Explore Circumference With Your Bicycle Wheel!

Explore Circumference With Your Bicycle Wheel!


By late elementary school, students have already learned about the basic properties of geometric shapes, but they are still exploring the many ways that geometry translates to real-world situations. Sure, finding the distance around, or the “perimeter”, of a polygon like a square or triangle is pretty easy. But how about finding the distance around a circle, the “circumference”? Let’s explore Circumference With Your Bicycle Wheel!

This hands-on-activity gives your child practice in finding the circumference of an object, while teaching her to use a step-by-step approach to gain the information necessary to solve a mathematical problem. Plus, it’s a great way to get outside and have some family fun in the sun!

What You Need:

  • bicycle
  • a sidewalk, or some other place to ride
  • a length of string
  • yardstick
  • paper
  • pencil
  • chalk (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Have your child ride her bicycle down the sidewalk a short, specific distance. Draw a chalk line, or use a marker such as a tree or a sign to show her where to stop. Ask her to estimate how many times her bicycle wheel went around.
  2. Use the string to help your child find the circumference of her bicycle wheel. Ask your child to lay her bicycle down. Hold the end of the string tightly on the tire and have your child to take the other end of the string and place it around the tire until it meets the end you are holding. Cut the string so that is reflects the measurement of the circumference of the tire. Help your child measure the string to the nearest inch. Next, have her measure the distance her bicycle wheel traveled to the nearest inch.
  3. Now that you have the measurement of the tire’s circumference and the measurement of the distance traveled, it’s time to find the number of times your child’s bicycle wheel went around. Ask her how she would set up the problem. Working together, divide the distance traveled by the circumference of the tire to find the answer!

By Jennifer Chalupnik, from

Photo Credit:  Huffy Bikes

Looking Beyond The Supermarket Aisle

Looking Beyond The Supermarket Aisle

By Talia Moore, Creator of Tummy Thyme, LLC

Next time you walk around your favorite supermarket, take a moment to study the food on the shelves. For the most part, it will reflect the tastes and preferences of the people who buy there.

Dominating will be the most popular brands and the most popular types of food, the best sellers for that particular chain and that particular location.

But if you shift your gaze to the people walking the aisles, you will notice a much broader demographic; people from many countries and cultures, all with their own food traditions. Few, if any, supermarkets have the shelf space to meet all of their expectations, but if you were able to look through their kitchen windows, the extent of the differences would become apparent.

At home, many of us eat a wide variety of foods from a wide variety of countries and cultures beyond the scope of those grocery-store shelves.

This should be just as true for the first foods we feed our babies.

In the U.S., some of the most popular first foods are instant baby rice cereal and pre-packaged, shelf-stable jars and pouches of puree. If we are honest, we are all so busy we generally go for the most convenient option. Supermarkets pander to that, and food standards are high enough in this country that parents have confidence these foods won’t harm our babies.

But this quick fix isn’t ideal. Shelf-stable products often take two years from production to the time they reach the supermarket shelf, so they have to contain additives or use high heat in the production phase so they don’t spoil. Also, the first foods our babies eat can inform their food choices as they mature. If we want them to prefer the healthiest options later, we should try and avoid starting their lives on a diet based solely on pre-prepared foods.

Finally, many supermarket-available foods are culturally bland. What a shame not to introduce the wealth of culturally rich foods we enjoy in Southern California at the earliest possible time in your baby’s life.

You can easily experiment with foods from a variety of cultures when choosing your baby’s first foods. Here are easy, low-cost options from six different countries – some of which are suggested by Australian nutrition scientist and dietician Joanna McMillan.

Don’t ditch pre-packaged foods completely. But if you vary your baby’s diet, they can learn a love of travel – at least in a food sense – right from the beginning.

Japan: A favorite among the Japanese is a dish called okayu. This is rice porridge infused with dried fish and vegetables or mashed pumpkin. Fish is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that babies need, and vegetables and pumpkin add lots of nutrients as well. Limit the amount of salt you add during cooking, because dried fish could be preserved using salt.

Kenya: A common first food is ngwaci (sweet potato). Kenyan children are prone to vitamin A deficiency, and this is a very good solution. Sweet potato is rich in carotenoids including beta-carotene, which can be converted into Vitamin A in the body. Sweet potato can be cooked to different consistencies, from purees to lumpier mash and even chips, which are a great finger food.

Dominican Republic: Babies in the Dominican Republic eat crema de habichuelas, a puree of black beans and kidney beans. Beans are a good source of plant protein because of the amino acids. They are also very low GI, so they release slow, steady amounts of carbohydrates into the body. Beans also have prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria in the bowel. Babies who have good levels of these bacteria have a lower incidence of gut infections and upper-respiratory infections.

France: Many French pediatricians suggest feeding, babies as young as 5 months bouillon, or a thin vegetable soup, in a bottle mixed with milk. In order to develop their palates as they grow, young babies in France are also exposed to vegetables with many tastes and textures, including leeks, spinach and baby endive. French children have among the lowest incidence of childhood obesity in the world.

India: Babies in India regularly eat khichdi, a dish of rice, lentils and fragrant Indian spices, from about 6 months of age. This really knocks the idea of bland being best for babies on its head. Indian mothers eat hot curries and spices throughout their pregnancies, so babies are used to these tastes from the womb. There are many benefits of having spices in a baby’s diet. They are rich in antioxidants and plant-based phytochemicals. This is important for families that are vegetarian, as is much of Indian society. Mixing rice and lentils adds amino acids so babies get protein, which is so necessary in their diet.

Jamaica: Mashed tropical fruit is a staple for Jamaican babies from as young as 4 months. Fruits such as mango, papaya, custard apple, sapodilla and banana are wonderful because they have a lot of naturally present carbohydrates, vitamin C and fiber.

We have a world of food possibility at our doorstep, and the opportunity to share that world with our babies is well within our grasp. The take-home message is to venture out, beginning with your local supermarket, where most if not all of these products are available.

Don’t be disheartened if your baby doesn’t immediately take to any one or combination of food.  Pediatricians and dietitians tell us that it can take a baby 10 or more times of trying a food before they accept or reject it.

What You Need to Know About Health Insurance for Nannies

What You Need to Know About Health Insurance for Nannies

By Tom Breedlove, Director of HomePay

The Affordable Care Act has fundamentally changed the way most Americans obtain and pay for health insurance – and that is especially true for nannies and other household employees. Since there is an individual mandate for all citizens to have health insurance (or pay a hefty fine), Open Enrollment is now a big deal every year.

From November 1st through December 15th, nannies can purchase a health insurance policy on the California marketplace to ensure they’re covered beginning January 1, 2018. Nannies that earn less than $48,000 per year can potentially qualify for federal subsidies to lower the cost of their premiums – assuming of course their families are paying them legally.

The other way a nanny can have her health insurance costs lowered is for the family to chip in. Although they are not required to by law, contributing to a nanny’s health insurance premiums benefits both parties because any money paid by the family is considered non-taxable compensation. This means neither the nanny nor the family will have federal or state taxes associated with that portion of the nanny’s pay.

Note: Families that have 2 or more household employees must purchase a group policy through SHOP (at if they want their contributions to be non-taxable.

At HomePay, we’re set up to handle health insurance contributions as part of a nanny’s payroll. If you have questions about how this works, or anything else related to payroll or taxes, just reach out to us at (888) 273-3356. We’re happy to help!

Be Educated and Prepared

Be Educated and Prepared

On a daily basis when we check the news or social media, we are bombarded with one devastating environmental disaster after another. It seems so consistent that it has us wondering what will happen next? When will “The Big One” strike?  The single best thing we can do for our loved ones is to be educated and prepared for an emergency. Your list of loved ones does not just include yourself, your children and your immediate family; it also includes nannies and babysitters, extended family, friends and neighbors. Think about who to share your family plan with and your emergency contact.

Many people wonder what do we prepare for exactly? And how do we begin?

Step One

Know what to prepare for. Think about the most common emergencies and what might be unique to where you live. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, there are 13 federally identified threats to Los Angeles that include earthquakes and fires.

Step Two

Plan for evacuations and locate meeting places. Your family may need to evacuate your home for a number of reasons. Make sure every family member knows where to go. This includes extended family, nannies and babysitters, neighbors and friends that may need to help. Depending on the emergency, your family will need to have multiple meeting places.

Inside the home: During an earthquake, be sure everyone knows to stay away from windows and light fixtures, book cases and any other furniture that can fall over. For children, the best way to prepare for an earthquake is to locate the best place to take cover in each room in the house. What if an earthquake strikes while they are eating dinner? Sleeping in their bedroom? Practice your emergency drill in each room of your home.

If there is a fire in your home, what is the quickest escape route? Show children where to go once they do escape outside.

In your neighborhood: Choose a place in your neighborhood that is easy for family members to meet in case you do need to evacuate your home. It could be a neighbor’s house, a mall parking lot, or by the big tree on the corner of the street.

Outside your neighborhood: What happens if an emergency happens and meeting in your home or your neighborhood meeting spot is not an option? Family members could be spread out at work and school. Choose a place where everyone can meet. This could be a friend’s house, your church or a library. Again, make sure nannies, babysitters and any other caregivers know these plans and where they are. Feel free to include a map along with your emergency phone numbers.

Be sure to have a meeting place outside of your city. You never know when danger can strike and you are far away from home. Do you have relatives or friends that live outside of Los Angeles? If not, then find a few hotels that are easily accessible and have their phone numbers and addresses written down so you do not have to do an internet search in the middle of an evacuation. If you have pets this is especially important. Find pet friendly hotels ahead of time so you will feel confident your whole family, pets included, can evacuate if need be.

What now?

If you know ahead of time that you and your family may need to evacuate, don’t wait! Evacuate early to give your family the best chance at staying safe. This also helps to keep roads clear for firefighters or police to move quickly to the hazard so they can do their jobs. If you need to evacuate quickly or at night, don’t be stuck running around looking for shoes, medicine or a flashlight. Have all the important things ready in a bag that is easy to grab.

The Los Angeles Fire Department recommends having the six “P’s” ready.

  1. People and Pets: Have enough food and water for 3 days for all members of your family including your pets.
  2. Papers, phone numbers and important documents
  3. Prescriptions, vitamins and eyeglasses
  4. Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
  5. Personal computers and hard drives
  6. Plastic: Credit Cards and cash

Also have first aid kits on hand, and consider having emergency grab bags for your office and/or car as well. Make sure that your nanny’s vehicle is also equipped with necessary items!

The American Red Cross has a great website where you can learn how to better prepare yourself depending on what threat or emergency you and your family may be at risk for.

Also be sure to check out the link provided on our Facebook page from The Nanny Doctor about how to speak with children about gun violence. The tips she provides are not just helpful for speaking about gun violence, but all disasters and scary things that children may be exposed to.

If you have any emergency tips, please feel free to email us at

National Nanny Recognition Week

National Nanny Recognition Week

It’s time to celebrate your nanny! National Nanny Recognition Week is September 24-30. This is a special week set aside every year to honor your nanny and show her how much you appreciate everything she does for your family. It’s a time for your children to show gratitude to their nanny for being such a positive role model. Remembering to say “Thank you” to your nanny throughout the year is so important, and here are some ways to make her feel extra fabulous this week!


If your children are musical, have them sing a song (or write a poem) to thank your nanny. It will make her smile and it’s super creative for the kids to write their own lyrics.


Are your children great artists? Have them create a special thank you card for your nanny.


Is your nanny working 10 hour days? Gift your nanny a relaxing day at the spa or treat her to a massage.


Has your nanny always wanted to take a special class to add to her list of skills or learn another language? Sponsor her to attend the International Nanny Association conference, Save a Little Life CPR Class, take a cooking class, or attend a RIE class.


Tell your nanny how much you appreciate her, and then gift her a bonus or a health insurance stipend to contribute to her well-being.


Simply say thank you and tell your nanny how wonderful she is. It feels good to be loved and hear positive things!


Treat your nanny to a paid day off. Many nannies work long hours, so they will really appreciate finding the time to visit the dentist, get a haircut, or treat them to a mani/pedi. Feeling polished is a win/win for everyone :)


Decorate the house, make some cupcakes, put on your nannie’s favorite music, and celebrate her awesomeness!


Many times nannies spend hours preparing meal plans for the week, grocery shopping, and cooking delicious meals. Treat your nanny to a night off from cooking and send her out to her favorite restaurant.


Do you already spoil your nanny and treat her like part of the family? Maybe there is a cause that is near and dear to your nanny’s heart? You and the kids could donate your time or make a kind donation? Get creative and think outside of the box!



Welcome To The Blog!

As one of the premier nanny referral agencies in greater Los Angeles and as parents ourselves, the safety and happiness of children is always our priority. On this blog, we further our commitment to strengthening families by sharing resources and articles we hope you’ll find helpful. We will also let you know when we’re having upcoming events, because we’d love to see you! Thanks for reading!