Let’s Go to the Public Library!

As a professional nanny, one of the most important roles you play is that of a child’s educator. While it may be tempting to rely solely on electronic devices or your own knowledge to teach children, it’s important to remember that other valuable resources can help you, and one of the most valuable of these resources is your local public library. In this blog post, we’ll explore the many benefits of involving children with the local public library.

Access to a Wide Range of Materials

One of the biggest benefits of the public library is the wide range of materials available; from picture books and board books to chapter books and young adult literature, the public library has something for children of all ages and interests. Additionally, many libraries offer access to audiobooks, e-books, and even streaming video services, allowing children to access a variety of materials in multiple formats.

As a nanny, you can use the public library to help children explore their interests and discover new topics. For example, if a child shows an interest in dinosaurs, you can help them find books, videos, and other materials on the topic. If they enjoy drawing, you can help them find art books and magazines. By using the public library to supplement your own knowledge and expertise, you can help children learn and grow in a way that is tailored to their individual needs and interests.

Let’s Go to the Public Library!

Opportunities for Socialisation

Another benefit of involving children in the public library is the opportunity for socialisation. Many libraries offer story time, reading clubs, and other programs specifically designed for children. These programs not only provide an opportunity for children to interact with their peers but also allow them to learn important social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and following directions.

Additionally, many libraries offer family-friendly events throughout the year, such as holiday parties, craft fairs, and author readings. These events provide an opportunity for families to come together and have fun while also learning something new.

Support for Early Literacy

The public library can be a valuable resource for supporting early literacy skills. Many libraries offer early literacy programs that focus on developing skills such as letter recognition, phonics, and vocabulary. These programs are designed to be fun and engaging, using songs, rhymes, and other activities to help children learn.

Nannies can use the public library to supplement their own efforts to support early literacy skills. For example, you can borrow books and other materials that focus on specific skills, such as letter recognition or phonics. You can also attend early literacy programs with the children you care for, providing them with additional opportunities to learn and grow.

Let’s Go to the Public Library!

Exposure to Different Cultures and Perspectives

The public library can be a valuable resource for exposing children to different cultures and perspectives. Many libraries offer materials in multiple languages, as well as books and other resources that focus on different cultures and traditions. By using the public library to explore these materials, children can gain a greater understanding of the world around them and develop empathy and understanding for others.

Using the public library is a simple and effective way to help children learn about different cultures and perspectives. For example, you can borrow books and other materials that focus on different countries or traditions. You can also attend cultural events and programs with the children you care for, providing them with an opportunity to learn about different customs and traditions.

Development of Critical Thinking Skills

The public library can also be a valuable resource for developing critical thinking skills. By reading books and other materials, children are exposed to a variety of ideas and concepts, which can help them develop their critical thinking skills. Additionally, many libraries offer puzzles, games, and other activities that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

When working as a nanny, you can use the public library to help children develop their critical thinking skills. For example, you can borrow books and other materials that challenge children to think critically and ask questions. You can also participate in library programs that focus on problem-solving and other critical thinking skills.

Let’s Go to the Public Library!

Encourages a Love of Reading

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of involving children in the public library is the encouragement of a love of reading. By exposing children to a variety of books and other materials, the public library can help foster a lifelong love of reading. Children who enjoy reading are more likely to do well academically, have higher self-esteem, and be more successful in life.

Nannies can help to encourage a love of reading in the children they care for, and the library can be a great resource for doing this. By taking children to the library regularly and exposing them to a variety of materials, you can help them find books and other materials that they enjoy. Additionally, you can set aside time for reading each day, either alone or together, to encourage a love of reading.

Saves Money

Another benefit of involving children in the public library is that it can save money. Purchasing books, videos, and other materials can be expensive, especially if you need to do so frequently to keep up with a child’s interests and needs. By using the public library, you can borrow materials for free, saving money and allowing you to provide children with a variety of materials.

Let’s Go to the Public Library!

Teaches Responsibility

Using the public library can also help teach children responsibility. When borrowing materials, children need to learn to take care of them and return them on time. They also need to learn how to handle materials appropriately to avoid damage. By borrowing materials from the public library, children can learn these important skills, which will serve them well throughout their lives.

As a nanny, you can help reinforce these skills by reminding children to handle borrowed materials with care and helping them return materials on time. You can also use borrowed materials as a teaching opportunity, discussing responsibility and the importance of taking care of things that belong to others.

Provides a Safe and Welcoming Environment

Finally, the public library can provide a safe and welcoming environment for children. Libraries are designed to be quiet and peaceful places, which can be a welcome change from the noise and chaos of everyday life. Additionally, libraries are staffed by trained professionals who are knowledgeable about children’s needs and interests.

When working as a nanny, you can use the public library to provide children with a safe and welcoming environment where they can learn and grow. By taking children to the library regularly, you can help them develop a sense of comfort and familiarity with the library, which can make it a go-to destination for learning and exploration.

Let’s Go to the Public Library!

Involving children with the public library can have a variety of benefits, from access to a wide range of materials to the development of critical thinking skills and a love of reading. By using the public library as a resource in your work as a nanny, you can help children learn and grow in a way that is tailored to their individual needs and interests. So the next time you’re looking for a fun and engaging activity for the children you care for, consider a trip to your local public library.

If you want to find out more about planning activities and outings that can support children’s development across a range of different areas of learning, then check out our Caring for Children. This course has a dedicated unit that teaches professional nannies how they can better plan their day when working with children in different age groups. If you’d like to be the best possible nanny you can be and be confident in scheduling the perfect activities for your charges, visit us today at www.international-nanny.institute to learn more about our courses.

International Nanny Institute

Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

As a professional nanny, finding exciting new ways to engage and educate the children you look after is a big part of your role. Leaf rubbing is a fun and educational art activity that can help young children develop their fine motor skills and creativity, while also fostering an appreciation for the natural world. 

In this blog post, we will explore how nannies can organise and carry out this activity with young children, supporting them to make their own artwork, and we will also examine the benefits of this activity.

How to Collect Leaves for Leaf Rubbing Artwork

Before you can make leaf rubbing artwork with young children, you will need to collect leaves. This can be made into a part of the activity too, extending the process and building anticipation.

Choose a variety of leaves

When collecting leaves for leaf rubbing artwork, it’s important to choose a variety of leaves with different shapes and sizes. This will allow children to create a range of different designs and patterns.

Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

Collect leaves in the fall

Fall is the best time to collect leaves for leaf rubbing artwork because the leaves are often brightly coloured and have fallen from the trees, making them easier to collect.

Look for leaves in different environments

Encourage children to collect leaves from different environments, such as parks, gardens, and nature trails. This will allow them to see the variety of leaves that can be found in different settings.

Handle leaves gently

When collecting leaves, it’s important to handle them gently to avoid damaging them. Encourage children to pick up leaves by the stem and handle them with care.

Identify leaves

Take the opportunity to identify the leaves that you collect with the children. You can use books or online resources to help identify the leaves and learn more about the trees that they come from.

How to Make Leaf Rubbing Artwork

Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

Once you have collected leaves, it’s time to make leaf rubbing artwork. Here are the steps to follow:

Gather materials

To make leaf rubbing artwork, you will need:

  • Leaves
  • Paper
  • Crayons or coloured pencils
  • Tape

Tape the leaves to the paper

Place the leaves onto a piece of paper, with the veins facing up. Use tape to secure the leaves in place, masking tape is best to use for this as it can be removed easily without tearing the paper later on.

Rub the paper with crayons or coloured pencils

Using a crayon or coloured pencil, rub over the paper to create an imprint of the leaf. Encourage children to experiment with different colours and textures.

Remove the leaves

Once the rubbing is complete, carefully remove the leaves from the paper to reveal the leaf imprint.

Display the artwork

Display the leaf rubbing artwork in a prominent place where children can admire their creations.

Benefits of Leaf Rubbing Artwork for Young Children

Leaf rubbing artwork offers numerous benefits for young children, including:

Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

Develops fine motor skills

Leaf rubbing artwork requires fine motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and precision. By practising leaf rubbing, children can develop these skills and improve their overall motor control.

Enhances creativity

Leaf rubbing allows children to express their creativity and imagination through their designs. By choosing different colours and textures, children can create unique and personalised designs that reflect their personalities and interests.

Fosters an appreciation for nature

Leaf rubbing artwork encourages children to explore and appreciate the natural world. By collecting leaves and creating artwork with them, children can learn about the different types of leaves and the trees that they come from.

Improves concentration

Leaf rubbing requires a high level of concentration and focus, which can help children improve their attention span and concentration skills.

Boosts self-esteem

Completing a leaf rubbing design can provide children with a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-esteem. Seeing their finished design can give them a sense of pride and satisfaction, which can help build their self-confidence.

Additional Activities to Incorporate with Leaf Rubbing Artwork

Leaf rubbing artwork can be incorporated into a variety of other activities to help promote learning and creativity. Below are some additional activities that can be combined with leaf rubbing:

Nature Walks

Take children on a nature walk to collect leaves for leaf rubbing artwork. Encourage them to identify the different types of leaves and learn about the trees that they come from.

Leaf Identification

Use books or online resources to help identify the leaves that you collect with the children. This can help children learn about the different types of trees and the ecosystems that they support.


Encourage children to create leaf rubbing artwork based on their favourite stories or books. This can help them develop their creativity and imagination while also promoting literacy and reading skills.

Leaf rubbing artwork is a fun and engaging activity that can help young children develop a range of skills, including fine motor skills, creativity, and an appreciation for nature. By collecting leaves and creating artwork with them, nannies can provide children with a fun and rewarding activity that can promote learning and development. 

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of teaching children about nature, or how to do this in a meaningful way, our Alternative Approaches course has a session on the Forest School approach.

International Nanny Institute

Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers

Rainy days can be a challenge for nannies when caring for toddlers. This is because going outside for play and exploration is not always an option. However, there are wide varieties of fun and interactive activities that nannies can engage toddlers in, that are both entertaining and educational. In this blog post, we will explore a handful of indoor activities that nannies can do with toddlers on rainy days.

Sensory Play

Sensory play involves engaging toddlers through all five senses-sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. You can create a sensory bin with different materials such as dry pasta, rice, beans, pom-poms, foam blocks, and many more. Try hiding small objects in the bin for toddlers to find, such as letters or hidden foam shapes. This activity assists with their motor skills and develops their cognitive thinking abilities, as they explore concepts such as object permanence. 

Imaginative Play

Imaginative play is any type of role-playing that encourages toddlers to use their creativity and imagination. Set up a play station with dress-up clothes, toy utensils, and an area that may resemble a kitchen or a doctor’s office. Allow toddlers to have free play with these items, or make it more structured with an interactive game of “pretend”.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are activities that children of all ages love. Allow toddlers to explore their creativity by providing an array of art supplies such as paint, crayons, markers, and coloured pencils. Create fun little crafts they can give to their parents or friends such as handprint art, fingerprint painting or sponge paint.

Music and Movement 

Music and movement is an activity that toddlers love. You can set up a dance area where they can dance to their favourite songs. Play songs that require movement such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. If you don’t have speakers or music, you can just sing together, encouraging children’s speech and language development.

Story time

Story time is a perfect indoor activity for toddlers whether it’s raining or not. It is essential for toddlers to recognize words and learn how to read. You can make this activity interactive by asking questions and engaging their mind through your storytelling. Encourage toddlers to ask questions and retell the story in their own words.

Indoor Obstacle Course

You can set up a small obstacle course area within the home. Make use of the furniture and create a pretend tunnel using chairs or maybe make a den. Allowing toddlers to practise crawling, jumping, and other motor skills while having fun is a fantastic way to support their physical development.

Make-believe Cooking

Toddlers love pretend cooking, so nannies can encourage toddlers to make their meals with toy food, utensils, and pots. You can even print colour pictures of various food items and ask them to match each toy food to the right image. This activity builds hand strength and develops cognitive thinking abilities.

Board Games

There are various board games suitable for toddlers that can be an interactive indoor activity on a rainy day. Some of the available board games include Candy Land, Snakes and Ladders, Matching games, Jenga and Bingo. Some of the benefits of board games include building social skills and strengthening cognitive thinking abilities.


Puzzles are excellent for developing cognitive skills in toddlers. Choose puzzles with large, colourful pieces and images toddlers are familiar with. You can have toddlers try to complete puzzles independently, with guidance, or collaboratively with a friend or family member.

If you’d like more great ideas about how to teach children through play, then enrol in our Integrating Education into Childcare course, which is filled with practical ideas for nannies to use in their day-to-day role when working with children. It also explores the underpinning theories that are the basis for different ways young children learn and develop. Learn to be a better nanny and help your charges succeed and grow their minds during these all-important early years by visiting us at www.international-nanny.institute

International Nanny Institute

Chores for Children

Chores are an essential aspect of childhood that can aid in the development of many important life skills. For children, chores provide a sense of responsibility, teach important life skills, and promote self-confidence. When working as a nanny, you will often work with the whole family, and may be asked to introduce or implement a chores’ rota.

 Parents and caregivers can use age-appropriate chore lists to ensure that children of all ages are contributing to the household in a meaningful way. Here are some of the ways that chores can aid in child development, as well as age-appropriate chore lists for children from 2 years old to 18 years old.

How chores can aid in child development:

Being given chores to complete can help to support children across a range of different developmental areas and promote a variety of different skills. Here we take an overview of some of the ways in which chores can aid children’s development.

Chores for Children


Assigning chores to children helps to instil a sense of responsibility in them. It gives children an opportunity to learn how to be accountable for their actions, develop self-discipline and learn how to prioritise tasks effectively. Moreover, it teaches them that they are part of a larger family unit, and they have a role to play in maintain the family’s environment and standard of living

Life Skills

Chores teach children valuable life skills. These skills can include cooking simple meals or snacks, doing laundry, basic house cleaning, and other daily household tasks. Learning to perform these tasks at a young age will prepare them for the future and make them self-sufficient, independent adults. It’s never too early to start developing life skills, and chores can provide this opportunity.


Sharing household chores helps children develop a sense of teamwork. It teaches them that working together towards a common goal can be rewarding and enjoyable. They learn cooperation, negotiation, and communication skills, which will be invaluable in their future interactions. By working on common household chores, children understand that helping each other and complementing each other’s work is important in achieving a shared goal.

Time Management

Kids learn how to manage their time effectively when they have chores. Chores teach children how to prioritise daily tasks, organise, and plan their day effectively. This skill will help them manage their future workloads and schedules, set priorities, and make the most of their time. By developing strong time management skills early, children learn to avoid procrastination and understand punctuality.

Chores for Children

Sense of Accomplishment

Chores allow children to take pride in their accomplishments, no matter how small. When children complete their chores, they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, which boosts their self-esteem and confidence. It helps children understand that their contributions are important and valuable to the family. This sense of achievement helps to reinforce positive behaviours and encourages children to take on new challenges.


When children are assigned chores, it teaches them respect towards their environment and surroundings. Cleaning up after themselves and completing assigned tasks helps children understand and appreciate the value of hard work and dedication. Children learn that keeping their living area clean and tidy creates a more healthy, comfortable living environment for themselves and others.

Financial Literacy

Some chores can be tied to earning an allowance or pocket money. For example, you could pay your kids for washing dishes or completing household laundry tasks. By linking chores to a financial reward, children learn the value of earning money and how to budget and save.

Age-Appropriate Chore Lists:

Of course, when it comes to chores it is never going to be one-size-fits-all, and we can’t expect children of different ages, stages and abilities to simply jump in and complete the same chores. Below we have some suggested chores suitable to different age ranges, but it is important that parents and caregivers select the chores they assign based on their own knowledge of each individual child to set them up for success.

Chores for Children


  • Putting toys away in their storage space
  • Helping to put away groceries or items around the home
  • Assisting with putting laundry in the hamper
  • Simple dusting with child-size swifter


  • Making their own bed
  • Helping with setting and clearing the table
  • Assisting with folding clothes and putting them away
  • Watering plants
  • Cleaning up spills or messes they may create
Chores for Children


  • More complex cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, sweeping or cleaning the floors
  • Taking out the rubbish
  • Cleaning the washbasin or toilet
  • Assisting with food preparation, like making salads or setting the table for dinner
  • Sorting laundry by colour or type, washing, and folding it.


  • Dusting and polishing furniture and fixtures
  • Washing dishes and loading/unloading the dishwasher
  • Preparing simple meals independently
  • Mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming floors
  • Doing laundry independently of start to finish


  • Taking care of pets, such as walking dogs or cleaning litter boxes
  • Learning how to perform deep cleaning tasks
  •  Assisting with grocery shopping and meal planning (some families assign a teen one night in the week to cook dinner)
  • Ironing clothes, including dresses, shirts and pants (a good way to get started with this is ironing school uniforms)

In conclusion, chores can be an excellent way for children to learn vital life skills and help promote their overall development. By using age-appropriate chore lists, parents and caregivers can ensure that children of all ages are learning responsibility, time management, work ethic, self-confidence and useful life skills.

Chores become especially important when working with teenagers, as they help to prepare them for adult life. Transitioning into adulthood is an important part of life, and nannies can help prepare teenagers for. You can learn more about this topic in our Navigating Adolescence course that delves into the responsibilities and nannies carry when helping adolescents transition into adulthood. If you’d like to learn more about how to make this time in a young person’s life as smooth as possible, visit us at www.international-nanny.institute to learn about how you can train being a highly skilled and sought after professional nanny.

International Nanny Institute

Creating a Pre-writing Environment

As a nanny, you have the opportunity to play a role in helping young children become excited about writing. Writing is an essential skill that opens up avenues for communication, creativity, and critical thinking. It is crucial to create a pre-writing environment in the family home to nurture this skill in young children. In this article, we will cover tips and tricks for nannies to engage children in writing while creating a pre-writing environment in the family home.

Benefits of Encouraging Writing to Toddlers and Young Children

There are plenty of benefits to nannies supporting children with their pre-writing skills. These skills underpin development in a range of different areas which we look at in some more detail below:

Creating a Pre-writing Environment

Enhances Communication and Language Development

Writing plays a critical role in language and communication development. Encouraging children to write helps them learn new words, practise their sentence construction, and improve their vocabulary and comprehension.

Develops Fine Motor Skills

Writing activities involve the use of precise motor movements to hold a writing instrument, control the movement of the hand, and manipulate materials. This process helps in the development of fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity of the hand.

Sparks Creativity and Imagination

Writing is a creative activity that can unleash a child’s imagination. The freedom to express themselves through writing encourages children to explore their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and experiences.

Cultivates Critical Thinking

Writing promotes critical thinking and problem-solving. When writing, children learn to analyse information, draw conclusions, make judgments and apply information to specific situations.

How to Create a Pre-Writing Environment in the Family Home

Much of what you can read about pre-writing skills online is tailored towards preschools or nursery settings but Nannies play a unique and vital role in supporting children’s development in a home environment. Here we consider how this can be done effectively.

Creating a Pre-writing Environment

Provide Writing Tools

Providing children with developmentally appropriate writing tools helps ignite their interest in writing. Colourful and child-friendly tools like crayons, markers, chalk, and pencils can help children express themselves, experiment with writing, and facilitate communication.

Incorporate Writing into Daily Activities

Incorporating writing activities in the child’s everyday activities is an excellent way to develop their interest in writing. Activities such as helping with grocery lists, writing menu ideas, and birthday cards can encourage language development and allow children to practise their fine motor skills.

Make It Fun

Making writing interesting, and fun can help children develop a love for writing. Incorporate fun games like writing comics, writing a story one letter at a time, hangman, and creating picture stories to pique their interest.

Creating a Pre-writing Environment

Encourage Creative Writing

Creative writing allows children to explore their imagination and provides an opportunity to express themselves. Encourage children to write stories, and poetry, and create imaginary worlds to help them develop their critical thinking and foster their creativity.

Start with Small Writing Exercises

Starting small helps children build confidence, and taking baby steps in writing development and building a healthy foundation from the beginning. Provide writing exercises like copying sentences, tracing letters, or free-writing activities to help children practise their writing skills.

Read and Write Together

Incorporating writing and reading as a joint activity helps create a value for writing and develops their language and writing skills. Shared writing activities such as keeping a journal or writing letters to pen pals can help children build their communication and writing capabilities.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement that encourages and celebrates a child’s achievements in writing is fundamental in helping establish self-confidence and motivation. Praising every small achievement, rewarding stickers for completing writing exercises, and providing words of encouragement and support helps keep children motivated.

Activities to Encourage Writing in Young Children

Encouraging writing should be part of a nanny’s role but it needs to be done in a low-pressure, fun way. These are some ideas of activities to try which may help to support children’s early writing

Creating a Pre-writing Environment

Drawing and Writing

Ask children to draw pictures of stories, animals, or their favourite characters while encouraging them to write short descriptions about their artwork. Drawing and writing enable children to express their thoughts and ideas as well as develop their fine motor skills and handwriting abilities.

Memory Book

Writing a memory book allows children to record their special memories and events throughout the year. They could write letters to their future self, and record fun family events, birthday celebrations or day trips.

Making Lists

Making a list helps children organise their thoughts while developing writing skills. Assist and encourage children to make various types of lists such as grocery shopping lists, books they want to read, and lists of their favourite music or even bucket lists for different seasons e.g. a Spring Bucket List.

Creating a Pre-writing Environment

Nannies can play an essential role in encouraging young children to write. Creating a pre-writing environment in the family home to enhance communication, fine motor skills, critical thinking, and imagination. Providing age-appropriate writing tools, making writing fun, incorporating writing into daily activities, and reading together are some of the ways nannies can encourage writing skills. Fun writing activities like drawing and writing, memory books, making lists, writing challenges, and letter writing can further pique children’s interest in writing. Supporting children with positive reinforcement, encouragement, and motivation can help establish self-confidence and motivation. Nannies can make their role in creating an environment that fosters a love for writing while providing opportunities for children to advance their writing skills. By using these tips and activities, you can help spark a child’s interest in writing and establish a love for learning that can last a lifetime.

If you want to become more confident and knowledgeable when supporting children’s development in a range of different areas, including emergent literacy, check out our Early Years Childcare course. This course has been designed by Early Years experts and will help you gain insight into the different areas of learning and how these can be supported at various ages and stages of development. If you’d like to learn more about Early Years Childcare to help develop your nanny career, visit us at www.international-nanny.institute today!

Nature Inspired Art: Painting Seashells

As a professional nanny, you have a unique opportunity to teach children about the beauty of nature and how it can inspire art. One way to do this is by painting seashells. Seashells are a wonderful natural resource that can be found on beaches all around the world. By painting seashells, children can develop their artistic abilities, learn about colours and patterns, and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world. 

Materials Needed for Painting Seashells

Painting Seashells

Before you begin painting seashells with children, you will need to gather some materials. These materials include:

  • Seashells: You can collect seashells from the beach or purchase them from a craft store if you do not currently live close enough to a beach
  • Paint: Choose acrylic or tempera paint in a variety of colours.
  • Paintbrushes: Use a variety of paintbrushes to create different effects.
  • Water: Use water to clean the paintbrushes and thin the paint if necessary.
  • Newspaper: Use newspaper to protect your work surface from spills and drips.

Instructions for Painting Seashells

Once you have gathered your materials, you can begin painting seashells with children. Follow these instructions:

Clean the seashells

Before painting seashells, it’s important to clean them thoroughly. Use warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or debris from the seashells. Rinse them under running water and allow them to dry completely before painting.

Choose colours and patterns

Encourage children to choose their colours and patterns for their seashells. You can provide examples of different colour combinations and patterns, such as stripes, polka dots, and swirls.

Paint the seashells

Use paintbrushes to apply the paint to the seashells. Encourage children to experiment with different brush strokes and techniques to create different effects. They can layer colours, blend colours, or create patterns with different brushstrokes.

Allow the paint to dry

Once the seashells are painted, allow the paint to dry completely. This may take several hours depending on the thickness of the paint.

Display the seashells

Once the seashells are dry, display them in a prominent place where children can admire their artwork.

Painting Seashells

Benefits of Painting Seashells with Children

Painting seashells with children can have numerous benefits for their development and learning. Below are some examples of the benefits of this activity:

Develops artistic skills

Painting seashells can help children develop their artistic skills, such as colour mixing, brush control, and pattern making.

Encourages creativity

Encouraging children to choose their own colours and patterns for their seashells can help foster their creativity and imagination.

Promotes appreciation for nature

Using seashells as a canvas for painting can help children develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty of nature and the natural world around them.

Provides a sensory experience

Painting seashells can provide a sensory experience for children, allowing them to explore different textures and materials.

Fosters self-expression

Painting seashells can provide children with a means of self-expression, allowing them to express their emotions, thoughts, and ideas through art.

Additional Activities to Incorporate with Painting Seashells

Painting seashells is just one of many activities that can be used to teach children about the beauty of nature and how it can inspire art. Below are some additional activities that can be linked with painting seashells to extend and enhance the activity:

Nature Walks

Take children on a nature walk to collect natural materials, such as leaves, flowers, and rocks, that can be used to create art. Encourage children to observe the colours, textures, and patterns of the natural materials.

Nature Sketching

Let's go on a nature walk

Encourage children to sketch or draw the natural materials they have collected. This can help them develop their observational skills and their ability to represent what they see in their artwork.

Collage Making

Provide children with a variety of natural materials, such as leaves, flowers, and seashells, and encourage them to create a collage. This encourages children to develop their composition skills and their ability to arrange different materials in a visually pleasing way.

Painting seashells is a wonderful activity that can help children develop their artistic skills, encourage creativity, and foster a deeper appreciation for the natural world. By providing children with the opportunity to explore the beauty of nature through art, nannies can help them develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. 

Many of the Alternative Approaches to Early Years Education and Care that we look at in our course focus on nature, and the natural world, so this course is ideal for nannies looking to find out more about how to support children with this kind of learning.

International Nanny Institute

Creative Arts Series: Friendship Bracelets

Making friendship bracelets is a fun and engaging activity that can help school-aged children develop a range of skills, including creativity, fine motor skills, and social skills. 

As a professional nanny, you are probably often searching for activities that will engage older children, making friendship bracelets is a great activity for both boys and girls that has them concentrating hard and persevering! As a nanny you can play an important role in facilitating this learning experience. In this blog post, we will explore some tips and strategies that nannies can use when helping children to make friendship bracelets, as well as examining some of the benefits of this activity.

Free Young Girl Making a Friendship Bracelet Stock Photo

What are Friendship Bracelets?

Friendship bracelets are handcrafted bracelets made from colourful threads or yarns. They are typically made using a variety of knots and weaving techniques, and can be customised with different colours and patterns. They are often given as gifts to friends or family members as a symbol of love and friendship.

Tips and Strategies for Making Friendship Bracelets

Making friendship bracelets can be a simple and accessible activity for school-aged children, but it can also be complex and challenging. As a nanny, you can play a crucial role in guiding children through this process by providing support, encouragement, and opportunities for learning. Below are some tips and strategies that can help you facilitate this learning experience:

Choose appropriate materials

When introducing children to friendship bracelets, it’s important to choose appropriate materials that are safe and easy to handle. You can provide children with a variety of materials to choose from, such as embroidery cotton, yarn, or thread. You can also provide them with beads or charms to add to their bracelets.

Provide guidance and support

Making friendship bracelets can be a challenging activity, particularly for younger children who are still developing their fine motor skills. As a nanny, you can provide guidance and support to help children overcome obstacles and solve problems. Encourage children to work through challenges on their own, for example, untangling threads that have become knotted or stuck,  but be prepared to offer guidance and support, or step in as needed.

Encourage creativity

Making friendship bracelets offers children a unique opportunity to use their creativity and imagination. You should always encourage children to experiment with different colours, patterns, and knots, and provide them with a variety of materials to choose from. 

Gradually increase difficulty

As children become more comfortable with making friendship bracelets, you can gradually increase the difficulty of the activity. This can involve using more complex patterns, incorporating different types of knots, or adding beads or charms to the bracelets. By gradually increasing the difficulty of the activity, children can develop their skills and take on new challenges. There are plenty of guides or even videos available on the internet to help you!

Benefits of Making Friendship Bracelets

Making friendship bracelets can have numerous benefits for children’s development, both in the short term and the long term. Below are some of the key benefits of this activity:

Improves hand-eye coordination

Making friendship bracelets requires a combination of hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity. As children practise this skill, they develop better coordination and control, which can benefit them in many areas of their life, such as sports or handwriting.

Enhances fine motor skills

Making friendship bracelets requires children to use their fingers and thumbs to manipulate small objects. As they weave and knot the threads, they develop better fine motor control and coordination, which can benefit them in many areas of their life, such as writing or using utensils.

Promotes creativity

Making friendship bracelets offers children a unique opportunity to use their creativity and imagination. By designing their own bracelets and experimenting with different colours and patterns, children can develop their creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Fosters social skills

Making friendship bracelets can also foster social skills, such as cooperation, communication, and empathy. Children can work together to make bracelets for each other, or they can give their bracelets as gifts to friends or family members.

Making friendship bracelets is a fun and engaging activity that can help school-aged children develop a range of skills, including creativity, fine motor skills, and social skills. 

It often engages pre-teens really well, and can provide an opportunity to work alongside children in this age range and have deeper conversations whilst you work. If you want to find out more about working with pre-teens and teenagers, check out our course, which looks at the unique challenges of this age range and how best to support the children you care for.

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Practising Money Skills

As a nanny, one of your essential responsibilities is to help children develop essential life skills. One of the most important skills is understanding money and financial literacy. By teaching children about money through games, activities, and real-world experiences, nannies can prepare them to make informed financial decisions and become financially responsible adults.

In this blog, we will explore the importance of teaching money skills to children, strategies for incorporating financial literacy into daily activities, and tips for nannies to help young children practise money skills.

Practising Money Skills

Why is it important to teach money skills to young children?

Financial literacy is a crucial part of daily life that is often overlooked. Children need to learn how to manage money, set goals, save, and invest in their future. By teaching financial literacy skills at an early age, children can avoid financial missteps and begin building a solid financial future.

Furthermore, financial literacy skills can help children develop discipline, responsibility, and decision-making skills. When they manage an allowance or budget, children learn how to prioritise and make informed choices, which is an essential life skill.

Incorporating Financial Literacy in Daily Activities

Practising Money Skills

One of the best ways to build children’s financial skills and ability to manage money is to approach it as part and parcel of everyday life, showing these skills in context and allowing children to learn from experience with a little- and-often approach. Here are some of the ways that nannies can help to achieve this.

Allowance and Budgeting

An allowance is a great way to teach children about money management. By providing an allowance and setting a budget, children learn how to allocate their money and make choices buying decisions. Nannies can assist in tracking expenses, helping children avoid overspending or impulse buying.

Playing Games

Games that involve money can teach children about budgeting, investing, borrowing, and saving money. Board games like Monopoly or The Game of Life or digital games, such as video games, apps, and online games, can teach financial concepts in an engaging, fun way.

Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is a great way to teach children about budgeting and money management. Nannies can involve children in creating a grocery list, comparing prices, understanding coupons, and making purchasing decisions based on quality and cost. It teaches children to think critically and prioritise their shopping needs.

Going to the Bank

Visiting a bank or credit union is an excellent way to teach children about various banking services, such as opening a savings account, understanding interest, and making deposits and withdrawals. Bank representatives can explain the benefits of savings and discuss the differences between checking and savings accounts, and the consequences of over drafting an account.

Setting Goals

Teaching children how to set financial goals like saving for a new toy or future expenses is a critical lesson in money management. Nannies can help children plan the steps required to attain these goals, developing a sense of financial responsibility and accountability.

Tips to Help Children Practice Money Skills

Practising Money Skills

As in all things, with money, practice makes perfect! It is important to give children the opportunity to apply and practise the skills they have learnt about. Here are some of the ways to do that:

Encourage Savings

Nannies can encourage children to save money by setting a savings goal and providing a visual representation like a savings jar, chart or piggy bank. Encourage children to contribute to their savings regularly and suggest reward systems for reaching milestones.

Make Learning Fun

Incorporate gaming or activities that teach financial literacy concepts while making them fun and engaging. Create activities where children can pretend to buy things and interact with different financial situations. Role-play scenarios like shopping or running a business can help children learn concepts like budgeting and making informed decisions.

Set a Good Example

Children learn by mimicking their elders, so nannies need to lead by example. Parents and caregivers can set the stage by discussing money matters in front of their children, such as budgeting, bill-paying, or health care expenses.

Encourage Charity

It’s important to teach children that money is not only for personal use, but also for helping those in need. Encourage children to participate in charitable acts, such as donating part of their allowance to a worthy cause or volunteering at a non-profit organisation.

Teach Responsible Borrowing

Teaching children about responsible borrowing and credit management can help them make informed financial decisions in the future. Discussing the consequences of borrowing too much money and not paying it back on time can help children understand the importance of healthy borrowing habits.

In conclusion, teaching children about money and financial literacy is essential for their future financial success. Nannies can incorporate financial literacy activities in daily activities, such as playing games, grocery shopping, setting goals, and visiting banks. Additionally, encourage savings, practise good financial examples, and incorporate charitable giving. By providing children with financial education, nannies can help set the foundation for a successful future and lead them toward financial responsibility and independence.

If you’re interested in how nannies can integrate education on a range of subjects like this into their daily childcare role, then our course Integrating Education into Childcare may be for you! This course looks at how young children learn and how nannies can support this through play in their day-to-day roles.

Essential Qualifications for Becoming a Governess in a Private Household

A career as a governess in a private household can offer exciting opportunities, intense challenges and requires a specific set of skills and qualifications. The unique blend of childcare, teaching, and administrative duties associated with the job makes it a rewarding yet challenging career choice. In this section, we will highlight the top essential qualifications that anyone desiring to become a governess must have.

Education Qualifications

Becoming a Governess in a Private Household

Education qualifications are a fundamental requirement for anyone seeking to become a governess. Most private families prefer that their governess has a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood or Education fields or similar. In specific cases, families seek governesses with degrees in Psychology, Language, and other related fields or postgraduate-level training.

Some families are open to considering those with vocational qualifications demonstrating excellence in their fields, specifically in music, sports or the arts. The idea is to ensure their children receive instruction from someone with skills and expertise that can be acquired through focused education or training.

Childcare Experience

Childcare experience is necessary for anyone aspiring to become a governess, and families prefer a working experience that can be backed up by references. Some families may specify a minimum year of working experience as a nanny, primary/secondary school teacher, education support officer or working as teaching assistant. The priority of the employer is to fill the post with someone who has had experience in how important it is to help children learn and grow, as well as someone who has provided outstanding care in the past.

Language Capabilities

Becoming a Governess in a Private Household

Having a multilingual skill set is a wonderful advantage for anyone interested in becoming a governess. Being able to speak, read and write in multiple languages can be a key factor in ensuring that communication between the governess, children and family members is up-to-standard. Being able to communicate with children in their native language can help the children feel comfortable and support their educational and social growth.

Deportment and Etiquette

Governesses usually work in high-class private households where deportment and etiquette are essential. Hence, families prefer hiring someone who has impeccable manners, speaks correctly and eloquently, and is cognisant of social expectations. It is important to note that most families prefer a governess with some formal etiquette training and protocol to ensure these principles are passed down to the children they serve.

IT and Technology Proficiency

Becoming a Governess in a Private Household

Technology is becoming more prevalent in education and childcare, making technology skills a crucial part of career development for governesses. Governesses must be competent in computer skills, able to operate multimedia teaching aids and programs that support online learning or assessments applicable to the children’s education. They may also be required to manage household and travel expenses or use apps to track children’s schedules and achievements.

Inoculations and Health Certificates

As governesses may be travelling to different locations, vaccination certificates are often required to ensure their health and that of the children are safeguarded. Hence, having updated medical reports with an excellent health track record is essential. Employers also require candidates to provide evidence that they are physically fit and can handle the responsibilities of caring for children.

While the list of essential qualifications for becoming a governess may seem extensive, individuals who meet these qualifications will thrive in a private household environment. With a bachelor’s degree in education, childcare experience, fluency in multiple languages, IT skills, excellent manners and protocols, and good health is a winning combination that will place you in high demand. Becoming a governess requires patience, flexibility, great communication skills, and a desire for continued educational and professional growth. However, for those who have a genuine passion for childcare and education, and are willing to invest their time and efforts, becoming a governess can be an immensely fulfilling, worthwhile and rewarding career option.

If you’re interested in exploring the different roles that are available in the home-based childcare sector then our course Working as a Nanny is for you, here you will learn more about the roles and responsibilities of different posts and develop the skills needed for looking for and securing a job, and for communicating with parents, so you can get your career off to a great start!

International Nanny Institute


Volunteering is a great way for children and teenagers to give back to their communities, learn new skills, gain valuable experience, and develop a sense of social responsibility. Getting children and teenagers involved in volunteering can be an excellent opportunity for them to connect with others and appreciate the benefits that come with helping others. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of volunteering and ways to get children and teenagers involved in volunteer activities with the help of professional nannies.


Benefits of Volunteering for Children and Teens

Most of us would agree that volunteering is an extremely worthwhile activity, and it also has a whole host of benefits for children and teenagers. Here we look at the ways that getting involved in voluntary work can benefit children and teens in various areas of their lives:

Develops a Sense of Purpose and Social Responsibility

Volunteering can be an essential catalyst for children and teens to develop a sense of social responsibility and purpose. By being a part of any volunteering activity, whether it is at a local food bank, animal shelter, or hospital, children and teenagers understand the benefits of giving back to the community, and in turn, it can give them a sense of fulfilment.

Helps Build Confidence and Self-Esteem

Children and teenagers who engage in volunteer activities learn new skills and gain valuable experience, which can help them build their confidence and develop a sense of self-esteem. As they work alongside other volunteers, they can develop positive relationships, which in turn can foster their social and interpersonal skills.

Provides Opportunities for Skill Development

Volunteering provides children and teenagers with many opportunities for skill development in areas like communication, leadership, teamwork, and time management. These skills can be extremely beneficial not only when they volunteer but also in future career opportunities.

Helps Foster an Open-Minded Approach

Volunteering can expose children and teenagers to new cultures, people, and experiences outside their immediate community. This exposure can help foster an open-minded approach to life and broaden their perspective of the world.

Promotes Physical and Mental Well-being

Volunteering can help promote physical and mental well-being, as it gives children and teenagers a sense of purpose and achievement, leading to better emotional health. When children and teenagers are involved in volunteering, it can also lead to physical activity, which can promote a healthy lifestyle. For example, many teenagers will take on the role of a junior sports coach, helping younger children in their chosen sports.


Ways to Get Children and Teens Involved in Volunteer Activities

You may be wondering where to begin with getting children and teenagers involved in volunteering opportunities. The first step should always be a discussion around what they would like to do, and then you can find opportunities that fit with this. Following this, these other tips can be applied:

Start Close to Home

Volunteering doesn’t always have to be far from home. Look around your community, and you’ll find a variety of organisations that need volunteers, such as charity shops, schools, and animal shelters. Reach out to these organisations and find out what opportunities they have available for children and teenagers to volunteer.

Use Online Search Tools

Online search tools are useful resources for finding volunteer opportunities near your area. There are many websites such as Volunteer Match, or Do-it.org which can help you find volunteer opportunities that suit children’s and teenagers’ interests, schedules and strengths. In the UK, 16 or 17 can take part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) or complete the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and other countries may have similar schemes.

Encourage Volunteering With Friends 


Encouraging children or teenagers to volunteer with their friends can make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding. Volunteering is an excellent activity for groups and can any day become a great bonding experience for friends who have common values and interests.

Get Involved in Environmental Conservation

Environmental conservation is an issue that affects everyone, and volunteering helps children and teenagers understand the importance of protecting the environment. There are several organisations working on environmental conservation like beach clean-ups or tree plantation, and participating in such events can offer enormous personal satisfaction and improve our surrounding environment.

Get Involved in Fundraising and Charitable Drives

Fundraising or charitable drives are an excellent opportunity for children and teenagers to volunteer their time, talent, and resources. Whether it is a food or clothing drive, children and teenagers will be actively involved in the organisation and planning of the event and can gain valuable experience as they work towards a common goal.

Whilst it is important that children and teenagers take ownership of their volunteering, adults play an important role in guiding them. This can be done by teachers and parents, but also by nannies, who have a great deal of influence in the families they are employed by.

How Nannies Can Encourage Children and Teens to Volunteer

Nannies play a central role in the lives of the children and teenagers they take responsibility for, making it essential for them to encourage their charges to volunteer, here are ways they can do so:


Highlight the Benefits of Volunteering

Nannies can highlight the many benefits of volunteering, such as skill development, community service, and personal fulfilment, to encourage their charges to engage in volunteer activities.

Match Volunteer Opportunities with Interests

Nannies can help their charges to identify volunteer activities that match their interests and passions. For example, if a child is interested in animals, nannies can research animal shelters in their area and suggest volunteering in such organisations.

Plan Volunteer Activities Together

Nannies can plan volunteer activities with their charges to help develop a sense of ownership and responsibility. By encouraging young volunteers to be proactive, they are more likely to stay committed and improve their chances of gaining maximum benefits from volunteering.

Celebrate Achievements and Success

Nannies can celebrate their children and teenagers’ achievements and successes by recognising their contributions and positive impact on the community. Such celebrations help to reinforce the value of volunteering and encourage a culture of service among children and teenagers.

Getting children and teenagers involved in volunteering not only benefits them as individuals, but it also helps in building an empathetic society where we routinely think of others, are socially responsible and community service and contributing to charitable causes becomes a part of everyday life. Nannies who encourage children and teenagers to volunteer will be setting them up for success in life by developing valuable skills, social consciousness, and a sense of responsibility towards their communities.

Parents should keep this in mind when they are hiring professional nannies, and aim to find someone who shares the same values and understands the importance of community development. Volunteering is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for children and teenagers, and by promoting this activity, we can build a better future for them and the society they live in.

Navigating Adolescence

Enrolling in our online course Navigating Adolescence could be the perfect way to take your career to the next level. With the knowledge and skills gained from this course, you could help guide children and teenagers through the challenging but rewarding journey of adolescence. By learning about the developmental stages, communication techniques, and problem-solving strategies, you will be able to provide crucial support to young people as they navigate the complexities of growing up. Whether you are a nanny or a teacher, this course will help you to become an even more effective caregiver and mentor. So, why not invest in your career and enrol in Navigating Adolescence today? Find out more at Navigating Adolescence or visit us at www.international-nanny.institute now!

International Nanny Institute