Fun beach games for small children

Whether you’re a nanny or parents of little children, a day at the beach is a great way to enjoy the best of the sunny weather and burn off a little energy at the same time.

Take those tikes to the beach and there’s so many things to do you’ll be spoilt for choice, we suggest these ideas at Taxing Nannies though, if you really want to make the best of the day.

Game 1

#Build a sandcastle

Arm a child with a bucket and spade and they’ll spend hours digging and playing in the sand.

Build a castle. Dig a moat around the outside and stick a flag in the top. You can decorate the outside of the castle with shells you find lying around the beach and make a makeshift drawbridge out of a piece of driftwood.

Game 2

#Fly a kite

Take a kite to the beach with you. Run like crazy down the sand and watch as the kite gently lifts into the air, see it flutter in the sky and look at the excitement on your child’s face.

Keep a tight grip on the string though. You don’t want to see tears because the kite flies away!

Game 3

#Go hunting in rock pools

Buy a cheap fishing net then visit the rock pools that are littered around the edges of the beach. Hand a bucket to your children and get them to ‘explore’ the pools looking for a variety of oceanic species.

Hunting in rock pools is fun and it’s educational as well, your kids will love this temporary aquarium and they’re sure to discover a wealth of marine life.

Game 4

#Play a ball game

Take a cricket set to the beach with you, have a game of rounders or play beach volleyball instead. Boules is a good beach game, you could simply have a kickabout with a football, take the Brazilian approach and enjoy ‘footie’ on the sand.

Game 5

#Throw a frisbie

Toss a frisbie backwards and forwards, see how many times your children can catch it without dropping it on the sand.

Host a competition. Find out who can toss the frisbie the furthest, the winner gets to choose their favourite ice cream.

Game 6

#Bury dad in the sand

This is something that you simply have to do. Dig a big hole, bury dad up to his toes and leave him submerged in the sand.

It’ll take a while but it’ll keep the kids amused, just don’t forget to dig dad back up again afterwards.

Ways to welcome a new nanny into your home

You have to feel for a nanny on her first day at a new home. She had no idea how the children are going to take to her, everything will feel strange and unfamiliar and she’ll want to settle in the position as soon as possible.

Make the first day as easy as you can for your new nanny, break her in gently and use these suggestions with our pleasure at Taxing Nannies.

Make a welcome card

Sit down with the children, grab a blank piece of card and have fun making a welcome gift for the new nanny. Tell your child they can be as creative as they like with the card, use glitter, glue and tissue paper if you like and turn this craft project into a work of ‘welcoming’ art. Your new nanny will love it!

Bake a welcome cake

Okay you made the card so why not bake a cake as well. Keep the ideas coming, find a cake recipe, let the children have a hands-on role mixing and stirring the ingredients. Make this an enjoyable project. It’s a great way to alleviate any fears they might have about meeting their new nanny.

Talk about the nanny with your children

Start to chat about the nanny a week or so before they arrive, include them in conversations you have with your kids. The more you talk about the nanny the more your children will become curious and hopefully they’ll be excited to meet her.

Ask your children for help

Give your little ones special tasks to make it easier to welcome the nanny into your home. They could be tour guides for the house for example and be given the honour of showing the nanny where everything is, see them grow in the role and watch them enjoy the extra responsibility.

Thoughtful ideas make it easier for your nanny to settle into her new role, use your imagination and she’ll soon bond with your children.

Reasons why you wouldn’t want Mary Poppins as your child’s nanny

Watch the classic Disney film Mary Poppins and it’s easy to get a little misted-eyed. Julie Andrews seems like the perfect nanny in the film, however would you really want her to look after your children when she’s guilty of these terrible crimes?

Teaching children gobbledygook

Hire a nanny and you expect her to assist with your children’s speech, you want her to nurture their vocabulary and improve it if possible, you don’t want her to teach your child strange and weird words.

Mary Poppins thinks words like ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ are okay, would you really want her anywhere near your child?

Taking unarranged holidays

Again, Mary Poppins takes the biscuit here, she whisks the children away for a ‘Jolly holiday’ with Bert the chimney sweep/pavement artist/master of all trades and she doesn’t even ask their parents.

Can you imagine what they would have said?

Using questionable tidying skills

I’m sure we’d all like the ability to use magic to tidy clothes away but this is the real world, you have to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

Mary Poppins thinks it’s perfectly fine to use her ‘special powers’ to pack away clothes, worst still, she enlists the children in her magical actions and makes them her partners in crime.

Blowing her own trumpet

In Mary Poppins’ own words she is practically perfect in every way.

What a show off!

Okay she might be good but does she really have to ram it down your throat, isn’t there a more subtle way of expressing your capabilities as a nanny?

Disappearing when the wind changes

It sounds preposterous but Mary Poppins leaves you in the lurch once the wind changes direction.

That’s not very professional.

Imagine if every nanny took this approach.

You wouldn’t know where you were up to from one day to the next!

Mary Poppins had her good points but we’ve come to a conclusion at Taxing Nannies..

‘You wouldn’t want her looking after your kids’ 

Sensible sun care tips for children

Want to stop your kids frying this summer?

Read our red hot sun care tips. Keep little ones protected at all times.

Sensible precautions to take this summer…

  • Wear sun hats – When you take children outdoors during sunny weather make sure they are wearing sun hats. Too much exposure to the sun causes heat stroke and it can burn the top of the head.  Keep heads covered, especially if your children have fine hair.
  • Slap on sun lotion – Buy a high factor sun cream for your brood and keep applying it throughout the day. There’s no such thing as too much sun screen, cover the face, arms and legs and any area of flesh that is going to be exposed to the sun.
  • Stay hydrated – Give your children plenty to drink during hot weather, they could start to feel ill if they become dehydrated. Pack bottles of water, cups of juice or cartons of drink if you are going out for the day during hot weather, give your kids plenty of opportunity to drink and monitor the amount of fluids that go into their body.
  • Take shade where possible – During the hottest parts of the day, between 11am and 3pm, try to stick to the shade if you can. Take a trip to the beach for example and you could hit the sand early morning or mid-afternoon then visit other indoor attractions during the peak sun times.     
  • Cover up if necessary If you are really worried about your children burning in the sun, dress them in loose clothing that covers the arms and the legs. Long sleeved t-shirts and hats with cotton neck protectors built in to the back are good for covering vulnerable areas of skin.
  • Wear sunglasses – Eye protection is important during sunny conditions too. Get your kids to wear sunglasses that conform to industry standards, they’ll love ‘looking cool’ and you’ll love the fact that their eyes are being protected from the sun. 

There you go, sun care tips to protect children this summer.

Stay safe in the sun, whatever you get up to!

Summer fun you might want to try this year

As we draw nearer the summer holidays it’s a good time to consider what you are going to do with the children in your care to fill those long weekdays and weekends.

Whether you are a nanny or a parent that’s clutching at straws at the moment, try our suggestions at Taxing Nannies and keep those kids entertained over the summer, it’ll be here before you know it!

1st suggestion

Have a bake day

Kids love getting messy. Dress them up in aprons and let them be your kitchen helpers, get them mixing the base ingredients (with help) for biscuits, cookies or cupcakes. Once you bake something tasty in the oven have fun decorating it afterwards, the best bit is you can eat the fruits of your labour once the icing sets.

2nd suggestion

Pack a picnic

Make a selection of sandwiches. Pack them in a hamper with cakes, juice and a picnic rug. Head to the local park, the children can take their teddy bears along with them if they like, a picnic in the park is perfect for teddies, toddlers and nannies too!

3rd suggestion

Beach day

Okay, it’s a gorgeous day, you have a free day with the kids so what are you going to do? How about a beach day? Pack the car with buckets and spades, head to the coast and have fun playing in the sand. Don’t forget the obligatory ice cream, fish and chips and sticks of rock. A ride on a donkey is a must as well.

4th suggestion

Trip to the zoo

Pay an educational visit to the zoo, it’s good for children to learn about natural wildlife and where better to see real life living animals than the zoo? See little faces full of awe as they peer at elephants, giraffes, tigers and monkeys, make a day of it and pick up a few souvenirs from the gift shop before you leave.

You can do all of these activities as a family and they’re good suggestions for nannies too.

A survival guide to travelling in a car with a toddler

It’s the nightmare scenario every parent or nanny faces.

You have to make a road trip.

You have little children to entertain..

You suddenly feel very, very scared…

What do you do?

The first thing is not to panic. We’re here to help at Taxing Nannies and this blog throws a few survival tips your way.

Here’s how you’re going to cope…

  1. 1. Establish the ground rules: Make your child aware that naughtiness is a no-no. Tell them what is expected of them from the beginning of the journey. Explain the rules and regulations of road travel. Tell them to stay sitting in their seat, not to put their feet on the back of the seat in front and to be kind to their siblings. Explain the ground rules to begin and tell them whining won’t be tolerated at any level.
  2. 2. Keep snacks handy: Pack healthy snacks to prevent munchies from becoming a problem. Raisons, grapes and small batons of chopped carrots are good snacks to munch on, keep juice or water close by to keep thirst at bay.
  3. 3. Plan stops in advance: In an ideal world you’d make the journey in one go and there wouldn’t be a need to stop. This isn’t an ideal world though, it’s your toddler’s zone and you are going to have to stop for a rest at some point. Plan this in advance, break your journey down into smaller segments if possible and prepare to stop when required.
  4. 4. Take games along or make your own fun: A road trip might be hard going for you as the parent but look at this from your child’s point of view. They haven’t got any concept of time, two minutes of travel in a car feels like a lifetime to them.  Try to make the journey exciting if possible, sit in the back with them, do puzzles together, bring an iPad along and play activity games online.

As long as you prepare for the road trip in advance and be realistic about the journey you can and will survive.

Good Luck!

Immediate positives of hiring a nanny

It’s a dilemma most working parents face, which care facilities do you put in place for your children when you go out to work?  You could find a local nursery, that’s one option to mull over, or use up a few favours and ask friends or family to mind your child when you are at work.

What about a nanny though, surely that would be a better option, opt for nanny care and you reap all of these rewards…

Constant care

How much attention would your child receive if they spent the day at a nursery? Hopefully they’d be supervised every single second, but how could you be sure?

A nanny provides constant supervision for your child. They watch over your little one carefully and take full responsibility for the child’s wellbeing.

Sickness cover

Hire a nanny and you don’t have to worry about pulling your child out of a nursery when they are sick. You won’t have to take time off work either.  Let the nanny take the strain, they’ll keep you updated, nurse your child along, and make sure they’re as comfortable as they can be.

Settled routine

Children thrive when they have a set routine, use nanny care and every day will have a set structure, they’ll adapt to this and feel more comfortable with the regular regime.

Comfort

Staying at home with a nanny is more comforting too. It’s a familiar setting and less daunting than going to a day care centre.

Less exposure to germs

When a child goes to a nursery they come into contact with other children which means they are constantly exposed to germs.

Sure, this might build up their immune system in the long run but it also means they’ll just get over one bug when another one strikes them down.

When they stay at home with a nanny the chances of a catching a bug is reduced.

Or unruly behaviour

As your toddler develops and becomes an infant they’ll meet different type of playmates at nursery. Some are great others are a bad influence. This isn’t a problem when you have a nanny. They know how to keep your little ones on the straight and narrow.

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Employment allowance £2,000 not available to nannies

If you are an employer you may have recently received in the post a letter from 10 Downing Street, signed by David Cameron, advising you of an Employment Allowance of £2,000 available to Employers from 2014/15.

Unfortunately employers of domestic workers, including nannies, are specifically excluded from claiming this allowance. I have taken up this with my local MP on more than one occasion over the past year, and also with a conservative peer who discussed the matter personally with George Osborne prior to the budget. I have also received 2 letters from David Gauke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, following the lobbying of my MP, which I feel have not adequately addressed the issue. However, the bottom line is that employers of nannies and/or domestic staff cannot claim this allowance.

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