Play Date Fun

Today we had a play date instead of doing a craft. My friend Violet is also a nanny and this morning she had the brilliant idea of combining forces. She was with her three kids a couple of miles down the road so I gathered up Penny and Jude and we went over to visit Violet, Alex, Andrew, and Alyssa. They were all outside playing and waiting for us. The kids got to play in the small pool and in Andrew and Alyssa’s little toy cars and Violet and I got some time to talk. I love play dates because the kids are able to entertain themselves for the most part and I can have a fun little hang out. The novelty of playing with kids that they don’t get to see very often was all these five kids needed to have a good time. They ran around laughing, screaming, splashing, and chasing each other around. It was a lot of fun. Honestly play dates are so helpful when the nanny or mom is a little tired and not knowing what to do with the kids because the hard part is getting them to the play date. Once Penny and Jude are at a playdate I find they are so entertained by their friends that I can relax a lot more than if we were same coloring at home because while coloring I always have in the back of my head the knowledge that any minute they could be bored and I will have to come up with something new, while at a playdate I don’t experience that.

The kids had such a good time that we stayed for lunch. They all ran around the house like a tornado while Violet and I cooked up some pizza and mac and cheese, not the healthiest of lunches but it was what we had on hand. Sadly I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t take any pictures of all the kids playing together. However there is good news! The kids all had so much fun and Violet and I loved it so much that we are going to try and make it a weekly Friday thing, us going to their house or them coming to ours. So next week if we do it again I will post some pictures. Well the kids are up from their naps and the house, though we weren’t in it for a couple hours, is still messy. Until next week have a weekend!

~The Pinning Nanny


The Catch Up Post

It has been a few weeks since I have posted and before I start posting crafts again I guess should tell you all a little bit about what has been going on. Since my last post the kids and I have been extremely busy!

20150520_144039First of all I went to England! I just recently got back from an intensive creative writing course in the South of England, County East Sussex, in a little town called Lewes. I spent my days hiking the South Downs and writing. It was such a beautiful trip, although when it came time to come home I was ready. I was ready to come back and see my family, friends, and get back to Penny and Jude.

wpid-20150619_101337.jpgPenny and Jude were also busy while I was away, particularly Penny. While I was away, Penny was finishing up her last few weeks of preschool. Today was her last day and I am thrilled to say that I was there to bring her and pick her up from her last day of preschool. She was so incredibly cute telling me about how she was graduating and asking me when I would be graduating myself. The picture on the left is a picture of Jude giving Penny her last day high-five. They have had this tradition for I want to say the last four or five months. Penny gives me a hug good-bye and then walks up the ramp into the school, but not before giving her brother a high-five. It is such a cute little tradition and as I realized it would be the last time I would see it I quickly grabbed a picture of it, of course I got my finger in it. Anyway it is still a cute picture of the moment.

So that is what has been happening on this end of the blog. I hope the beginning of the summer has been treating you all well. I’ve got a few summer surprises in store for the kids so check back soon.

~The Pinning Nanny

Surprise! Circus Trip!

wpid-20150306_101758.jpgI know this week the kids and I were supposed to color Octonaut pictures but I forgot something very important… We were going to the circus! (Which is also why this post is two days late, I was too tired on Friday.) A couple weeks back their mom had asked if I would like to take them to the circus with some of their friends and their moms. As an avivid lover of anything remotely magical I LOVE the circus! Naturally I said I would love to take the kids to the circus but I forgot to put it on my calendar so of course I forgot about it until Wednesday night when I was talking to their mom and she wanted to confirm that I was still good to take them. So no we didn’t color any Octonaut pictures, but when I got to their house on Friday they were so excited about our surprise trip to the circus!

wpid-20150306_121357.jpgLike I said when I got to Penny and Jude’s house their dad had just told them we were going to the circus that day. They were beyond excited! They behaved so well all morning simply because they wanted to make sure there was no way I could take the circus away from them, which I never would have done for the simple reason that I desperately wanted to go! The circus began at 11:00 am and having mezzanine seating I wanted to get there early so that we would be guaranteed good seats. We left around 9:40 picked up my friend, Natalie, and we headed to the big top! We got great seats, first row dead center mezzanine! And this was my trick to guarantee that the good behavior continued through the show: I didn’t buy them any treats until intermission so that they had to sit through the first half of the show before they got any reward and then could eat the whole second half. It worked like a dream!

wpid-20150306_121500.jpgThe show was amazing. There were actual moments that I was flabbergasted by what was going on in the ring. Jude loved the two animal acts. And Penny’s favorite was the act in which the woman’s outfit kept changing every time someone put a sheet or tunnel thing over her. Both of those acts were impressive but my favorite were the brothers that would sit on each other’s feet and do flips. All in all it was a spectacular day that ended in the fireworks of tears brought on my overstimulation, hunger for real food, and complete exhaustion. However I got to go to the circus so Jude’s meltdown at the end has quickly faded into a faint memory. I simply love the circus and was honored to take them to their first circus. It was a great week. I’ll talk to you in a couple days.

~The Pinning Nanny

Colorful Snow!

wpid-20150126_100525.jpgFirst of all Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope that no matter what you are doing today or this weekend you surround yourself with people you love and have fun. I’ve have been doing that this week! The kids and I had an eventful week! We of course finally got around to playing with the snow paint and we also did some last minute Valentine’s Day stuff yesterday, because I totally forgot! Anyway the snow paint was so much fun! I can honestly say that all three of us had so much fun with it.

wpid-20150126_100829.jpgTo make sure we had enough time outside to really use the snow paint I started preparing the paint and Penny and Jude to go outside as soon as their parents left. I used two of their water bottles and made them each a color, Penny got pink and Jude got green. Then we bundled ourselves up good because let’s be honest it has been freeing out! I then handed them their water bottles and let them go for it! It was fun to see how excited and imaginative they were with it. Within being outside for five minutes Penny was on a sled spraying her paint everywhere and Jude was pulling her along, leaving a pink trail of snow behind them. It was great! Then Penny got off and Jude got on and they did it again leaving a green trail this time. We stayed outside until the paint was all used up and the kids were frozen. Penny did get some paint on her snow pants but it blended in really well because both were pink so it wasn’t a big deal.

Our smiley face
Our smiley face

If you have snow on the ground this week I would say go out and make it colorful with some paint snow. It was really a lot of fun for the kids and me. And the great part is all you need is snow, food coloring, water, and a water bottle. We didn’t really try to make anything other than a smiley face but I’m sure that if you try you can make some pretty cool stuff. Alright well that’s all for today. Next week I will share what Penny, Jude, and I did for Valentine’s Day so be sure to check back!

~The Pinning Nanny

Snow Rainbows

How-to-make-your-own-snow-paint1So last week I tried something new, and it failed. I wrote this post ahead of time and then scheduled it to be posted last Tuesday, while I was at school, from my phone. Needless to say it never posted. Which actually turned out alright because when I realized that it hadn’t posted was around the time that I realized the kids and I had played all day and not done the activity. And so we’re going to try again this week! As I’ve said before I simply love the snow! Seeing it fall from the sky and cover everything gives me such a thrill. This week I am going to take advantage of the snow and go out and play in it with Penny and Jude. However I will not be going outside empty handed, I’m going to be bringing along snow paint. As always I found the recipe on pinterest, it originally comes from a mommy blogger One Little Project At A Time. And like all my favorite projects it is super simple! There are only two ingredients, well three if you consider the snow, water and food coloring. You put the water and food coloring in water bottles and then take them outside to paint pictures in the snow.

I’m hoping that the kids will really like this craft because I’m really excited about it. I think that this could be really fun. It reminds me of coloring with chalk in the summer. Also the kids love being allowed to go wild and make things messy and this is a craft I feel I can allow them to do that. I can see them now a bottle in each hand shaking the bottles and spinning in circles spraying the colored water all over the snow. It should also be a fairly exhausting activity as well which means Jude will take a good nap and Penny’s teacher is just going to have to deal! I think this is going to be one of the crafts that we laugh the whole time we do it, and I really love those crafts.

I can’t imagine many things going wrong with this craft, but there are a few. Bottles could spill before we get outside, which would mean I would have to clean up before we went outside cutting into our play time. It could be bitterly cold outside and the kids might only be able to bear it for a few minutes before the cry out in protest to go back inside. I know their parents wouldn’t care if we got a little bit of the colored water on their snow gear but I’m sure they wouldn’t be too thrilled if say Penny rolled in the painted snow dying all of her snow gear.

As long as I can avoid those three problems I think this craft is going to be a hit! Ugh! I hope it goes well because I really want to laugh and play with them in the snow like this.  I’ll let you know how much fun we have with this one on Friday!


Painting Fun

Happy Almost New Year’s everyone! Since Thursday is New Year’s Day and I am only working a half day on Friday this will be the only post I will be writing this week, and no craft. 😦 I have to admit that now that December is coming to a close and it has been a few weeks since the kids and I have done a craft I actually miss doing the crafts. So next week we will be getting back into the swing of things and starting out the new year with a fun craft, that I haven’t decided on yet… But for today I’m going to talk about a craft that Penny, Jude, and I did this Fall that hasn’t made it on the blog yet.

At some point this Fall, I’m not going to try to remember when because Christmas killed my brain, Penny made up her mind that she wanted to do face painting. When I arrived at their house that morning their dad had already set Penny up with the paints and water and she was painting Jude’s hand. She also painted her hands, Jude’s belly, her own belly, and finally my hands. wpid-20141030_101753.jpg

At this point I can’t exactly remember what each of the paintings were but I do remember that mine was a butterfly. Can you see the butterfly? I’ve always loved letting them play with face paints because I like how it encourages their own imagination and hand and eye coordination, especially now that I don’t have to do all the painting. Over this past year I have seen Penny’s painting dexterity improve so much. She can now easily handle the paintbrushes and make if not perfect at least somewhat clean lines. Jude also enjoys playing with face paints, I hope this next year his dexterity will improve as his sister’s has. Face painting will definitely be something we will be doing in the new year. So have a great New Year’s celebration and the kids and I will be back in the new year with lots of fun new crafts!

Snow Day!

I have to 20141211_102456 (1)apologize for this week. I have had tons of papers to write, including a surprise assignment that was sprung on me on Monday. Luckily I a done! That’s right my crazy semester is over and all I have to do is do Christmas shopping, read my book, catch up on my TV shows, and craft with the kids. This week a craft did not happen because of school, but we did get to play outside in the little bit of snow.

It was fun and needed to get outside yesterday and play in the little snow there was. It is amazing to see how kids react to snow. As soon as we got outside they started running around screaming and laughing. Their imaginations ran rampant. And they loved sliding down the slick slide. For me the fresh air was a great brain stimulant that helped me finish up and submit my final paper last night. And they simply loved being able to to run wild! So until next week everyone have fun, play in the snow if you have any, and get in the Christmas spirit!

I’m Obsessed with Flubber!

Happy day after the feast! I hope you all were able to partake in the joyful celebration of Thanksgiving, not only eating but actually taking time to consider what we have to be thankful for. I know I have so much to be thankful for this beautiful season. And of course one of the things I’m grateful for is the time I get to spend with Penny and Jude. They bring so much joy to my life.

Now I know I have talked about flubber a lot on this blog and I promise that after this post I will be done talking about it… for now. 🙂 If you keep up with my blog you know that at the beginning of November I was finally able to successfully make flubber. And since then the kids have LOVED it! Honestly they love playing with flubber and that is why I am writing about it again. It is by far the most successful craft the kids and I have made together simply because we keep using it week after week. The little girl, Amy, that my mom watches is obsessed with it! Last week I announced that after cleaning up the dress up clothes we were going to play with flubber and her reaction was her jumping up and down as much as a little two year old could screaming, “It’s so squishy! It’s so squishy! It’s so squishy!” Honestly she did that the entire time it took for Penny and Jude to clean up the costumes.

The kids will play with it for hours on end. It has way more playability for them than play dough ever has. Even little Amy has played with it for two hours straight. When have you ever heard of a non sleeping two year old, or three year old or four year old for that matter, sit still and play with a single thing for two hours straight?! The love that these kids have for flubber is unheard of! Flubber has given me so much time to do things like cook, clean, and do homework that I don’t know how I nannied without it for so long! And it’s so cheap to make there really is no reason not to have a batch laying around for when you need some time without screaming and crying.

wpid-20141113_101920.jpgThe only thing I have to say about flubber that is bad is don’t let it get in the kids hair! Penny and I learned this one the hard way. I was cleaning up the kitchen when she panickingly called me into the sunroom. I didn’t first understand her panic until she turned her head and I saw the huge gob of flubber entangled in her hair. I was thankfully able to get it out but it did take some time and effort. And it was a little painful for her sensitive scalp. After I got it out I told her and the other kids not to put it near their hair and we haven’t had a problem since. So as long as you make sure the kids don’t put it in their hair this craft is pretty much priceless. It is a must have for me now.

Ok my over load of posts on flubber is now over! If you want to make you own batch click here. Once again I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready to get into the Christmas season! I know I am! Have a great weekend everyone, I will be back next week with a winter themed craft for kids.

Fox Fun!: Result>Experience

Yesterday Penny, Jude and I tried our hands at making the fox masks I talked about on Tuesday. I’m going to say it right now the result was awesome! Honestly I’m really proud of these masks, they’re really cute and fun. However the whole experience of making the masks was not as fantastic as the end result. Was it worth it? Yes, but I wouldn’t want to repeat the mayhem that was making the masks. So what happened you may be asking, well let me tell you.

wpid-20141120_155302.jpgToday the kids and I were at my house, which was nice in the morning because my sister and friend, Helga, were there so I got to hang out with them. My mom also had kids today she didn’t just have Amy (the little 2 year old) who she usually has but she also had Amy’s brother, James (5 years old), and two sisters Beatrice (5 years old) and Jenny (3 years old). It was a full house, to say the least! Plus Penny’s school had different times this week so she was home to eat lunch and nap with her brother by 11:45 am. So with all the kids and the changed school drop off and pick up times my head was swimming a little bit. Penny took a long time to fall asleep so she was still out when the rest of the kids got up from their rests and wanted something to do. I knew I had to make the mask with Jude, but I also knew the rest of the kids would want one too. I told my mom she was going to have to handle their masks. So Jude and I started out and it was going ok. I had found a template for a mask on pinterest, and it was good I just resized the width and eye hole so they fit him better. We cut out the mask, I cut out the mask he made jokes with the girls, and the little ears. I only had regular glue so I glued on the ears so they would dry while Jude and I colored in the mask. I used a pen to mark where I wanted to use the marker to be safe and then went over the pen lines with a sharpie. Every once in a while Jude would put his hand on top of mine but for the most part it was me working alone on the mask. It was while I was coloring the white around the eyes that the other kids started demanding my attention, Beatrice wanted the white marker I was using, James wanted to know how to spell the word Jewish, and my mom was having trouble following my instructions. I calmed the storms and went back to my coloring. Around this time Penny woke up and I quickly get her an apple and went back to my work. I finished the coloring, handed over my marker, and threaded the yarn through the sides of the mask. The result, ADORABLE!

wpid-20141120_162214.jpgNow I had to do it all over again. Penny took one look at her brother’s mask and wanted her own right away! I quickly found my little fox who was in his den, the stairwell, growling, and took his mask from him to use as an advanced template to save me some time and effort. I speedly traced out the new mask and gave the mask back to Jude who ran off back to his den. At this time my mom needed me to coach her through attaching the yarn to James’ and Beatrice’s masks. I gave instructions while cutting Penny’s mask out. Luckily I didn’t need to glue on ears and so after cutting it our I could get right to the job of outlining where the white would go. Penny wanted to do the coloring herself and so even though I wanted it to come out perfectly I told her what colors went where and sat back. I have to say she did a good job. By this time I could hear “What Did The Fox Say?” playing in the other room as Jude, James, Amy, and Beatrice danced around in their masks. Penny finished up her mask, adding polka dots. I threaded the yarn through her mask and voila we were done! It was an exhausting craft but the result is so cute that I can’t help smiling even now. Try these masks out, but just do it when there are less kids present or more adults! Have a great weekend everybody!

How can these faces not make you smile?!
How can these faces not make you smile?!

Minion Fingers

It’s the end of the week and it is time for my favorite post of the week, not only because it signifies almost the end of my work and school week, the results post! This week was a bit rough for the kids and I because Jude and I both have a fierce cold and Penny has a strong case of the sniffles that is threatening to become as fierce of a cold as Jude and I have had. Because of all the tissues, snot, coughing, and tears (of Jude’s not mine! Ok maybe I shed a fews tears, but that has everything to do with me just finishing a good book and not the cold.) none of us had the true enthusiasm we usually have while making our crafts.

After forcing myself off the couch and away from the warm blanket I tried to convince them, and myself a little bit, that making these puppets would be more fun than watching another show. I ignored the protests and put on what they call minion music, music from the movie, and thought we would all make the puppets together. However they were more interested in watching the music videos from the movie on the Ipad than helping me and I realized that if these puppets were going to come out looking at all like minions I was going to need to focus so I let them watch the music videos while I drew little faces on the yellow gloves. It was a fairly quiet craft, me sitting at the table willing these yellow gloves to transform into little minion puppets, and the kids sitting next to me hoarsely laughing at the minions dancing on the screen.wpid-20141114_094844.jpg

I finished drawing the faces on the gloves and cut the fingers off of the gloves, all without the kids really noticing. Once they were finished they finally took notice of the little minion like things laying on the table. Happy that they were finally showing some enthusiasm I placed one minion on each of their little fingers. Their faces light up and it felt really good. After posing for a few photos they told me they wanted to do a puppet show. I was happy feeling slightly like a super nanny by inspiring their imaginations.They climbed into their little castle and I stationed myself back on the couch with the blanket. Sadly the puppet show was incredibly short! It probably lasted all of three or four minutes.

Forgive the mess in the background!
Forgive the mess in the background!

Even though this craft was a success in that I was able to pull off drawing minion faces and Penny and Jude played with them, I was disappointed in the end result. I thought the kids would be more enthusiastic about the puppets and want to play with them longer. Of course if we hadn’t all been sick or it had just been a different day this craft might had ended in a more satisfactory way for me. So I’m calling this craft a success, and perhaps on another day they will end up playing with the puppets for longer, at least now we have them. If you want to try these finger puppets out for yourself heres the link and let me know how they turn out! And if you for some strange reason want to read even more of my thoughts while I was making them see the picture below. Alright well until next week, have a great weekend!Screenshot_2014-11-15-19-36-42