3 Classroom Management Tips For Nannies

Being a Nanny requires encompassing many roles – teacher, nurse, cook, playmate, and caregiver.

Being a Nanny requires encompassing many roles – teacher, nurse, cook, playmate, and caregiver. These roles, in turn, require a wide range of specialized skills. Teachers, for example, have specialized skills to manage groups of children. Although managing groups of children at a birthday party or parent’s night out are different than teaching in an elementary school, there are several skills that can help Nannies.

children blowing bubbles1. Predictability. Most children like routines and starting every day with clear instructions and a review of events planned so children know what to expect. In a positive way, start each day by reviewing the desired behaviors and rules. Then, focus on the routine and specific activities for the day.

At school, a routine may include arriving, putting lunch boxes and jackets into a student’s cubby, sitting at their desk, and then watching morning announcements. The teacher then reviews the class schedule which is similar each day with respect to classes, lunch, recess, and any naps or quiet reading time.

This structure can be used by Nannies in the same manner. Start each shift by reviewing positive behaviors and setting expectations for the day. Then, review the schedule of activities so the children know what order things will happen – going to the park, visiting the grocery store, and then dinner followed by a bath. Around holiday and vacation times, it may be much harder to maintain a routine but set a rewards system in place to encourage the students to maintain positive behavior.

2. Preparation. In order to maximize learning and engagement of the children, you need to prepare and plan for the daily activities. This includes planning for routine activities, schedule deviations, or changes in a child’s interests.

Teachers understand that today’s students must be engaged to learn. When students are engaged, behavioral issues are minimized, and children are able to focus and learn. As a teacher, it is important to be prepared in case some students finish an individual activity quickly or if a group activity finishes early. Good teachers always have a backup plan and additional activities to keep students engaged.

This is very helpful for Nannies as children can lose interest in a planned activity faster than expected. Having several activities available, especially when a younger child is waiting for an older child to finish sports practice or a club, can reduce a child’s boredom while saving the Nanny anxiety and stress. Simple activities such as playing with a deck of cards, playing a dice game, or coloring can keep a child entertained.

Group Of Children Having Outdoor Birthday Party3. Motivation. By knowing the different interests and motivators for each child, activities or chores can be positioned in a way to engage the child or they turned into a game.

Teachers get to know their students, so they can successfully pair students for group assignments and communicate activities in a way that generates excitement. For children who like helping, the teacher may ask them to be line leaders when walking to lunch. For children who like to build things, the teacher may ask them to help stack the books. For children who like to read aloud, the teacher may ask them to read a special story to the class.

Nannies can also leverage a child’s interest. A child who likes adventure can search for lost treasure (their shoes). A child who wants to go to the park or attend a scout meeting will be more motivated to help clean the playroom if a park visit or a meeting with their friends is his reward.

The goal of classroom management is to emphasize the positives in learning for the students and to foster a safe and positive learning environment. Nannies can use these tips at birthday parties, over the summer when caring for lots of children at different ages and for child-related jobs including working at a children’s museum, watching children at a gym while parents work out, or supervising play at a trampoline park.

To learn more, a Classroom Management course is available with enrollment in the Advanced Childcare program at AmsleeInstitute.com.

About the Author. Jessica Lofton. Jessica is an adjunct faculty member of Amslee Institute. Jessica earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University, a Graduate Certificate in Business from Cameron University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Jessica has over 15 years of experience in both higher education and K to 12 public school education. Jessica is also an adjunct instructor with Amslee Institute.

5 Ways to Promote Healthy Eating Habits to Children

Here are five tips to help you encourage children to develop healthy eating habits.

We struggle to find time in our busy schedules to plan meals, shop, cook, and sit down for family dinners. We all do our best and know that teaching children healthy eating habits is a lifetime investment that pays with better health and happiness. Here are five tips to help you encourage children to develop healthy eating habits.

1. Get children involved in mealtime! This can be any aspect of the meal, such as planning, grocery shopping, or meal preparation. At the grocery store, allow the child to choose fruits and vegetables they would like to try. The supermarket also provides a good opportunity to teach kids about the five food groups that are recommended for them every day. The five food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy. Focus on the outside aisles of the store and go to the internal aisles for other healthy items such as beans, nuts, and high fiber cereal. Encouraging children to pick out new foods each trip, and limit purchasing foods that are processed or unhealthy. This will help you and the children stay on track when checking the pantry and refrigerator for snacks.

2. Lead by example. Children often live by the “monkey see, monkey-do” philosophy, which is why it is so important to set a good example. If YOU eat a variety of healthy foods, your child or the children you care for are more likely to mimic these healthy choices.

3. Allow children to use their internal hunger cues to decide WHEN, and HOW MUCH to eat. It is never advised to force a meal or snack, even if you feel the child has not eaten adequately. Along these same lines, it is also not a good idea to bribe a child to eat certain foods or “clean their plate”. It is important to allow the child to decide how much to eat, and determine when they are full so they do not lose awareness of their hunger and fullness cues. This can promote a healthy relationship with food and decrease any anxiety or frustration that may be associated with nutrition and mealtimes.

4. Make food fun! We teach kids not to play with their food, but that doesn’t mean food can’t be fun! A great way to get children excited about food is to offer a variety of colors for fruits and vegetables, and even shapes and sizes. Cut foods into different shapes with cookie cutters or serving raw vegetables with a low-calorie dip. Incorporating foods from around the world with a story about where it came from or allowing kids to come up with a creative new name for the food can also increase the fun factor! Making food fun can be as simple as introducing broccoli as miniature trees or carrot medallions as gold coins!

5. Plant a garden. A vegetable garden can be a great way to teach children about nutrition and allows them to taste the fruits of their labor. If space or time does not allow for a backyard garden, consider an herb garden that can be planted in pots and kept inside on a window sill. This is a great opportunity to encourage the use of fresh herbs to season meals, as opposed to high salt seasonings, butter, or condiments which can be high in salt and added sugar. Children will have fun choosing what to grow, when to pick the fruit, or what herbs to use for their meal. Growing a garden helps children understand and gain a true appreciation for where food comes from.

These strategies and activities can strengthen the bond between you and the child you’re caring for as well as encourage a healthy relationship with food. Not only will these tips help children make healthy choices, but they will encourage self-confidence and independence.

For more information about nutrition for children, a Nutrition Basics course is available within the Advanced Childcare Certification Program from Amslee Institute.

About the Author: Lynn Zepp earned her Master of Science in Food and Nutrition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Pennsylvania State University. Lynn is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist in Maryland. Lynn is also an adjunct faculty member of Amslee Institute, an organization dedicated to professional training and certification of elite Nannies, Au Pairs, Babysitters, and other childcare providers.

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