6 Earth Day Activities For Kids

Earth Day is just around the corner! This is a great time to teach kids about conserving our planet’s resources and caring for the world around us. Not sure what type of activities to try this year? Check out our top Earth Day activities for all!

1. A Beach clean up day: Here in Los Angeles, we are beyond lucky to have beautiful beaches in our very own back yard. Help keep our coastline and sea dwelling friends happy and healthy by planning a beach clean up day! You can plan to take part as a small group, or volunteer for an organization such as Heal The Bay or Surfrider.

2. A carefree car-free day: As Angelenos, we rely heavily on our vehicles to get around. This April, we invite you to take part in a car-free day. Use your legs and feet! Walk or bike to the store, a park and to activities!

3. Garden and grow together: Gardening is a great way to teach kids about different plants and their growth cycles. Plant some easy edible vegetables with the kids and monitor their growth throughout the year. Short on space? Plant a small herb garden and incorporate your homegrown herbs into meals!

4. Build a beautiful birdhouse: Build a birdhouse with the kids! This is a fun craft for any age. Short on time? Head to your local craft store and pick up a kit. Let the kids personalize their creation by painting the finished product!

5. Create a recycled mix media masterpiece: Pull out all the art supplies and create a mixed media masterpiece! Incorporate old newspapers, magazines, popsicle sticks, bottle caps and any other recyclable materials you can find. Let the kids’ imaginations run wild as their creations take shape. Remember, there is no right or wrong when it comes to art!

6. Take a trip to your local farmer’s market and make a meal together: Bring the kids along during the farmer’s market run. Let them taste test the different seasonal fruits and veggies and help choose items to purchase. Once you arrive home, plan an easy meal or snack that includes their chosen ingredients and enjoy!

Although these activities are inspired by Earth Day, you can certainly apply these ideas year round. What do you have planned for Earth Day with the kids? Post your activities and crafts to Instagram and tag us (@educatednannies) in your photos. We love learning about new ideas. Have a happy Earth Day!

*Photo credit: Huffington Post

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! This is a great opportunity to show all those in your life just how much you care for them and appreciate all that they do. Check out our simple yet creative tips for spreading love this Valentine’s Day!

Leave notes: This week, leave simple notes in unexpected places for those in your life. Add a special message of “I am so proud of you” in the kids’ lunch boxes. Leave a post it message on the mirror for your partner, thanking them for all their hard work. A little love and appreciation goes a long way!

Practice consideration: Be mindful of your actions to all those whom you encounter this week. Practice showing consideration, not only to those who you have close relationships with, but also the other mom at the grocery store, or the other nanny at the playground. Remember, children mimic our actions, words and tone. Let’s give them a loving and considerate example to follow!

 Card creation station: Lay out all of the kids’ favorite arts and craft supplies and have a card creating session with the entire family. Have each individual present their cards at the end of the session and explain what is significant about each card.

 Heartfelt treats: See how many heart shaped treats you can come up with this week. Make pancakes in the shape of a heart and add heart shaped strawberries to go on top! Cut the kids’ sandwiches in the shape of a heart and surprise them at lunchtime. Let the creativity flow and let the kids chime in with ideas to surprise one another!

Last but not least, surround yourself with love: Spend some quality time with those you love this Valentine’s Day. Have family far away? Set up a Skype date, so the entire family can feel close to one another!

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day activities? We would love to hear! Upload photos of your fun activities to Instagram and tag @educatednannies in your photos. Let’s all spread the love this Valentine’s Day!

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New Year? New Rituals!

Twenty-fifteen is here which means one thing: out with the old and in with the new! Kick off the New Year with some new, healthy and fun rituals for the whole family to enjoy together.

Set “big picture” goals with small “stepping stone” goals: Setting big goals can feel overwhelming for everyone, but that is no reason to give up on big dreams! Ask each member of the family what they would like to achieve this year. Brainstorm some small “stepping stone” goals to achieve each week, that lead to the “big picture” goals. Take inventory at the end of each week. Were the stepping stone goals achieved? Were there any challenges faced or overcome? Is everyone moving forward towards the big picture goals? Why or why not?

Healthy meal planning and menus: We all know that routine can get boring, and this especially applies to our taste buds. Use this time of year to revamp the family’s menus. Do you want the family to try healthier meals or expand their palates? Plan an afternoon to bring the kids to the farmers market. Let them taste some of the fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and allow them to pick out some items to bring home. Set two afternoons a week aside for meal prepping. Prep healthy and easy “go-to” snacks for the family, and stash them in the fridge. Planning ahead will set everyone up for success in making healthier choices throughout the week.

Get your activity on: Explore fun new activities in the area with the family! Plan a hike in the hills, or bike cruise along the beach. Perhaps a trip to the mountains to take in some sledding and snow is the ticket. Los Angeles truly does have something for everyone! On a daily basis, try to start or end the day with an activity. This one small change can lead to better stress management, focus and quality sleep!

Schedule in quality R&R: With schedules jam packed, this one can be tough! Before the week begins, pick a non-negotiable day (or part of a day, if that is more realistic) for family rest and relaxation. Let the kids linger in their PJ’s and put chores and homework on hold for this special time. When we work hard all week it is OK to let ourselves unwind!

Gratitude: It’s easy to focus on all that we wish to change in the New Year, but please remember to take time to think back on all that was achieved in 2014. Did you get to go on any great trips or adventures? Did the kids have any breakthroughs at school, in sports, or at extracurricular activities? Were new friends made, or old relationships re-established? Focusing on acceptance and gratitude will allow you to cherish all that 2015 has to offer. Enjoy!

*photo credit: First & Little

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Teaching Children Compassion, Caring and Gratitude

As adults, we teach children in all aspects of life. We guide them in their first steps and words; later, we help instill healthy habits such as brushing teeth and eating a well balanced diet. This holiday season, we invite you to help guide the children in another aspect of life by teaching compassion, caring and gratitude.

Be present and honor commitments – With the passing of each year, life finds a way to move even faster than years prior! Calendars are jam packed with commitments and technology seems to have a partial hold of our attention at all times. Use this time of year to reprioritize the calendar. Schedule things that really matter first, such a family meals, activities and events. Make these commitments non-negotiable for all. Turn off the technology and honor those close to you by giving them your undivided attention during these special times.

Model the gratitude attitude – Children observe our every action and interaction. For this reason, it is important to model the gratitude attitude with others, even when the busyness of the holiday season is in full swing. Treat the children in your life the way you would like them to treat you. Use “please” and “thank you” not only with your children, but also with others around you. Acknowledge the children when they pitch in or help out. Teach the children how to write “thank you” cards at a young age. If they are too young to actually write a special note, have them draw a creative picture for those who have done something nice or caring for them.

Create a family Gratitude Tree – This is a fun activity that the entire family will love! All you need are small pebbles, a vase, a few small branches, colorful construction paper, string, markers, scissors and a hole puncher. Place the branches in the vase and fill the bottom of the vase with the pebbles so the branches stay in place. Cut out different shapes with construction paper; punch a hole through the top and loop string through the hole. Once you have created the tree and tags, have each member of the family write something they are thankful for on a tag and hang it from the tree. Add to the tree every day or week, depending of the size of the tree. Once the holiday season is over, pull the strings from the tags and fasten them together with a metal fastener to create a small “Gratitude Book” for the family to cherish for years to come!

Update or create a chore chart – Update or create a chore chart that includes tasks that properly represent or challenge all of the children. As children grow older, their ability to pitch in also develops. Have the little ones help out by setting the table and pitching in with clean up, ask the older ones to help with the meal by completing a supervised and fun food preparation task, such as helping with a dessert or salad. By contributing to the family and pitching in, starting at a young age, children will begin to understand effort, handwork and the importance of teamwork.

Play the “High, Low, High” game – When you sit down for a family meal, go around the table and play the “High, Low, High” game. Have each person start by saying one “high” for the day, something that they are happy about or grateful for. Next, have them say a “low” or something that was difficult or challenging for them during the day. Lastly, end with another “high.” This is a great way to get the family to share about their day together.

Give thanks by giving your time as a family – Choose a charity that the entire family can dedicate time to this holiday season. Help out at a soup kitchen or dedicate an afternoon to wrapping gifts for a toy drive. Giving to others, who may not have as much as they do, not only teaches children about the world around them, but also helps them feel grateful for the things that they do have in their lives.

We at Educated Nannies are so grateful for you. Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Let’s Celebrate Dads!

Father’s Day is this Sunday! Celebrate this very special day, dedicated to all dads, with these creative crafts and fun-filled activities.

Design a crafty card: Encourage the kiddos to design a handmade card with all of dad’s favorite colors. Help them inscribe a personalized note inside, highlighting why dad is the BEST dad around!

Gift dad his favorite activity: Is your dad an avid sports fan? Head to the baseball field or treat him to a day at the stadium with the entire family. Be sure to buy him some peanuts and cracker jacks!

Have a family BBQ: Organize a fun family BBQ with his favorite grilled food items. Help the kids to create all his favorite sides, fixings and a delectable dessert. Enjoy your meal, family style, in the backyard or at a local park!

Family game night: Does your dad love an old fashion game of cards? How about charades? Organize a family game night with dad’s favorite games on the agenda. Don’t forget his go-to snacks to munch on throughout the fun night!

Give back or remember those who have past: Is your dad is an avid beach bum or nature-lover? Or perhaps your dad has lost his father to a particular illness? Find a local event or activity that will allow the family to volunteer or give back together, such as Surfrider or Prostate Cancer Foundation. Spend the day giving back to an organization that is near and dear to his heart.

A day for all dads: Remember, this special day is for all dads! Include grandpas and soon-to-be dads in the day’s festivities. The more the merrier! J

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

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Mother’s Day Crafts and Activities

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Show mom your love and appreciation for all of the hard work, passion and dedication she gives, each and every day, with these fun mother’s day craft and activity ideas.

Create a Custom Designed and Hand Written Card: Pull out all the fun arts and craft supplies and create a colorful and love inspired card for mom.  Encourage the children to write a poem or kind words inside the card, to show their appreciation. If the children are younger, you may need to help them write their message of love. A simple card showing gratitude will surely make mom’s heart sing!

Fun Photo and Decorated Frame: Create a heart-shaped sign out of construction paper. Paint a simple message onto the sign, such as “Thank You” or “I Love You.” Take a photo of the child holding the sign and place the photo into a plain frame. Let the child decorate the frame with colors, sequence and other goodies. Be sure to write the date on the back of the frame, so that both child and mom can cherish the gift and the fond memory for years to come!

Coupon Book: It is no secret that moms wear a ton of hats! From chef and chauffeur to playmate and confidant, moms do it all! Create a specialized coupon book that mom may cash in on throughout the year. Include coupons such as “Breakfast in Bed” to “Family Game Night” and “Clean-Up Free Weekend.” These coupons will allow mom feel love and support throughout the year, not just on Mother’s Day!

Pamper Mom at Home: While moms do love spa days, treatments and fancy dinners, they love spending time with their family even more, especially on Mother’s Day! Recreate mom’s favorite pampering sessions at home. If she loves yoga, create a child-lead, family yoga session in the back yard. If she loves the spa, do a mommy makeover at home, where the children pick and perform the treatments. If mom is more of a “foodie,” bring the fine-dinning experience to her. Cook dinner and have the whole family serve their preparations. Remember, you are never asked to clean up or do the dishes when you go out to dine! J

 Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Mother’s Day!

 Warmly,

Educated Nannies

 

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Snack Time

Preparing after school snacks is a really great time to get children involved and excited about eating healthy! Take a look at this fun arrangement of fruits and vegetables. It’s almost too cute to eat 🙂 321621_487927661261566_602040299_n

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