Times of Transition: Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten

Transitioning from preschool to kindergarten can be a big change for young children. As a professional nanny, you can play a crucial role in helping preschool children prepare for this transition and make it a positive experience. In this blog post, we will explore how nannies can help preschool children transition to kindergarten and support them during this important time.

Start Preparing Early

It’s important to start preparing preschool children for kindergarten early on, so that they have plenty of time to adjust to the idea and get used to the routines and expectations of a kindergarten classroom. You can start by talking to the children about what kindergarten is like and what they can expect, as well as introducing them to some of the basic concepts they will be learning, such as counting, letters, and basic maths skills.

Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten

Encourage Independence

In kindergarten, children will be expected to be more independent than they were in preschool. This can include things like dressing themselves, using the bathroom independently, and following instructions without constant supervision. As a nanny, you can help preschool children develop these skills by encouraging them to do things for themselves and praising them when they succeed.

Practice Social Skills

Kindergarten is a social environment, and children will be expected to interact with their peers and follow social norms. As a nanny, you can help preschool children develop their social skills by encouraging them to play with others, teaching them how to share and take turns, and modelling good social behaviour yourself.

Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten

Build Confidence

Starting kindergarten can be intimidating for young children, especially if they have never been in a school environment before. As a nanny, you can help build preschool children’s confidence by praising their accomplishments, encouraging them to try new things, and reminding them of their strengths and abilities.

Visit the School

Visiting the kindergarten classroom before the first day of school can help preschool children feel more comfortable and familiar with their new environment. If possible, arrange a visit with the children before the start of the school year, so that they can meet their new teacher and see where they will be spending their days.

Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten

Create a Routine

Creating a routine can help preschool children feel more secure and comfortable in their new environment. As a nanny, you can help establish a routine for the children that includes regular meal times, nap times, and play time, as well as time for learning and socialising.

Read Books About Kindergarten

Reading books about kindergarten can help preschool children understand what to expect and feel more comfortable with the idea of starting school. Look for books that are age-appropriate and that address common concerns and questions that preschool children might have about starting kindergarten.

Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten

Practice Academic Skills

Kindergarten will involve more structured learning than preschool, and children will be expected to have a basic understanding of concepts like letters, numbers, and basic maths skills. As a nanny, you can help preschool children prepare for kindergarten by practising these skills with them and teaching them new concepts as they are ready.

Encourage a Love of Learning

Starting kindergarten can be a big adjustment for preschool children, but it can also be an exciting opportunity to learn new things and explore new ideas. As a nanny, you can help preschool children develop a love of learning by encouraging their curiosity, supporting their interests, and making learning fun and engaging.

Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten

Stay Positive and Supportive

Finally, it’s important to stay positive and supportive throughout the transition to kindergarten. Starting school can be a big change for young children, and they may experience a range of emotions during this time. As a nanny, you can provide a supportive and reassuring presence, listening to their concerns and offering encouragement and support.

Are you ready to learn more about child development and helping children nurture their growth and potential? Enrol today in Child Development and gain practical strategies to support young children’s transitions, such as the move from preschool to kindergarten and beyond, to help foster independence, confidence, social skills, and academic learning. Our flexible modules fit into your schedule, and a supportive online community is available 24/7 to support you throughout. Invest in your career while helping to make a positive impact on children’s lives. 

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Exploring the Five Senses: Stimulating Infant Development

As caregivers, we understand the importance of providing a nurturing environment that supports the growth and well-being of the children in our care. By understanding and actively engaging their senses, we can enhance their cognitive, social, and emotional development. In this blog, we will discuss practical ways to stimulate your infant’s senses and provide them with enriching sensory experiences. These activities can be incorporated into your daily routines, fostering a strong bond between you and your little one while promoting their overall development. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of sensory stimulation for infants.


Exploring the Five Senses: Stimulating Infant Development

Your infant’s visual sense plays a vital role in their overall development. During the first few months, they start to focus on objects and track movements. Here are some activities to stimulate their sight:

High-Contrast Visuals

Introduce black and white patterns or toys with bold, contrasting colours. Hanging mobiles or picture cards can capture their attention and encourage visual tracking.

Mirror Play

Position a baby-safe mirror in front of your infant to allow them to explore their own reflection. This activity promotes self-awareness and helps develop their visual tracking abilities.


Exploring the Five Senses: Stimulating Infant Development

Hearing is an essential sense for language development and communication skills. Exposing your infant to various sounds and engaging in auditory activities can be highly beneficial. Here are a few ideas:

Musical Toys

Introduce rattles, musical mobiles, or toys that produce gentle sounds. These toys encourage your infant to listen, focus, and explore different auditory stimuli.

Singing and Rhymes

Engage in regular singing sessions and recite nursery rhymes to your little one. This not only enhances their auditory skills but also fosters a bond between you and your infant.


Exploring the Five Senses: Stimulating Infant Development

The sense of touch provides infants with valuable sensations and helps them understand the world around them. Encourage tactile exploration through the following activities:

Sensory Play

Set up a safe play area with various textured materials like soft fabrics, textured toys, and safe household items (under supervision). Let your infant touch and explore these objects, promoting sensory stimulation and fine motor skills.

Baby Massage

Gently massage your infant using baby-safe oils or lotions. This activity promotes relaxation, strengthens the bond between caregiver and child, and enhances body awareness.


Taste exploration helps infants develop their palates and discover new flavours. While introducing solid foods, consider the following tips:

Introduce a Variety of Foods

Gradually introduce a range of flavours and textures, such as puréed fruits, vegetables, and cereals. This exposes your infant to different tastes and helps develop their taste preferences.

Sensory Teething Toys

Provide safe teething toys that babies can chew on. These toys offer sensory stimulation and relieve discomfort while encouraging oral exploration.


Exploring the Five Senses: Stimulating Infant Development

The sense of smell is closely tied to memory and emotional well-being. Consider these activities to enhance your infant’s olfactory experiences:


Use natural scents like lavender or chamomile in a diffuser to create a calming atmosphere during nap time or bedtime. This can help your infant relax and develop positive associations with certain scents.

Scented Sensory Bins

Create sensory bins with materials like dried herbs, flowers, or scented play dough. Allow your infant to explore these materials, stimulating their sense of smell alongside touch and sight.

Do you want to learn more about engaging infants’ senses to provide them with valuable experiences that positively impact their overall development? Enrol in our Child Development class and experience the transformative power of actively engaging your infant’s senses. Gain practical techniques that support cognitive and motor skills while nurturing a strong caregiver-child bond. Connect with our vibrant community of caregivers, exchange experiences, and draw inspiration from each other’s journeys.

By enrolling in our Child Development class, you’ll not only gain the knowledge, skills, and support needed to provide exceptional care and stimulate infants’ senses effectively but also elevate your professional expertise to new heights. Take this incredible opportunity to enhance your caregiving capabilities, expand your career prospects, and become a sought-after childcare provider. Don’t miss out on this chance to invest in your career, make a lasting difference, and be a catalyst for positive change in children’s lives. Take the leap and enroll now to unlock a world of possibilities in the child development field.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

Creating a Pre-reading Environment

As a nanny, you have an incredible opportunity to help introduce young children to the joys of reading. Reading is a critical skill that lays the foundation for success in both the academic and personal lives of children. By creating a pre-reading environment in the family home, nannies can help set children up for a lifetime of learning, curiosity, and exploration. In this article, we will explore tips and strategies for nannies to help toddlers and young children get excited about reading and create a pre-reading environment in the family home.

Benefits of Reading to Toddlers and Young Children

Creating a Pre-reading Environment

As well as the obvious benefits of boosting children’s ability to read when the time comes and providing a pleasurable pastime, there are many benefits of promoting pre-reading skills which impact on  children’s overall wellbeing and different areas of development. Here we explore some of those:

Enhances Language and Cognitive Development

Reading plays an essential role in the language and cognitive development of young children. It exposes them to a broad range of vocabulary, sentence structure, and syntax, which helps build their language skills and comprehension abilities.

Develops Imagination and Creativity

Reading provides an escape from reality and opens up new worlds of imagination and creativity. It allows children to explore new ideas, places, and perspectives, nurturing their minds with a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Creating a Pre-reading Environment

Cultivates Critical Thinking

Reading promotes critical thinking and problem-solving. Through reading, children learn to analyse information, draw conclusions, and apply knowledge to specific situations, all of which are critical analytical skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Sparks Curiosity and Love for Learning

Reading helps foster a love for learning and a thirst for knowledge in children. It encourages them to explore new interests and topics, expand their minds, and pursue lifelong learning.

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

Nannies have the unique position of providing children with early care and education in a home environment. There are many ways that the home environment can be leveraged and enhanced in order to support pre-reading skills. These are some of the ways that nannies can create a pre-reading environment in a family’s home.

Provide Age-Appropriate Books

Provide age-appropriate books for children to read, engage and immerse in stories. Ensure that you have a variety of books that cater to different interests, reading levels, and genres to promote curiosity and exploration.

Create a Dedicated Reading Space

Creating a dedicated reading space in the home helps to set the tone for reading as a consistent activity. The reading space can be cosy with colourful pillows, comfortable chairs, or bean bags in a quiet and well-lit room, warding off distractions and maximising the reading environment.

Creating a Pre-reading Environment

Read Aloud

Reading aloud to children helps develop their language skills, increase their vocabulary, and develop their comprehension and critical thinking skills. Encourage and engage children to participate in the reading process by asking them questions and allowing them to interact with the story.

Set a Positive Reading Example

As a nanny, setting a positive reading example within the family is crucial! Children tend to be influenced by the behaviours of their caretakers, seeing them reading and enjoying books helps encourage children to become avid readers themselves.

Creating a Pre-reading Environment

Encourage a Love for Libraries

Visiting the library is a perfect way to show children the world of literature, offers access to an abundance of books, and is an excellent way to expose young children to the world of literature. Encouraging visits to the library, borrowing books and attending library programmes can further foster a passion for reading in children.

Make It Fun

Making reading fun is the key to keeping children engaged and excited about it. Incorporating fun activities like puzzles and colouring pages related to the books they’ve read, costumes or acting out scenes from books, and drawing and writing their own stories based on their favourite books, all of which promote imagination and creativity in children.

Activities to Encourage Reading in Young Children

Creating a Pre-reading Environment

If you would like to plan and carry out some specific activities to support children’s pre-reading skills in your role as a nanny then here are some good ideas:

Role-playing and Storytelling

An excellent way to engage children in reading is through role-playing and storytelling. Encouraging children to act out scenes from their favourite stories, or even create their stories, helps them to develop their imagination and helps in language development.

Library Scavenger Hunt

Going to the library and organising a scavenger hunt can help children discover new books and exploration of the library while having fun. Children can search for specific books, and find different genres of books, topics, or authors, to promote curiosity and exploration.

Educational and Interactive Apps

Interactive and educational apps for phones or tablets can be a fun and engaging way to introduce new stories and promote reading skills. There are various reading apps available that help children improve their reading skills, vocabulary, and comprehension abilities while making learning fun.

As a nanny, creating a pre-reading environment in the family home is a crucial step in fostering a love for reading in toddlers and young children. By providing age-appropriate books, creating a dedicated reading space, reading aloud, setting a positive reading example, encouraging a love for libraries, and making reading fun, nannies can ignite the spark of curiosity and imagination in children. Engaging in activities like book clubs, role-playing and storytelling, library scavenger hunts, movie nights, audiobooks, and educational apps can further enhance the reading experience for young children.

By investing in developing literacy skills, nannies can help set the foundation for a lifetime of learning, encourage critical thinking and imagination, and help preschoolers and young children become well-rounded individuals. This is a vital part of your role when working as a nanny. If you want to become more confident and knowledgeable when supporting children’s development in a range of different areas, our Early Years Childcare course will help you gain insight into the different areas of learning and how these can be supported at various ages and stages of development. Visit us today at www.international-nanny.institute to learn more.

International Nanny Institute

Swimming Pool Safety

Swimming pools are a great source of outdoor family fun, and young children enjoy splashing around in the water. However, as enjoyable as it is, the safety of young children around the pool cannot be overstated. As a nanny responsible for child care during summer, you must prioritise swimming pool safety to prevent drowning, and injuries and ensure that children have a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. In this blog post, we will discuss back garden pool safety tips designed to protect young children and ensure a secure poolside environment.

Pool Fencing

Installing pool fencing around the pool area should be a priority for parents and homeowners. This helps restrict access to the pool area, preventing young children from wandering unsupervised. A high fence of over four feet is recommended to prevent children from climbing over it, and the gate should be self-closing and self-latching mechanism that fastens securely when closed.

Swimming Pool Safety

Install a Pool Cover

A pool cover is essential in ensuring the safety of young children around the pool. A sturdy hard-cover pull lid or mesh cover should be in place when the pool is not in use. This ensures that toddlers and young children are kept safe, even if they accidentally wander to the pool area unattended. A pool cover also helps to keep the pool cleaner, reducing debris and maintenance.

Use Pool Alarms

When it comes to pool safety, having an alarm in place is a step in the right direction. Pool alarms should be placed in the pool itself and on the fence gate, alerting adults when a child approaches the pool without supervision or if they accidentally fall into the pool. These alarms can be found in different forms and include motion sensors, sound alarms, and wave detection devices.

Swimming Pool Safety

Invest in Swim Aids

Investing in swim aids such as swim vests, aid floats or armbands provides an extra layer of protection, especially for younger children. These swim aids hold children above water level, allowing them to move and swim independently of adults. They provide an additional level of security for young children in the pool, allowing them to play and splash around safely.


The absolute most crucial aspect of pool safety is adult supervision. Toddlers and young children should always be accompanied by an adult when around the pool. This means constant supervision, avoiding phones and distractions. Adults should never leave young children unattended near a pool, regardless of how brief your leaving may seem.

Swimming Pool Safety

Teach Swim Safety

It is essential to teach young children about water safety and the pool rules before allowing them to swim. Ensure that they are aware of the dangers around the pool and the rules around swimming. Communication is an essential tool in encouraging children to prioritise their safety while they swim.

CPR Training

Having CPR training is an essential skill for anyone supervising children around the pool area. Knowing how to perform CPR can be lifesaving, especially in the event of a pool accident. Nannies and parents should take the time to enrol in CPR classes to ensure they have this essential and lifesaving skill.

Remove Toys from Pool

It’s essential to avoid leaving toys in the pool after use, as they may attract young children or toddlers to the pool. These toys can also be a choking hazard to toddlers, and their presence can encourage small children, even those who cannot swim or stand, to enter the pool area. Always ensure that pool toys are removed and stored safely after use.

Check Water Quality

Swimming Pool Safety

Maintaining a pool regularly involves testing and treating the pool water using the appropriate chemicals. However, pool owners should also ensure that the pool’s chemical balance is appropriate for swimming that can harm young children, such as high chlorine levels, can cause harm. Regularly testing the water’s cleanliness and maintaining the pool equipment will benefit young children and ensure a safer swimming experience.

Swimming in a back garden pool can be fun and enjoyable, and as nannies responsible for children, ensuring their safety around the pool is critical. Installing pool fencing, pool alarms, and covers, investing in swim aids, constant adult supervision, teaching swim safety, learning CPR, removing toys from the pool, and checking water quality are essential steps in ensuring peace of mind for parents and a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for young children. By following these tips, nannies can play an essential role in creating a pool-safe environment for young children. Regardless of the season, keeping children safe around the pool is an active and shared responsibility among adults.

For more safety tips, including safety around the home and safe driving practices, check out our Caring for Children course. This course will improve your knowledge and confidence in looking after children in a home-based role. If you’re looking to become a nanny or develop your skill set as a nanny, knowledge is power! Find out more about our Caring for Children course and our other offerings at www.international-nanny.institute today!