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

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Planting Fun

wpid-20150410_111313.jpgHello everyone! I know I said I would post about planting elephant ear plants with Penny and Jude last week but two things happened. First of all my dad did not get the plants out last week so when Friday came and I asked for the plants they were not ready for me. And secondly I had about 30 pages of writing to do for my classes so when I thought about writing a quick post to explain the hold up my brain took a nap. But I’m awake now and planting has been done!

wpid-20150410_111447.jpgI brought over the pots with the dirt already in them so Penny and Jude literally just had to put the bulbs in the pots and then cover them with a little soil. I sent everything up while they were destroying the basement (which we cleaned up after nap) and then called them up to plant their individual bulb. They were really into it wanting to make sure that they had the bulb in the right way and that the dirt was in the right place. It was actually really cute. They got to get a little dirty too which they loved. Give them a little dirt and they’re in heaven.

wpid-20150410_111435.jpgThis activity went so smoothly I almost feel like we didn’t do it. I have photo to prove we did do it so I’m sure it actually happened. The best part of this activity is that they aren’t just going to have it for a couple days. They are going to be able to actually watch their own plants grow from bulbs to big elephant ear leaves, which if you haven’t seen before actually look like and can grow to be the size of a real elephant’s ear. Planting is a fun activity for anyone so if you haven’t done any spring planting yet I would encourage you to get some dirt under your nails and let your kids do the same! Until next time.

~The Pinning Nanny

Rainbows and a Pot of Gold

st-patrick-rainbow-craftHappy St. Patrick’s Day! First of all Penny and I did color on last week but on Friday I succumbed to Spring Break fever and wasn’t productive at all during nap time hence no post about it. This week however will be different! We are going to make St. Patrick’s Day rainbows.

The rainbows are super cute and at the same time really easy to make. I love making chain decorations and so when I found this craft I knew immediately I wanted to do it with them. Also Penny and Jude love colorful things so they will have fun with this. I am expecting them to like this craft because it is hands on in a way that they can do most of the work themselves. I will of course do all the cutting and such but I want to challenge them and their hand eye coordination by having them make the chains with as little assistance as possible.

I’m going to pull the luck of the Irish and say that while we are making our rainbows nothing wrong will happen. I think that because all three of us are Irish, and the number three is the holy number in Irish tradition that our craft will go off with no hiccups.

So come back Friday and I will tell you if our luck held out, or if a leprechaun will mess things up for us.

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

Sweet Love

Happy Wednesday everybody! I know I usually don’t post on a Wednesday but this week I am only going to post once because school is starting to speed up and I need a little break. So I’m going to tell you all about my last minute Valentine’s Day party with Penny and Jude. Now usually I am good at planning ahead, even for blogging I have all the crafts that I want to do for the next few weeks written down in my planner. However somehow Valentine’s Day slipped my mind completely! It wasn’t until last Wednesday when my friend, Janet, who is also a nanny told me about the Valentine’s Day craft that she was going to be doing with her kids that I remembered. It isn’t really an exaggeration when I say I had a moment of panic. Of course I wanted to do something fun and homemade but I had a paper due Thursday morning and didn’t have time to plan anything extravagant. Janet suggested I just make the cut a bake cookies with the hearts in the center, she even offered to go buy them for me. I agreed and Janet saved the day!wpid-20150213_083416.jpg

Come Friday I had the cookie dough, plan cause the store was all out of hearts, in hand when I walked through Penny and Jude’s door. The morning was a crunch. Penny had school earlier than usual because they were going to have a Valentine’s Day party and then get out early. Plus Penny hadn’t finished all her valentines for the kids in her class. We spent the morning glueing, glittering, bejeweling, and trying unsuccessfully to not get it on ourselves. The valentines came out great and they were just dried when we had to pack them up and get to school. wpid-20150213_162856.jpg

After school, lunch, and nap time (which I even got to be a part of as a valentine to myself) it was time to make the cookies! The kids loved cutting them out and placing them on the sheets. And I pulled out sprinkles as an extra special treat! While the cookies were in the oven I set Penny and Jude up watch American Tale as another treat, and also so that I could clean the house for their mom. When the cookies were done I brought them down each a cookie and they just loved their Valentine’s Day treat! It was so simple and I was happy, I even got to watch part of the movie! So even though I usually like doing homemade things I’m here to say that in a pinch it’s ok to go store bought, there’s no shame! Have a great week everyone and I talk to you next week about our next adventure!

~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

Frozen Flubber

Frozen-Silly-Putty-Top-ShotOkay so I know I promised you guys that I wouldn’t talk about flubber again for a while, but six weeks is long enough right?! Hahahaha since this is my last week of Winter Break I wanted to do something fun with Penny and Jude while keeping mind some of the things we collectively love. I don’t think I have to really get into my love of flubber here, if you’re new to the blog this is the 6th post dedicated to flubber. The kids also love playing with it. And like every other kid they still are in love with the movie Frozen. I can’t tell you how many times we have watched the movie or listened to the soundtrack… it’s on my phone. So thanks to Paging Fun Moms this week we will be making Frozen themed flubber. They call it Frozen silly putty but by now I know flubber recipe when I see it.

I’m imagining the kids are going to freak out when I tell them we are going to make Frozen flubber. They still ask to play with the first successful batch and so this one should go over even better! I’m all geared up for this craft! I’ve got the soundtrack, the silver and blue glitter from our snow globes, I have to go get more glue and borax, but now I know where to get it and how to make a great batch of flubber. I think this craft is going to be a home run! I’m excited to make it with them and see them play with it afterwards.

After my last successful batch of flubber I’m feeling confident, combined with how great I feel after four weeks of no homework. I am going to say something that I have never said on the blog and that is I don’t think anything bad is going to happen with this craft. I’ve learned my lesson about the proper ingredients of making flubber. I can say I have made a successful batch. And I mean come on I’ve got the trump card, Frozen! This craft is set up for success! Come back on Friday to see if my confidence was misplaced or not. And because I can’t resist…

Sweet Success

Ladies and Gentlemen let it be known that I made a perfect batch of sugar cookies with the kids! There was not a burnt, unshapely, or glittered cookie in sight! It was in all respects a glorious success.

The cookies Penny and Jude decorated
The cookies Penny and Jude decorated

I had a game plan from the beginning and I kept my eye on the prize. We started a little later than I originally planned but I believe it ended up working in my favor. Penny and Jude were in a particularly riotous mood yesterday  and they ran around shouting and playing while I prepared for the cookie making in as much peace as you can have under the circumstances. I then allowed each of them to help me in turn with one of the processes, mixing dry and wet ingredients. I then released them to play again until it was time to roll them and cut them out.wpid-20141218_104444.jpg

I again allowed one kid at a time help me roll out a ball of dough and cut out cookies. Once they had each had a turn they were once again sent off to play. This strategy worked beautifully because I was able to focus my attention on keeping the dough at the right thickness and shapes. Once a whole tray was filled they were allowed to decorate them as they liked. After this final contribution I had them sit down at the table to eat lunch, that I had heated up while they were decorating, while I cut out and decorated the rest of the cookies. I made sure to keep a timer on so as not to forget a batch of cookies while cutting out and decorating another batch while also keeping Penny and Jude at the table and eating. wpid-20141218_105207.jpg

The whole activity took some effort on my part mostly because I was so determined to not mess the cookies up as I have in the past. However, even though I was grateful when the last batch was out of the oven and the kitchen was once again clean the cookies were glittered prettily and tasted delicious! The reward was well worth the effort, as I often find when it comes to baked goods. Well everyone, I hope that your weekend is as sweet as the beginning of mine has been. Until next week enjoy the cheer of the season!

Winter in a Jar

It’s Friday ladies and gentlemen! The work week is either finished or just about to be over! I’m happy to say that procrastination hasn’t won the battle, ok well maybe I should be writing a final paper right now but I’ll do that as soon as I’m done writing this. The snow globes worked out well. They look so pretty!wpid-20141204_102203.jpg

Penny and Jude’s mom went into work an hour later than she usually does so I got some extra time Thursday morning, but that also meant my time with the kids was cut short. They came in wanting a snack and juice and so before I could start doing anything for the craft I had to quiet their requests. It was a bit of a crunch to get everything set up, the kids sitting down ready to do the craft, and the glitter glue snowflakes on the jars before it was time for me to make lunch. Thank heavens my friend Alice was there with me, she was able to print out snowflake templates while I set everything else up.

Sadly the silver snowflakes are hard to see.
Sadly the silver snowflakes are hard to see.

The template was easy enough to follow once I put it inside the jars, sadly I didn’t ask her to save the link so I can’t tell you exactly where we got. However I’m pretty sure she just googled it so I would suggest doing that cause it really helped. As I’m sure you already guessed I painted the snowflakes on the jars while the kids sat and watched me. They also colored while I was hard at work. After I was done with the snowflakes I left the jars on the table to dry. I was in the other room with the kids when I heard Alice go “Oh no,” she had smudged two of Penny’s snowflakes! I had to do immediate glitter glue surgery. My instruments were Q-tips and more glitter glue. Luckily my surgery was a success and you can’t tell I had to fix it. The glitter glue took a lot longer to dry than I thought it would, after 4 hours Penny’s still wasn’t completely dry. Then again they were sitting in a room with a roaring fire, Alice doesn’t like the cold, so that could have been why they didn’t dry very quickly. After Penny got up from her nap we added water to the jars and then the much anticipated glitter. I used white and blue glitter and when it blended together in the jar it looked really pretty. The only scary thing about the snow globes right now is I didn’t realize we had run out of super glue and so the jars can at this point still be opened and their contents spilt. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen!wpid-20141204_163226.jpgI think this craft was a big success. The snowflakes turned out looking better than I expected, even with the emergency surgery. And the glitter catches the light really well. The kids love them and so I am happy. And now that all the fun is over it’s time for me to get back to my papers. 😦 I’ll talk to you all next week, that is if I’m not buried under all my notes and papers. Have a great weekend everyone!

 

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.