Nanny secret #3: keep the kids busy

One of the many things to successful nannying or babysitting is not letting the kids get bored. When they start to get dis-interested with a game or a toy it is good to switch activities.
I am not saying to teach them how to be catered-to because obviously there is a need to teach them how to wait, how to be patient and how to finish what they start but at a certain age, when you are with them all day, there are very important times and days you need to keep them occupied.

here are a few things I like to do with them:
connect4
connect4again
This is ultimate connect four. They like to make patterns with the colors and watch the circles fall. Sometimes I give them specific instructions on how to make 3 in a row or put in all one color. Sometimes I tell them to sort the rings but other times I just let them play. The girls love to stand at the counter top and that way I can bake while they play, listen to a sermon, music or get other things done in the kitchen.
The boys also really like to play but all four kids can only fit around the game for so long:
fourconnect4
4connect4again

The boys are at the age where they like to learn and play the real way, not just put the rings (or whatever game we are play) in and let them fall; so if they dont understand games and think they are fun, they get bored quickly. This game the girls like much better because for them it keeps their attention to just put the rings in and let them fall.

leappad
leappad2

The leap pad is an educational toy and can be shared by the boys really well so sometimes when I need them to settle down and keep busy I will let them play games here but make sure I keep an eye on them so they are both getting a turn to play.
cars
The boys really love to play with the cars and watch them zoom through the big wheel.

The next four pictures are what we call “the squishies”
They are connector beads that make jewlry but mostly we sort them by shape, size, color or by bucket. I dump them out of the jar into a baking pan in which they know are not to be put onto th floor. (this keeps the excess hair, dust, and whatever else nasty things in the carpet from sticking to the beads and ending up back into the original jar.) They are allowd to take them out and make jewlry, sort them into the small buckets but not to dump them all out on the floor (also because then they spread everywhere and we end up losing some each time.) We set timers for how fast they can go and its fun to watch them do new things. They are really good about the different ways to sort them. I usually stay in the room for this because if I am not watching, sometimes they will dump them onto the floor which ends up being more difficult for me because I end up having to clean them up instead of the kids doing it. I think this is their favorite toy/activity and keeps them busy for up to an hour.

squishies

squishiesgamefor4

squishiessorting

squishiesupclose

the last good game we routinely play with is what we call “poles”. its a similar concept but just a different way to do a puzzle type sorting game.

poles

Look in the next week or so back here, I will be posting my secrets to planning and prepping at meal time, getting the kids ready for the day and how to get them ready for pre-school and day care.

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