We understand that when at work as a rota nanny, things can get stressful.
And of course, travelling with your charges can be doubly stressful.
Of course, you will need to keep an eye on your own bags. And to take care of the kids’ games, phones, bags and clothing. Oh, you may also be expected to watch out for your employer’s luggage. And then on top of all that, you’ve got to change your clothes and the kids’ clothes. And put the kids to sleep. But wait, somebody feels sick…
And now you’re expected to keep your charges entertained and engaged on the plane when they’re all hyper and excited too?! HELP!?!
Hang on! Don’t worry.
We’ve come up with a list of 5 ways to keep your charges busy! Phew! Take a deep breath and read on. It’s all going to be fine.
Board or card games
It is almost certainly a good idea to pick up some travel games before your trip and add them to your bag of tricks. If your kids are old enough, travel battleships or chess should go a long way to whiling away the hours. If you have more than two kids, Uno or Top Trumps may be the one for you. Check Amazon for Top Trumps games relating to your charge’s favourite sporting or TV hero, or look for more travel game inspiration here.
You could even consider a portable Lego set - prepare it together or have this little surprise gift as a peace offering for your charge on the morning of travel. You can find out how to make one here.
Board games can avoid boredom!
Encourage your charges to pack their own bags with their toys or travel games - this empowers them and gives them a sense of independence. It also means they will carry their own stuff, for once!
If you didn’t have time to prepare by ordering board or card games online before travelling, a printer or even a piece of paper and a pencil may be able to save the day. Print out some word searches or crosswords related to current school activities or the kids’ general interests to get them started - a Marvel characters or Harry Potter wordsearch can go a long way! And when that’s done, you can always encourage games of Noughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe), Squares, or Hangman to keep their brains working!
Still stuck? Check out these awesome airplane activities for kids.
If you haven’t got your paper or pen handy, it may be time for some spoken games - great for avoid car sickness. I spy, Granny Went Shopping or the alphabet game will keep your charge’s looking out the window and keep their minds off their boredom. You could try 20 questions or categories. Turn it into a family game if you feel it’s appropriate - just ensure you aren’t interrupting the parents’ rest time! And if you need more inspiration, you can find more ideas right here.
Always, always, always bring books on trips. Reading books, sticker books, fact books about your travel destination. Short and simple - this is the golden rule. Bring books on trips.
A big enough book might even put them to sleep!
Create a nanny diary - and take pictures to put in it!
Preparing a diary is almost certainly a way to impress your charge’s parents. This is an ongoing activity that your kids can work on each day, take photos for, and have something to show for it at the end of the travel. A good diary can be shown to your charge’s family members and classmates, and they may even be able to look back on it themselves one day. If your kids are old enough to write, you can make writing the daily diary entry can be a central part of your trip. Have a look at how to create a great travel binder here.
And finally, if all else fails, it’s probably forgivable to let your charges mess around on their iPads or watch a film for a short while you grab a 10-minute snooze. If you are a foreign-language nanny or governess, try to make sure the film is in the language the kids are learning or that the iPad game includes at least some useful vocabulary.
You may also like to consider audiobooks. If your charges have reached a suitable level of understanding, audiobooks can be a great way to keep them quiet and learning - simply download them onto your phone and let the kids listen to them through headphones.
So, despite the challenges, work travel really can be a good experience - the key is to be prepared! So make sure your bags are properly packed and you’re fully prepared for the trip ahead.
For more ideas for keeping off iPads - check out our blog post on Fun and Effective Ways to Limit Screen Time here.
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