Sunday, August 31, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Children's Books for Labor Day

Weekly Trip to the Library

We celebrate Labor Day as the last weekend of summer by having picnics, barbecues, parades, and water sports. Here are some children's books from and the book reviews included on to share with children about the holiday.
Labor Day by Robin Nelson

This children's book is a basic overview of Labor Day for new readers. Color photographs reflect the short, easy-to-understand sentences that improve vocabulary and comprehension.

Labor Day by Mir Tamim Ansary

This book introduces Labor Day to children entering Kindergarten to second grade. It explains the historical events behind it, how it became a holiday, and how it is observed. Labor Day reminds readers that the labor-union movement brought about laws keeping children out of the workplace and in school.

Community Helpers from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman and Niki Walker

This book shares information about many careers. Occupations are enhanced by the photographs of workers. A great book to share with small children to teach about the many jobs that different people do.

Jobs People Do by Felicity Brooks
Daisy the Doctor (Jobs People Do)

For any kid who has ever wondered about what their Moms and Dads do when they are gone all day, this book provides some answers. Kids who have a working parent or who are curious about various professions will enjoy this introduction to a variety of jobs. They will learn about farmers, chefs, doctors, firefighters, teachers and veterinarians—some of whom they will have encountered early in life, like a doctor. There is a good range of professions, men and women, and ethnic groups. All of the scenes include models which are then photographed to become the images shown on the pages. The stories are interesting, fact-filled, and even have little extras at the end of each. At more than 100 pages, this is a big book. It looks like an oversized board book with its padded cover, but while the pages are sturdy, it is definitely not a board book. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot

Friday, August 29, 2014

Patriotic Parfait

Cooking With Kids

In preparation of the nation celebrating Labor Day on Monday there's still time to share a patriotic treat with the kids. Check out how to make it at

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Have a Taste Test

Fun Way to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Produce

A fun way to get kids to eat healthy foods is by having a taste test. Use at least two types of food that are similar but slightly different tasting such as: cantaloupe and honeydew melon, or red and green apples, or broccoli and cauliflower. We used three different colored types of grapes for our recent taste test.

When using produce such as red delicious apples and granny smith apples, cut up the apples into bite sized chunks and if the children are young cut the grapes in half so they aren't a choking hazard.

With young children you may need to use a blindfold to ensure they keep their eyes closed. The kids I care for are old enough to trust to keep their eyes closed so we didn't use a blind fold. Put one tiny piece of produce in the child's mouth and have them guess if they are eating the red apple or the green apple; cantaloupe or honeydew, melon; broccoli or cauliflower; or red, blue, or green grape.

The best part results of having a taste test is getting kids to eat healthy snacks with enthusiasm. But, the girls I care for spent 40-minutes last week playing the game by themselves while I cleaned up the kitchen and folded laundry making the game a way to keep kids busy as well.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Use Natural Consequences to Discipline Children

Respecting Professional Boundaries

The time to discuss with your employers how you will discipline their children is during the job interview -- well before starting a nanny job. For discipline to be effective it is essential that parents and nannies are on the same page. All caregivers must be consistent and back one another other up.

To see this entire article visit our new blog address at

Monday, August 11, 2014

Should Boys Be Allowed to Play With Baby Dolls and Dress Up In Heels?

Professional Nannies Don’t Overact to Cross-Over Play

Last week while at a play date with 4-year-old girls and one boy a nanny reacted very negatively towards the boy when he wore a princess costume while all the kids were playing dress up at a girl's house.

I think it's okay to let boys play with baby dolls and dress up like a princess and for girls to pretend to be football players or firefighters. But, for caregivers who are afraid of letting their charges play cross-over play here are some thoughts I found online.

Lawrence J. Cohen, author of Playful Parenting and psychologist writes, “Dressing as the opposite sex doesn’t indicate a child’s gender confusion. Nor will it influence their sexual preference as an adult."

The author suggests caregivers keep a positive attitude and a sense of humor about the way children dress. Kids may pretend to be someone of the opposite sex.

He says, "Don’t ever forbid this — join in on the play and let them wear what they choose. It’s simply of expression."

Greg Uba, Children’s Services Coordinator for Connections for Children says, “When children are allowed to play outside their gender roles, it gives them the opportunity to go beyond gender bias. Cross-over play allows kids to develop skills they traditionally aren’t encouraged to develop."

He explains that it’s common for children to experiment with different roles. Boys can learn to be more nurturing and verbally expressive and girls can learn spatial skills when they’re playing outside of their role.

He continues, "Child care providers should mix together gender-typed materials and toys. All kids love dinosaurs, trucks, trains, dolls, and dress-up. Put dolls in the block area and transportation toys in the dress up area."

Mr. Uba recommends child caregivers initiate and encourage group games that are inclusive, provide pictures and role models of non-stereotypical behaviors such as jobs like male nurses and female firefighters.

Have you ever over reacted when a child played outside of their gender role?

You can purchase Playful Parenting by clicking the links above or below:

Playful Parenting

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

Should We Hide, or Not Hide, Veggies in Kids' Food?

I love the cookbook Deceptively Delicious. Jessica Seinfeld, the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and a mother of three, shows us how to add vegetables that kids find unappetizing on their own, to foods kids love.

To see this entire book review or purchase the book please visit

Friday, August 8, 2014