Monday, August 30, 2010

Favorite Outings!

These are four of our favorite places that we returned to again and again over the years. They were great outings when the children were toddler and preschool age continuing through into their high school years. If you haven't checked these places out, you may enjoy exploring all they have to offer. Many provide special events, classes or activities for children of all stages of development. They also have events or activities that are great for families and nannies.

Bakken Museum
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Science Museum of Minnesota

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From The Heart - Tip #4


How can I know how my children are doing during their day with the nanny?

Having your nanny keep a journal about each day's activities, the foods eaten, child's mood and other important information is a great idea. I had a journal for each child in my care. When they were young - infant through early preschool age - I wrote in it each day. As they got older the journal became less formal. The children actually used their journal in a school project at one time or another - they loved going reading through them!

Touching base with your nanny throughout the day by phone call is good idea. Some nannies may think

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Scratch Art Project

Scratch art projects have been a huge hit for the children I've worked with over the years. Recently, at our annual nanny-child picnic, we did a scratch art bookmark project. All ages loved creating this project. I know you'll love it too. Here are two techniques for making your own scratch art. You can find scratch art paper and projects at craft stores or through online craft suppliers. However, I think making your own scratch art paper is easy, economical and a creative outlet for children.

I like to use a nice quality paper as a base. If the project is to be something that will last over time I prefer a card stock weight. For best results

Friday, August 20, 2010

Challenging Times - Working Together

Everyone faces challenges from time to time. Most challenges are minor but there can be those that are life changing. How can nannies and parents support and encourage each other through tough times?

The nanny-family connection is very unique. It is more intimate than other work relationships. Nannies and parents team together to work toward the best interests of the children, while also having an employee-employer relationship. So when a challenging situation or crisis arises they are not always sure how to help each other. A lot depends on the situation but if it could affect the children in any way, then parents and nanny need to work together. They need to reach out to each other.

While essential every day, communication is vital during tough times.

Monday, August 16, 2010

From The Heart Tip #3

Another question in our From the Heart series

We’ve had challenges keeping a nanny long term with our family. What are we doing wrong?

The nanny employment relationship is very unique. For one thing it is very personal and intimate. This makes for a great foundation for caring for children and working with parents in a partnership. It also increases sensitivity about the daily issues that can come up and can make dealing with concerns challenging for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Crafts

You asked for more craft and art resources, so here are my favorite website links. These six sites have a variety of activities to choose from. Most can be modified to accommodate a variety of ages and abilities. If you have younger children you may need to simplify or do some additional preparation. Also, don't forget you can take one of these ideas to use as a springboard for something new.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Performance Review Tips

Performance reviews shouldn’t be feared. Instead it should be viewed as an opportunity to gain shared understanding. Think of a review as a feedback session. Although yearly reviews are typical, I recommend more frequent meetings to set goals, evaluate progress, identify strengths and challenges. The goals set with caring for an infant aren’t the same as those you’d set in caring for a toddler or preschooler. So checking in frequently is important.
Performance appraisals are a two way street. Listening is critical. Employers need to hear the employee’s views, suggestions or comments. The nanny family relationship and employment situation is unique; the best interests of children bring both the nanny and family into a special partnership and require teamwork. Thus the performance review is an opportunity for everyone to share and set mutual goals, as well as individual ones.

There are four main focus points during a performance review.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"I'm Jealous of My Nanny"

In this article from Parenting, one mother is honest about her envy for the special relationship her daughter and nanny share--as well as advice for overcoming the jealousy.