The Television

The television is a gathering area for families, a kid magnet, a distraction from homework and a nanny’s easy way out of activities. We all know kids will sit in front of the tv for hours watching Spongebob and other equally mind numbing shows. But if it comes down to tv or a tantrum…most nannies give in to the tv. I am here to say STOP!!! There are a 100 other things to do besides sitting down and watching television! There are 3 reasons why I hate when kids watch tv excessively.

1) tv promotes bad behavior. Lets face it, watching good kids follow the rules would be boring..Hollywood knows that. Disney channel has kids sneaking out of their house at night, Nickelodeon has shows about pranks and being bossy. You make it harder on yourself if you let kids sit and absorb those behaviors. They are notorious for mimicking! The longer you let them watch, the more difficut it will be to break them of the habits. I know you aren’t the parent, so talk with the parent’s and come up with a tv plan.

2) Research shows that 2 or more hours watching the tv idly per day increases obesity chances. The time that kids spend on tv, videogames and other electronic devices cuts into the time they should spend outside and playing. Without that vital play time, kids become couch potatoes. The more lazy they get, the more difficult chores, tasks and willingness to play outside will become.

3)TV is a huge distraction! when the tv is on, the kids I nanny for completely zone me out. Simple tasks become huge chores because they don’t listen. Kids procrastinate homework, hanging out with friends and even eating for television!

Now I’m not saying you can’t do the occasional movie night and you need to cut off tv all together, BUT limit the kids’ tv time and monitor what they are watching. Talk to parents about what programs are appropriate for their kids.

Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!


Ooey Gooey Playtime Fun!

Let’s face it, kids love getting messy. I am all for having messy fun, especially in the summer when the kids can wash off in the pool or while playing in the sprinklers. Here are my 3 all time favorite messy things to do with kids!

Oobleck- Cornstarch and Water

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  1. Cornstarch
  2. Water
  3. Optional: Food coloring


One of the coolest aspects of this, is there is no directions. In a large bowl combine cornstarch and water and keep adding until it looks watery but feels thick. Add food coloring if wanted. I did green one time to look like the slime from Nickelodeon.  I put it in a large bowl or small blow up swimming pool to keep it semi-contained. Kids love putting their hands and feet in it. Don’t worry about them trying to eat Oobleck. It is safe to eat but not too tasty.

Homemade Play dough

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NOTE: It is easier to make this at home prior to watching the kids.


  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 1/2 cup salt
  4. 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  5. 1 tablespoon of oil
  6. food coloring or Kool-aid mix if doing one color at a time
  7. gloves (if you don’t want tye dye colored hands)


  1. Mix all ingredients (minus food coloring) over medium heat until it congeals (mixes together to look like and have the consistency of Play dough)  NOTE: if you are adding Kool-aid packet instead of food coloring- pour it in while mixing all the ingredients over heat.
  2. Remove from heat
  3. Knead in colors while warm if using food coloring
  4. Place in airtight containers for months!

Some nannies will keep the play dough after the kids are done playing with it for other kids or future babysitting trips. I get little containers from Dollar Tree and let the kids keep it. One, I don’t want to spread germs. Two, it makes for a great inexpensive gift for birthdays or holidays.

Just a warning, adding Kool-aid packets to the mixes will add vibrant colors and yummy smells. The kids WILL try to eat it. Luckily it is edible, but like won’t taste all that great.

Shaving Cream Creations

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There are so many variations. My favorite is making bathroom paint out of shaving cream and food coloring. I mix it in a an old muffin tin and give the kids an old paint brush. They go to town painting the bathroom tiles. After they are done, I rinse them down (already strategically placed in the bath tub) and wash down the tiles. I have never had problems with the food coloring staining anything but others have.. Kool-Aid packets work if you are worried about dying the gout.

Not a bath time kind of person? Try mixing shaving cream and glue to make puffy artwork. Mix the shaving cream, glue and food coloring together in different containers. I like letting them paint on a large piece of butcher paper, less mess and more room to let their creativity flow. 🙂

The craziest thing I have done with shaving cream is used it as part of an obstacle course on a jungle gym at one of my family’s houses. We put colored shaving cream on the slide. The kids had several obstacles like riding their bike, bouncing a ball and hoping around the yard. When they got to the jungle gym/play set, they had to swing, go on the monkey bars and finally go down the slide. The first person to get down the slide won. Their prize? Swimming in the blow up swimming pool at the bottom of the slide! Easy clean up and kept the shaving cream in one place. SO FUN!