maandag 23 maart 2020

Seashell ladybugs

With the coming of spring, ladybugs are awaking. Since I love seasonal crafts, I planned a beach trip with my nanny kids. Why? Because seashells are the perfect ladybug shape! 

After collecting the shells and a nice afternoon playing at the beach, we went home to give our shells a bath :-) With a cotton swab (perfect to practice the fine motor skills) the kids coloured the shells with pink and red paint.

After they were done, they wanted to continue painting with their cotton swabs on a paper. 

We let the seashells dry and during their afternoon nap I turned them into ladybirds with a marker. We ended up with a whole family of ladybugs and they are great for playful educational games or to give away as a (good luck) gift.

dinsdag 17 maart 2020

Discover animals in kids paintings

Have you ever tried to see animals in your kids painting? We did and saw a sheep today :-) With just a marker and wobbly eyes you can start your search for various creatures in the paintings. A little warning beforehand, be prepared for animal sounds all day long ;-)

zondag 8 maart 2020

Paper flowers

When I wake up and ride my bicycle to my nanny family, I can hear and see the first signs of spring! With the increasing temperatures and earlier sunrises, the birds seem livelier and you can spot the early spring flowers and leaf buds. Walking with my nanny kids in the park and seeing nature change during spring season is so fantastic!

We brought spring into the home by making our own paper flowers.

Print or draw flowers of the same size on a paper. If you like to, you can use this template. Let the kids decorate the flowers with paint, crayons or pieces of fabric. When ready, cut all the flowers and let the kids make pairs of their liking. Place double sided tape on each flower and put a straw in between before sticking both sides together. The kids can place the flowers in a vase, it’s a great way to improve the fine motor skills of young children.  You don’t have to worry about watering the flowers and they will shine as long as you want them to ;-)

If you like to read poems out loud about spring with your kids, I can recommend the book I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem For Every Day Of The Year. If you are lucky, you can rent it at your local library.

I have taught my nanny kids songs about spring as well. Sing a song of flowers is an easy spring song for young children (see video below).

vrijdag 14 februari 2020

Gratitude heart

A fun and creative way to teach children how to be grateful, is making a gratitude heart together. Every evening after dinner I ask my nanny kids: “What are you thankful for today?” The answers are so genuine and pure! This activity shows that you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude from an early age. My oldest nanny kid asks me in return what I am feeling thankful for. Isn’t it lovely to practice important social-emotional skills with just a simple craft?

You will need air dry clay, beads, paint and a pipe cleaner to make this gratitude heart. The kids can decorate a piece of clay with beads and paint. Put the ends of a small pipe cleaner in the clay when it’s still wet and shape it into a heart. Let the gratitude heart dry and you can start the ritual straight after dinner!

maandag 3 februari 2020

Jumping kangaroo

I just got back from my trip to Australia and I have missed my nanny kids a lot!

It's always a good idea to talk with kids about different countries in the world and the diversity of nature and culture. I told them stories about our adventures in Australia and all the animals we have seen. My oldest nanny kid was intrigued by kangaroos and was keen to make one together.

I found a template and description of a jumping kangaroo on this website. I printed the template on thick paper, let the kids decorate the kangaroo with pencils, cut it out and attached the leg and paw to the body with a paper fastener. As a final step I used sticky tape to attach a straw to the body. All three nanny kids made a cute jumping kangaroo with a little joey in their womb. 

In the evening we used a torch to perform a shadow play with the kangaroos while telling funny stories about their adventures. We had such a great time and when the parents arrived home, one of the children shouted: “you need to buy a ticket for this show daddy!”.

woensdag 18 december 2019

Cardboard coffee cup reindeer

Oh deer, it's almost Christmas and a New Year is coming! My nanny kids and I love this time of the year so much! Yesterday during our reindeer craft activity my oldest nanny kid told me how cosy (a typical Dutch word) she found it with me. She made my heart melt. I feel blessed working for such a lovely family! I am sure we will undertake a lot of new adventures next year, I can't wait!

Inspired by this craft post in the Guardian we wanted to make a reindeer from cardboard coffee cups. 

You can read the instructions of the craft in the link given above, although we did a few things differently.   

My nanny kid was very curious what the reindeer would look like. Therefore, I decided to place the twigs beforehand so she could imagine the reindeer. We replaced the kitchen towel roll with cardboard coffee cups, the red fluffy nose for a red painted milk cap and we added a feather as a tail. Ooh and of course the colour is a huge difference. That’s what happens when your child picks a colour. The reindeer turned more or less into a My Little Pony :-)

zondag 15 december 2019

Christmas nativity scene

I found this cute and easy toilet paper roll Christmas tree craft on Red Ted Art. You can read all the instructions on their website. We didn't use paper confetti but sticky back foam sheets instead. Try to find some foam with glitters, it fits in the Christmas tradition very well :-)

We decided to build a nativity scene from Duplo and placed the mini Christmas tree beside Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. It's such a fun and educative way to tell your little kids the story of baby Jesus!