You take care of my kids
June 15, 2009 8:33 AM   Subscribe

My kid’s nanny starts next week – Help me with some sort of daily structure for 3 kids all different ages.

This is our first nanny experience for our 2 children (2 ½ year old boy and 7 week old girl) who will be joined by their nannies 10 month old little girl. While we’ve tasked her to come up with a loose lesson plan I’d like to also provide suggestions that she might use.

We’d also be using this schedule as the kid’s daily development worksheet that she’d be leaving with us (similar to daycare) just so we know what the kids are doing. So this is what I’m looking for, your suggestions on individual activities, duration of activities, or lesson plan resources for similar aged kids.
posted by doorsfan to Education (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My daycare does a sheet that tells me when diaper was changed with W/BM, naps and duration, and if anything weird happened that didn't merit a phone call.

At the top of the sheet we answer when baby was last fed, how he slept, and if anything weird happened. (ex. We tried feeding him raspberries for the first time last night.)

At the daycare there is a whiteboard with the activities of the day on it, what is for snack, and if any of the employees are not there. (ex. Morning walk, sand table, play outside. Rice dream and quesdillas for AM snack, carrots and crackers for PM snack, Sarah is out today.)

Every 45 days we have a meeting with a developmental questionnaire where we re-assess his goals. We had one 2 weeks ago and made the move from soft to hard toys, crawling to the sandbox, getting himself down for a nap alone better.

I don't know how'd this work in a nanny situation, but with kids of such varying ages, it might be tough to have activities.
posted by k8t at 8:43 AM on June 15, 2009

Best answer: With those ages, I think the main activity is going to be "playing it by ear".

Two things though.

One, make sure the nanny can take the kids on walks every day. Triple strollers exist, but you can also have her wear your daughter and push your son and her daughter in a double stroller.

Two, keep a variety of materials on hand for your son to work on his fine motor stills. Playdough, cornstarch slime, a tub of rice with some utensils to dig and pour--things he can use under minimal supervision if the nanny is wrapped up with one of the babies would be best.
posted by padraigin at 8:52 AM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As a nanny, I would say that preparing guidelines and suggestions is good... but as padraigin says, with three kids of different ages - and very different developmental stages - playing it by ear is going to be the name of the game.

Part of having a nanny is trusting that person to do what's best for your children while you're gone. Saying "I'd like it if you could take Schmoopy to the library" is fine. Suggesting you'd like your kids to have X amount of outside time is also fine. But micro-managing your nanny is going to lead to heartache for everybody, especially the nanny!

Keep a lot of art supplies, books, and toys handy. Make sure you establish a TV yes/no policy UP FRONT (this one got tough for me in the winter when it was too nasty to go outside). Three kids are going to spend the vast majority of the day eating, pooping, and sleeping. Your nanny is going to have her hands full! And that's fine, that's the job, but imposing strict guidelines isn't going to help anybody.

The daily check-list sounds like a great idea, but be prepared that there might be some days when it just can't get done. I only work with two kids, neither of whom are infants, and there are some days when leaving the job with my head still attached is a good day.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:14 AM on June 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

But micro-managing your nanny is going to lead to heartache for everybody, especially the nanny!

Yes. Just be very clear what the nanny's responsibilities are. If you'd like to know what's going on, make one of the responsibilities keeping a short journal of the day's activities. That way, if you don't like something, you can suggest a change.
posted by nosila at 10:52 AM on June 15, 2009

Best answer: This book is a pretty good one on how to manage the mother-nanny relationship.

Here are some activities appropriate for very young kids...

Making and playing with pinwheels.
Making and playing with handkerchief rabbits.
Reading aloud.
Making and playing with percussion instruments.
Trying to "catch out" your reflection.
Trying to pat your head and rub your stomach
Sorting things (Cards into suits, cutlery into a drawer, toys by colour, etc)
Shop (Using Monopoly money)
Nesting (Using tins or boxes. Things that fit in other things.)
Making and playing with paper boats
Playing with dough
Measuring things
Making a tent or fort
Water painting in the yard (No mess! The drawings vanish as they dry! Alternately, chalk.)
Spinning coins (or more likely jar lids to avoid someone trying to swallow the coins)
Bubble liquid
Shadow puppets
Dress up
Kiddie jigsaws
Potato printing
posted by the latin mouse at 1:13 PM on June 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Start off the "lesson plans" by suggesting activities you know your son enjoys. The first weeks are not about education, they are about settling down with the nanny. Progress from there through activities the nanny enjoys and wants to introduce him to. Then together hatch a plan for helping him go forward.

The timing and length of activities is going to depend on the babies, their schedules, and how regular they are in sticking to them. The 10-month-old's naps are going to be key, and presumably you don't know the detail yet. So wait and see how things work out.

Program time for a proper spoken handover at the end of the day, rather than relying on written notes. But a book or loose-leaf folder is a good way to ensure that useful back info is always available.
posted by Idcoytco at 2:17 PM on June 15, 2009

Best answer: Establishing mealtimes and naptimes are key -- without them nailed, nothing else is going to go right.

Nthing "play it by ear" and "avoid micromanaging" as above (except for rules about TV, etc). If you can't keep up with a journal of your kids' days -- try it for a week or so -- maybe you shouldn't ask it of your nanny. For us (now with a 3yr old and a 16-mo old), the written stuff fell by the wayside in favor of a short conversation at the end of the day asking about eating, sleeping, and pooping/peeing. If I have things I need our sitter to do, I list them on paper and hand it over early, so that neither of us forgets. We keep a loose-leaf binder with printed weekly sheets so we can keep track of hours/earnings for tax info. She signs, we sign.

As far as activities go, at your son's age you will find that kids fixate on stuff and want to do JUST that thing (or variations of it) for a week at a time. One week it's all about play-doh, the next is all about blowing bubbles or making sandcastles or playing with trains. Or one week your kid wants to do loads of things with paper -- origami animals, drawing, crumpling, etc. So roll with it and find stuff online, like printables with things he likes. If one week is all about trains, find train-themed printables online to color, a Thomas episode to watch, songs about trains, etc...

And if your nanny has a gift for something like music, your son will probably love to learn songs and sing them with her. Our nanny is a design & photography major, so she and our older daughter often color and draw a lot, to our kids' delight.
posted by mdiskin at 7:43 AM on June 16, 2009

« Older Rug cleaning in NYC?   |   Help find an affordable online grad program in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.