Many parents send their kids to camps during the summer, but there are plenty of families who prefer to hire nannies or childcare workers to watch their children while they are at work. And at the same time, parents want their nannies to do productive activitieswith the kids; they don't want them sitting at home all day and watching television or them playing on their iPhones or iPads the entire time!
With that said, if you are a nanny or childcarer or in a governess job, you will want to be aware of these 10 reliable, failsafe activities to keep your charges over the summer! Let's get started!
1. Spending Refreshing Time Outdoors At The Park
If you don’t know already, it is always a good idea to ask the parents where the nearest parks are and to take the children there. The kids can play on the playground, relax outdoors with toys or books, or even plan a picnic for lunch. It is best to not spend more than an hour or two, and if the sun is strong, recommended to stay there for a half hour or so. It is also essential to remember to always make sure that the kids are wearing hats to protect them from UV rays. Additionally, the children will need to have sunscreen applied that is at least 15 SP.
If you are taking infants under 6 months of age to the park, then they need to sit in a shaded area as babies that young cannot wear sunscreen. They must also be clothed comfortably.
2. Arts and Crafts
A great way to keep kids busy in the summertime is by giving them the opportunity to do arts and crafts. They can do colouring, painting, and making art using construction paper and glue. Hopefully, the family will already have the necessary supplies for a fun afternoon doing arts and crafts. However, it is always a good idea for nannies or childcare workers to have their own materials just in case.
Arts and crafts help to promote children’s creativity and imagination which helps foster their overall development. They can be done indoors or outdoors; again remember to keep the kids protected from the sun if they are outside.
Kids love to bake cookies, cakes and other fun foods; a great activity at any time of the year. If the kids know that they will be baking with their nanny, they will most definitely look forward to it. However, if baking is something you want to do, then it must be presented to the parents first; make sure that you are given permission. Additionally, it is probably best to let the parents be responsible for the ingredients for baking - especially if their kids have any type of food allergy or sensitivity.
4. Story Time And Reading
A great way to stimulate any child's mind is to read to them or have them read themselves if they are able. You should most definitely bring books to read to the children, and remember to let the kids engage during story time. Take breaks in between the story and talk to the kids about what has happened so far and what they think about it.
5. Playing Games
A great way to keep kids busy and engaged is to play indoor or outdoor games with them. You may wish to play tag, hide and seek or board games. You could bring some board games from home or even create your own for an arts and crafts activity.
Ideas for games may include Candy Land, Soggy Doggy, Enchanted Forest or a variety puzzles - crosswords, word searches, join the dots, painting by numbers, mazes and many more. And remember to have fun while playing! If the child that loses the game gets upset, reassure the child that it is okay to lose, and the game was played only to have fun.
6. Sing Songs
Children enjoy music and there is nothing more interactive than singing songs with them. If, as a nanny or childcare worker, you have instruments of your own such as guitars, be sure to bring them along and dedicate some time to music and singing.
This can be done indoors or outdoors, and why not get into the spirit of the season by singing songs that are to do with the summertime? You can always ask the kids that they are watching what their favourite songs are - and then sing those songs so that they are having a great time.
7. Create A Summertime Art Project With The Kids
This is one idea that is fun for kids as they can go with their nanny hunting outdoors for leaves, branches, and flowers to create a fun art project. For this activity you should come prepared just in case the parents don't have the materials. You will need to get glue and construction paper, and even some markers just in case the parents do not have those as well. Go and let your charges create something that will be a lot of fun and surprise their parents. An idea is to take pieces of construction paper and glue some branches, leaves, and flowers on the sheet to make a summer collage. Your charges could even write their parents messages using markers.
8. Kids Love Scavenger Hunts
Nannies and childcare workers will want to be safe with this; it is best to only play these sorts of games in the yard or garden and not at a park, even if the children are familiar with it - you don’t want anybody running off and getting lost! Bring some fun items for kids such as coins, dolls, or figurines, and go and hide them in different places outside. Then, when they are all hidden, it is time for the kids to get to work and start hunting for those items! Check out the JIC suggestion for how to create an amazing Harry Potter treasure hunt!
Playing sports is important for kids’ hand-eye coordination, as well as keeping them in shape and ensuring they are getting proper exercise. Always make sure that the kids are wearing protective clothing and helmets if they are playing games that will involve them throwing balls and running around.
Again, you will need to discuss with the parents before playing sports with their kids just in case one of their kids is not able to do so for medical reasons. Hopefully the parents will not object and will be happy that their kids will be being kept active.
10. Dress-up Or Role Playing
Kids love using their imaginations and the best thing to do is to allow them to do so as it is beneficial for their development as well. For nannies and childcare workers, this could perhaps mean bringing some extra clean clothing that can be used for costumes to play a game of dress up. You can even do some role-playing without costumes or clothing. Either way, it is a fun way for kids to tap into their creativity, and to use their imaginations.
For any of these activities, remember to ask the parents’ permission beforehand. There may be medical reasons, religious or cultural reasons to avoid certain activities. Remember to stay on the parents' positive side to develop a good relationship with the children and the family!
Do you have your own favourite summertime activities? Let us know in the comments section below! And if you’re looking for more ideas, visit the Jobs in Childcare blog for posts including base building for kids, also be sure to check out our children's recycling experiment and finally, the easy time capsule!