Skip to main content

The Nanny's Knapsack: Classic Activities To Do With Children While On The Go

We have places to go and people to see! Having young people in tow should not deter us from participating in events like going out for dinner, or going to the doctors. The time may not be how we planned it, but being prepared for these unplanned times will make all the difference when our children become antsy. Depending on the age and the special needs of the child the more time that passes by while waiting can cause unwanted behavior problems. Being prepared on outings helps us to show children how to learn to be patient, how to adapt to changes that were unforeseen, and to know how to plan ahead.   

Have you ever witnessed a toddler that became impatient, because things were taking too long while you were on an outing? "Yes", you say? Me too! I can remember the teary eyes, and the look of hunger while waiting on the food quite vividly. I vowed I would never put them in another situation like that again, and let's face it, we as parents have a difficult time enjoying our meal when melt downs happen. I decided I would create a bag that would have some fun activities inside to do that would distract them from thinking about how hungry they were, and make the time an impromptu learning moment. I put together the Nanny's Knapsack that I keep in my van so that I can always be prepared while out with young children. I never leave home without the Nanny's Knapsack!

                                                                     

After we have repeated the activities for some time I replace the activities for newer ones, this helps to add a element of excitement during the time of waiting too.   

                                                                                   

The Knapsack is easy to prepare and the cost for these activities was just $1.00. I already had all of the other supplies. I was able to put together 5 activities with just the materials above. These activities work well for children as young as two years old and can still stimulate an older child.

   Find the Ball 
                               
                                                                                 

When I saw this cup and ball set I was instantly reminded of the game Find the Ball. I really like that the cups are toddler size. I found this at my local Family Dollar in the aisle where they sale paper products. 

                                                                                
This classic game is sure to keep their attention. To play Find the Ball you hide the ball under one of the cups and then switch them around. After the cups have been shuffled around it becomes someone's turn to guess which cup the ball is under. There are many levels to this game. You can use two cups for the younger child, and even 2 balls and 3 cups. You can make it even more challenging for an older child. This activity is a wonderful way to improve our observation and concentration skills. 

      Stack the Cups
                                                   
So much focused attention can go on while stacking cups. I used the index cards, to go along with it. 
                            

My two year old friend gave it a go. I knew when the tongue came out it was a winner! This activity fosters focused attention.   

                      
Build a Bridge For Your Friends 
                                                       
Keep them building! Building a bridge for our friends is so much fun with toddler sized cups, craft sticks and peg people. This activity also involves dramatic play talk. I overheard a child while doing this activity saying "Be careful we don't want our friends to fall into the water!". Love it!
                                                    
Sensorial Fun With Peg People
                                                    

With the peg people you can line them up, order them by size, or count them. Sensorial experiences are very important for young children to be able to engage in. This is an awesome way to sneak beginning math concepts in.

    Make A Plastic Cup Telephone
                                                  

I premade holes in some of the cups so that it would be easy to make a telephone if we were out and about. My friend Tre enjoyed spending time with me while I put the Nanny's Knapsack together. Exploring with sound is so much fun for kids of all ages. It did take him a minute to understand how the plastic cup telephone worked, but after he grasped the concept he was happy to engage in conversations with me. We practiced our inside voices. ☺
                                            

With just a few well planned inexpensive activities available for immediate use we can ease the trials that we may go through when we are not in control of how long our planned outings may take. You can store it in anything that isn't too bulky, and convenient for you to carry. I added the stick, because we were going on a nature walk as well, and there were kids in different age ranges so taking a seat at a picnic table and engaging in these activities work well for those who couldn't keep up with the crowd.  

What has worked for you when you found yourself with a child that was not so happy about the wait? Please share in the comments, I would love to read all about it.

Happy Playing!


Popular posts from this blog

Keeping the Standards High for In Home Childcare

Dear Friends,
I have met a lot of interesting people as the owner of a Nanny Agency. I also have read some disturbing ads online looking for a nanny, or from the nanny looking for a job. If you have decided on In Home Childcare then you have to get in research mode. You will have interviews to do and background checks to perform, etc. There is a lot you must do to make sure you are finding the nanny that your family really needs.
There are many people who would love to be your nanny depending on the money. Do not hire anyone because they are low balling. It is not a good sign of one's knowledge or character when one is low balling at all and plus there are people who are experienced, professional, passionate, have integrity and commitment to quality childcare.  If you can not afford to pay the nanny at least the going hourly rate in your area then do not choose In Home Childcare. I mean do you really want to pay someone who isn't following IRS Guidelines?! This trait is really n…

We Found Our Nanny! Now What?

Congratulations on finding the best nanny to match your family's needs, that was no small feat! Your almost at the finish line for completing the hiring process, there are just a few more steps you need to take to make this new relationship a success for all. I know everyone is eager to begin the bonding process between the nanny and the children, which is definitely something worth looking forward to, but we have to make sure that our business relationship with our nanny is rock solid too.

One of the first steps you can take after you have found your nanny that will foster respect, accountability and a positive relationship between you and the nanny is to create a Family Nanny Handbook. This handbook can be used as a guide, and will help to prevent any future misunderstandings. Include the nanny's job responsibilities and expectations, your parenting philosophy, how to discipline your children and emergency procedures with the emergency contact information. Make sure to addre…

Crafternoon STEAM Sessions with The Geeky Nanny: 5 Maker Activities to Get this Party Started

I have really been busy behind the scenes getting our Studio ready for childcare licensing approval. It is such an exciting adventure as we prepare to expand our services. 

The Studio resides in my home that was previously licensed by the State of Michigan for 10 years. It is located in a separate area from living quarters and on a separate floor, with a designated entrance for clients only. In September of 2013 I had decided that I wanted to try working with children outside of my home and decided not to renew my license again. Through this journey I discovered that I loved nannying and started the agency. Our goals for applying for childcare licensing through the State of Michigan is to be able to offer school aged drop-in programs, and a preschool program in my home beyond the calendar days that one may operate such activity without a State of Michigan issued license. We also want our programs to be accredited by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). …