Simple Ways To Make Winter Days Fun
Some of us nannies and private educators are in the throes of the winter season, and with the delight of fluffy sweaters and adorable mittens comes the inevitable inclement weather.
When the chilly days and snowy evenings first arrive, your nanny kids are interested in exploring the changes. They want to jump in piles of snow, go sledding, or build a snowman. Then after a while, the cold, wet weather loses its appeal and the kiddos (and their nannies and private educators!), are ready for some warmer indoor activities. We’ve been researching some of the most fun, silly, engaging, and educational ways to guide your charges through these indoor play days, so let’s dig in!
Make A Time Capsule
Battle boredom with time-traveling! Creating a time capsule is an excellent way for your nanny charges to assess what’s most important to them, and what items, memories, trinkets + secrets define them in this moment. Plus, it’s just too fun to decide what to archive, and imagine the excitement of discovering it! So here’s what your nanny charges will need to crack the space-time continuum.
-a shoebox (for indoor hiding spots) or a water-tight jar (for outdoor hiding spots + burying)
-duct tape (for sealing the box or jar)
-permanent marker (for writing all the lists, labeling items, dating everything)
-paper (for making lists like: your best friends, favorite color, funniest joke, favorite song, least favorite food, what you do each day, etc.)
-scissors (for sizing the ephemera, magazine cut-outs, photos, love notes, etc.)
-all the trinkets, toys, and tiny items to be stashed (choose items that have special meaning, and consider writing a little description of each item with details describing when you got it, and from whom, etc.)
Once the kids have assembled their time capsules, help them decide where to hide them. Assist the kids in placing them on top shelves, precarious places, etc. and be sure to tell your nanny family where they’re hidden, in the event of a future move.
Create A Whole New World
The outside world is insufferably cold, rainy, snowy or otherwise un-fun, so let’s make an entirely different world to play with indoors! As a nanny or private educator, you’ll love the multifaceted learning opportunities with this project. There’s some tactile, sensory skills at work here, plus a bit of early stage geometry, not to mention unlimited amounts of creativity. To get started you’ll need:
-empty food boxes (think different shapes and sizes of cracker, pasta, and cereal boxes)
-graph paper and colored paper
-clear tape (or washi tape for extra design fun)
-metal brads (or thumbtacks)
-paper towel tubes
First, you want to show your nanny charges how to wrap each box in graph paper like a present, sealed with tape. To create the door, cut out a rectangle of one box, wrap it in paper and attach it with a brass thumbtack (which acts as the doorknob). To make the rooftops, cut the bottom corner off of another box, wrap in paper and tape on top of the ‘building’ box. Lastly, to make trees just crumple a few pieces of paper and stuff them into the paper towel rods! For added personalization, consider setting the kids up with some paints or colored pencils to color each building and name them as the town takes shape. This lovely new town can be tiny with just a few buildings, or your kids can add to the town with each rainy day, and watch their town grow into a whole new world!
Make Maps Of Individual Geography
Maps are an incredible tool for finding direction, and exploration. That doesn’t mean they’re only good for physical exploration though, have your nanny and privately educated charges map themselves with this fun activity! To get your nanny kids started, they’ll need:
-large sheets of paper
-pens with different sized tips
-colored pencils -ruler -map cut-outs (multiple types of maps, a map of their favorite place, or a piece of paper cut into the shape of a basketball or some hobby that they adore, etc.)
The point here is to start with an easy topic like a hobby and brainstorm all of the aspects of that hobby that your nanny charge enjoys. Include every detail to develop a thorough map of their entire basketball experience. Once the kids have made an easier map, encourage them to try to do a more involved personal map. Cut out a paper into the general shape of their facial profile, this will be their personal map. Have your nanny kids riff on whatever their individual mind + body contains. Ask about their favorite foods, amazing memories, secrets, silly quirks, phobias, etc. This is a great exercise to get to know your privately educated kiddos and understand what motivates them, and what they’re passionate about.
Make Geometric Window Clings
Puff paint definitely had its moment in the 90’s, but this crafters go-to is actually really fun when you keep it off of your clothing. For this project, all that you’ll need for your nanny kids is:
-one loose-leaf plastic sleeve
-multiple colors of puff paint
-one float frame
You can find all of this at your local Target or Michael’s, and of course Amazon for home delivery. To get started, cut several pieces of paper into multiple geometric shapes for each child to use as a guide. Then place the plastic sleeve into the frame and slip the cut-out shapes between the two layers of plastic, and have the little ones begin drawing/tracing the shapes onto the top layer of plastic with their puffy paints. These paints will dry overnight, and then your chargers will have beautiful shapes that will peel right off the plastic sheet, and then cling to any window! These shapes are fun to play with on the windows when the weather outside is frightful.
Create An Indoor Herb Garden
While you probably want to mount the herbs with the help of another adult, your kids will love getting their hands dirty to help you plant herbs in mason jars. Planting and observing the growth of your new herbs will be a fantastic opportunity for learning. Plus, it’s a great way to add fresh flavors to your family dishes all year round!
Inclement weather can be a bummer, but as creative, ingenious nannies + private educators, you are perfectly suited to fill those rainy days with the most imaginative, fun, and memorable projects. We’d love to hear what you do on indoor days too: leave us a comment, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to continue the conversation!