :DThat's what I'm sayin! Ha ha. I guess I left out a few things, but you get the idea; there really isn't much more than that. The parents are great but I think I understand why the stay-at-home one wanted to go back to work! On the bright side, Christmas will bring some fresh toys.
     
  15. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Collage is another great time-consuming activity. Materials can be free (recycling/nature) or very low cost (pasta/tissue paper). They can collage on cardboard or paper plates, make paper bag puppets, or 3-D with pipe cleaners stuck in play dough. Good luck.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    How much of the day are you 'instructing'? Other than art and reading, you could:

    bake
    water play
    'dress up'
    make forts with pillows

    Seems to me they should have some unstructured free play time without your direction, just your 'watching' to keep them safe.

    Is there a local library to which you could walk?

    Do they nap?:lol:
     
  17. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    :lol: The library's too far to walk. It's a really inconvenient neighborhood, lol. I'm pretty flexible with lessons/instructing, etc., but the problem is that they don't seem to want to do much free play. (Or, they want to start chasing each other around the house and jumping off the couch.. ha ha). They love my activities but sometimes I would like to be able to pee without them knocking on the door like "What are you doing? What can we play with now?" :lol: They do nap, about 2 hours.. although one of them tends to wake up and watch me. She's well behaved but she needs sleep... and I'd prefer if she wasn't always eying me. Ha ha ha.
     
  18. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Most children love to play with common household items. Give them some boxes and pillows. Use clothes baskets another day. Let them match socks. Build a tent with blankets. Put out baby dolls and a few accessories. Bathe the dolls. Just a few ideas to get your going.
     
  19. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Visit the local hardware or appliance store and ask for large boxes that stoves, dish washer, or washing machines come in. Allow the kids to turn it into a play house. You will be amazed at what a few markers and letting them do what they want will produce.
     
  20. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 20, 2010

    Make playdough... different colors and scents keep them occupied for HOURS. There are no-cook recipes, or make the more durable kind with your help.

    Freeze ice cubes with food coloring in them... instant art and science as they melt and you "paint" with them. Experiement with ice cubes, water, snow... what happens to an ice cube if we leave it by the window? What about if it's outside? In the fridge? in your bedroom? Freeze big blocks of ice in a milk carton, etc. and make iceburgs... you can pour colored water or colored salt water and watch what happens. It's free and very interesting!
     
  21. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Dec 20, 2010

    What about using old pots and pans and wooden spoons and an old box you could decorate to make a kitchen set? What about a big box? It could be a train... a house, (cut out windows and doors). Make a toy dr. kit... save empty boxes, and get brown bags at the grocery store, cut some play money out of paper, and let them pretend to shop. Have you ever seen the magazine FamilyFun? They are online, and I believe they have archives of old activities. Also, go to the library on the weekend and check out books to take to the house each week.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 21, 2010

    Would mom and dad consider a Kindle or Nook for Christmas?? You could download lots of free books.

    During the years I was home, my kids' greatest joys were:
    - going puddle stomping during spring, summer and fall storms.
    - making newspaper hats and having a parade in the house.
    - driving to a local horse stable and feeding the horses.
    - going to the supermarket, pulling into the back, and seeing the delivery trucks unload.
    - playing restaurant. There are lots of no-cook items kids can make, from instant pudding to sandwiches. Again, maybe Santa can get a no-cook kids cookbook? Or it could be a special gift from you?
     
  23. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 22, 2010

    Thank you all for the suggestions!
     
  24. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2011

    Just wanted to update and thank everyone again. The Christmas presents have been very helpful! (Although now the new challenge is clean up and organization.. ha ha ha...) And of course, after the parents having more time off around Christmas & New Years, I came back and the kids were saying, "Mommy usually cleans up for us." Ugh, ha ha. They've been great listeners though- it just takes a little additional prodding.
     

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