In today’s world, children are given cell phones and tablets basically the day they are brought into this world. They create social media accounts and have a directory of their favorite of TV shows and Netflix series by their first birthday. Contradictory to this, parents – who are most likely providing the little ones with the devices – expect the nanny to divorce the children from their “toys” and be active. It’s the nanny’s turn to keep the kids lively and entertained. How is these seemingly impossible tasks suppose to be achieved? It’s time to throw it back to when you were a kid! Playing capture the flag, swinging on the swings, or riding a bike was what children loved to do. If you ask a young one, “What do you want to do today?”, the first answer may not be run around outside. Or if you ask them to play Man Hunt outside, chances are they do not know what that game is. Present day adults did not have a Snapchat account to MyStory our every second. But one thing is for sure; there was Pokémon but definitely not a Pokémon tracking and capturing app. At least it is encouraging outdoors activity!
So where do you start when you are trying to be the “cool” nanny that the kids rave about but still being adored and respected by the parents? Here is a list of activities that you can do and ways to be engaged with the children to be the BEST Nanny in the Technology Age…
Have the kids pick from a list of pre-selected activities.
For example, write on Popsicle sticks ideas of interactive things to do during the day, let them pick what they want to do that day. This way the kids feel involved in the planning of their day and will be happy doing what they decided to do for the day. As the Nanny, you can have a couple sticks with more relaxed events such as watch a movie or an active event like rock climbing at the local community center.
Make Meals Together
Pinterest is here to save the day! There are hundreds of kid-centered meals that are simple to prepare, execute, and enjoy. It is as easy as 1-2-3. Cooking together will help teach basic math, show them dos and don’ts of the kitchen, and after it is all over they will have completed something, which will give them a sense of accomplishment. Take it one step further and plant a garden for fresh veggies or see about a local farm that might let you pick strawberries or other fruit or vegetable to cook something with.
Arts and Crafts
Pinterest back to save the day again! Whether you make a lion mask out of a paper plate or a collide-a-scope from a toilet paper roll, any thing involving glue, markets, and glitter is going to win the kids over. Everyone has photos on their phone these days. Pull out an old school Polaroid or get some photos printed and make a scrapbook of summer activities.
Summer reading always manages to sneak its way up in August when you have been side tracked with 100 other things. Taking a weekly trip to the library or a bookstore will keep summer reading simple! If you decide to use a local library, the children can get library cards. This will make them feel involved and excited to go back!
Enjoy the summer while you can! Swim lessons can be fun for the kids, a great way to make friends, and an important concept to learn while you are young. Remember tubing? See if there are any local water areas that offer tubing. You can’t get less technology connected than floating down a river for hours.
Local YMCA’s, day camps, and gyms offer classes for a certain amount of weeks. Children can pick from tennis, golf, soccer, basketball, dance, gymnastic, and so on. Once they begin the classes, you can practice with them!
Go for Bike Rides
Take it back to when having a bell on your bike was the highlight of your day. If you tell the kids stories about what you use to do when you were their age they will be more inclined to want to do those activities. Kids look up to their nanny or babysitter sometimes, if you ride your bike they will want to ride a bike too! Or even just go for walks, roller blade, or play tag!
There are hundreds of ways to help children put the phones and devices away, and be active. You can still be the best nanny without a TV, cell phone, or tablet. What activities do you do with the children?