Is Make-Believe Healthy?

Young children take life literally. They view all situations as “good” or “bad.” Water is either “hot” or “cold.” Young children do not assign “degrees” to any situation, and in the young child’s world, everything is real. The three-year-old has absolutely no doubt that Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer really exists. These characters are just as “real” to the child as Mommy and Daddy. Santa can circle the globe and visit every child on the planet in a single night and the Easter Bunny can deliver baskets of colored eggs just like Daddy can make the car go and Mommy can make food magically appear. 

In my opinion, make-believe is not only healthy, it is essential. Make believe helps a child to make sense of the world around him. He assigns his perceptions of a person, place, or thing with the help of make-believe.

There are those who advocate removing all make-believe from childhood. These experts tell us that make believe causes children to delay their perception of their reality. Shame on them! Too much “reality” isn’t good for adults much less little kids.

Grown-ups attend movies and plays and get caught up in the action on the screen or on the stage. Just for a moment, they believe what they are seeing and hearing. Adults, of course, can separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality. Kids will learn to make those distinctions as they grow older. Meanwhile, that fantasy is helping them learn how to deal with life in a safe and nonthreatening way.

As long as the make-believe is healthy and doesn’t desensitize the child (make killing seem good and evil seem desirable), I see no harm in make-believe.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

10 Ways to Enjoy a Stay-cation for Spring Break

Staying home for Spring Break? There are plenty of ways you can have loads of fun for little to no cost. Don’t forget – book your TLC Spring Break Sitter today! 

  1. Create a Scavenger Hunt. Fun for any age. Make a list of items to find around the house – think outside the box – and each find has a clue to the next. The prize? How about a Make-Your-Own-Sundae party!
  2. Take your Scavenger Hunt into the community. Head to a local museum or zoo. Hit up the gift shop first, or do a little planning online and find photographs of exhibits or animals and have them ready for your scavenger hunt.
  3. Bring the beach indoors. Let the kids wear their swimsuits in the tub. Bring along your beach towels, favorite tunes, sunscreen and shades.
  4. How about Community Service? Find a local shelter, food bank or charity that you can volunteer for the day. Or check your local animal shelter to volunteer with the animals. We’ve heard reading to the animals has a wonderful effect on them.
  5. Go hike a new trail and bring along a picnic. Take photos and make a memory book, or grab some rocks and paint them when you get home.
  6. Create a restaurant at home. We saw this idea on Regarding Nannies and can’t wait to try this with our kids.
  7. Make your own movie. With today’s smart phone you can record and put together your own Academy Award worthy short featuring the kids and even the family pet. Everyone has a part – and don’t forget the director, sound effects, costumes, makeup and special effects! Have fun, then host a screening of your film with popcorn for everyone to enjoy.
  8. Rock the runway with your own Fashion Show. Pull out that dress you no longer wear, or dad’s old shirt and tie and strut your stuff down the runway. Invite your friends over and make it a day everyone will enjoy.
  9. Declare it a tech-free day and visit the bookstore or the library. Everyone grab a new book, then head to the park or beach and read. Bring along a picnic and games and everyone will forget about their phones / tablets for a while.
  10. Do a little Spring cleaning. Have the kids go through toys they no longer play with and donate to a local shelter. Toss broken toys. Go through clothes they’ve outgrown and donate.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Valentine’s Day Fun!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. There’s still time to surprise your special people with some love and creativity. Check out some of our favorite Valentine activities:

A Dozen Poses from Regarding Nannies

TLC Valentine’s Pinterest Board 

Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup from Nanny Magazine

For a little humor, check out these Valentine’s Day Jokes!

No matter if you make something or buy something, a simple Hello, I Love You, How are You, go a long way! Brighten someone’s day with a smile, a compliment, a simple act of kindness.

And don’t forget …. need a Valentine’s Day date night sitter?  Give us a call today!

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

 

Creating Family Traditions

What are some good ideas for creating family traditions? Here are some ideas based on the holiday. These can be useful to get you started but remember that your own family traditions can be whatever you want and they don’t have to be centered around a holiday at all. Part of the fun of a family tradition is that it is yours and you can do whatever you want.

• Create your own special day or holiday such as “unbirthdays” or “family day”
• Never go to bed without saying I love you
• Have a special birthday meal whenever a family member has a birthday
• On Saturdays, everyone cooks breakfast together
• Have a monthly movie day where you watch movies that explore traditions
• Sing a special birthday song made up by the family
• Keep a family journal and let everyone write in it
• Make a scrapbook for every family vacation
• Always eat dinners together as a family and talk about your day
• Take turns choosing topic of discussion at dinner

These are just some ideas for creating family traditions. You can use these to boost your own ideas and be sure to ask your family members to think of their own. You can have everyone write down their ideas for traditions and then vote as a family on the ones you want to make happen.

Ideas for Passing on Family Traditions

When it comes to passing on family traditions, there are many ideas here as well. The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent. It’s important to do something over and over again each time to become tradition. If your family does not seem enthusiastic about it right away, you will have to help motivate them by being consistent.

For example, hold an event every year at the same time and continue to encourage the family to participate. Remain positive about it even if others do not and always continue even if only a few show up. By doing this consistently and with enthusiasm, others will begin to join in and the tradition will continue. As soon as all parties give up and miss an event, the tradition dies along with any enthusiasm to do it.

Holiday Traditions

Here are some holiday traditions that we enjoy and might help you get started:

• For Easter, color eggs together or have an Easter egg hunt
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving or Christmas
• Collect or make an ornament each year at Christmas
• Have Thanksgiving dinners together with everyone helping to make a dish
• Have the children dress up as pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving
• Re-enact holiday events or perform a small skit as a family
• Act out the Christmas story
• Make cookies and milk for Santa
• Leave shoes outside for “baby New Year” to fill with goodies
• Create family New Year resolutions together

These ideas should help you with creating and passing on family traditions of your own. Whether you have your own family now or hope to one day soon, we hope that you will explore these options and ideas for family traditions. The memories you will create together as a family will last a lifetime.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Happy Halloween!!

 

Halloween is just around the corner!  Are you still  stumped for costume ideas?  TLC is here to help, with our favorite costumes that kids can make themselves with a parent or nanny’s help.

1)      M&Ms/Skittles bag: With some felt, carefully cut out circles of “candy.” Next, sew or glue the candy pieces onto a black (M&M) or red (Skittle) outfit.  Your kids will transform into little packets of their favorite candy!

2)      Bubble bath: Cut the bottom out of an inflatable kiddie pool to go around your child’s waist and attach suspenders so it stays up, then glue on some small balloons to look like bubbles.

3)      Pig in a blanket: All you need to turn your kid into an adorable little piglet are pink clothes and some easy homemade pig ears and nose. Then wrap them up in a blanket and you’re all set!

4)      Raining cats and dogs: Dress your child in rainboots and a raincoat, and attach felt cat and dog shapes to an umbrella. They’ll love that it’s “punny”!

5)      Watercolors: All you need is a kicky felt beret, and a paper or felt poncho with round patches glued on to look like a watercolor palette.

6)      Sailor: Dress them up in stripes and a sailor hat, then fashion a boat out of paper and hang it around your child’s waist like you would with the bubble bath costume mentioned above.

7)      Wind-up doll: Dress your child up like a little doll, and attach a big paper key to their back. You can even try “turning” it and getting them to dance!

8)      Hot-air balloon: A laundry basket with the bottom cut out and a balloon attached should do the trick.

9)   Rain cloud: Dress their torso in white felt or a ton of cotton balls, and attach little blue paper raindrops to their legs. It may seem dreary, but we promise it’ll be cute!

Happy and safe trick or treating!

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Sharing Rosh Hashanah with Kids

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and is celebrated in early Autumn. It is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and no work is allowed on Rosh Hashanah.”

Here are some helpful resources to explain and celebrate with your children.

Rosh Hashanah Facts & Worksheets

Rosh Hashanah for Kids!

Rosh HaShanah Explained, for Families with Young Children

The Olympics are Coming!

The Olympics are happening Friday, July 23 – Sunday, August 8. Though they may look a little different this year with COVID, the spirit and celebration of the athletes remains the same.

The Olympics are a great way to learn about each sport, athletes and countries participating. It’s a great way to introduce teamwork, sportsmanship, commitment and respect to your little ones.

Check out our Pinterest board full of Olympic celebration ideas.

Check out Amazon’s Best Selling Olympic Books.

More craft ideas!

 

 

Summer Enrichment Activities

This article originally appeared on Regarding Nannies. Reprinted with permission. 

Sharon Rief of Teacher Resources for Parents has put together a list of helpful Summer activities to enrich the lives and development of children, and help keep them busy as we get into summer.

1) Mix primary colors together to form new colors.
2) Go on an ABC garden hunt.
3) Make coffee filter flowers or butterflies.
4) Make alphabet soup.
5) Make a masking tape raceway and city.
6) Make flags using Lego.
7) Make shapes using craft sticks and velcro.
8) Write a letter to your favorite Frozen character.
9) Play bubble wrap hopscotch.
10) Practice addition and subtraction using a deck of cards.
11) Have a reading picnic outside with your stuffed animals.
12) Listen to stories online at www.storylineonline.net.
13) Practice writing letters using shaving cream on a cookie sheet.
14) Print lyrics to your favorite song and practice reading them.
15) Decorate a frame or trinket box with sea shells and jewels.
16) Make a crayon resist card using a white crayon and water color paints.
17) Make an alphabet city using pipe cleaners or wikki sticks.
18) Create a city using Magna Tiles.
19) Do pepper and celery paint stamping.
20) Collect “Pixie Dust” sprinkled by Tinker Bell around your yard.

 

 

 

 

 

Find more inspiration at Facebook.com/teacherresourcesforparents or visit her website at www.teacherresourcesforparents.com 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Celebrate Father’s Day

This Sunday is Father’s Day and TLC Family Care knows we work with some of best dads. Our caregivers and staff know the dads we work with are hardworking, caring, and supportive. Because of this, we want to help our TLC families say ‘thank you’ to their dads this

Father and son

Father’s Day.

1.      Make something for Dad.

Homemade gifts are always a good gift for Dad (especially when you have young children) because they show you are thoughtful, creative, and give Dad something he can cherish forever. Popular homemade gifts for Father’s Day are items like custom coffee mugs, framed poems, hand-painted pictures, etc. Visit our Father’s Day Pinterest Board for cute gift ideas and how-to’s.

2.      Learn a skill from Dad.

Dads like to know their families value their abilities (and occasionally, dads like to show off their strengths)! Father’s Day is the perfect day to ask your dad to teach you how to do something that he does well. For example, if your dad is good at grilling, ask him to show you his tricks. Or if he’s a skilled carpenter, spend the day building a birdhouse together. It’s American tradition for dads to pass on traits to their offspring, and Father’s Day gives us the opportunity to carry out and uphold this age-old tradition.

3.      Take Dad to his favorite activity – COVID-19 Friendly, of course.

Like we said earlier, we know the dads who are a part of TLC are hardworking individuals. When people, like our hardworking dads, have demanding schedules, they rarely make times for themselves to do the things they enjoy. Father’s Day is the perfect time to let  Dad know he deserves a break by taking him to do his favorite activity. His favorite activity could be anything from going for a stroll in Forest Park, hitting the links on the golf course, watching his favorite sports team, or enjoying a delicious meal at his favorite restaurant. Whatever your dad likes to do, Father’s Day is the time to tell him how much he deserves a break.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Pets Teaching Kids Responsibility

Here’s the situation: Your child wants a pet. But, should you get them one? Having a pet in the home can be one way of teaching your kids responsibility. 

Kids like cute things and many pets are cute. It shouldn’t surprise you when they ask for one. You might get a request for a cat, dog, rabbit, horse, iguana, lizard, turtle or other animal. Your first reaction might be to say no, but instead, consider how it may impact your child if they had the experience of owning a pet.

There are a few things to consider. First, choose a pet that is age appropriate. Small children are not mature enough to learn to take care of a puppy, for example. You will end up doing most of the work. Instead, find a pet that can keep their interest while they learn all about it.

Second, know the benefits of kids and pets. Kids can learn to care for something other than themselves. Pets teach selflessness and empathy. Kids learn to put the needs of something else over their own.

Pets also teach social behavior. For many kids, pets are their first friends. Also, a pet can help them make more friends by interacting with others who own pets. It’s a win-win situation for kids and parents as long as you can take on the responsibility of teaching your kid to care for their pet. It takes patience, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Here are a few ways to help your kids get started.

* Take a class – Local community centers, pet stores and animal shelters may hold classes to help others learn how to care for pets. This is useful before you buy the pet to gauge your child’s interest in certain pets.

* Visit pet stores – Let kids see pets and hold them. Some kids like the idea of pets but not the thought of handling them. For those kids, starting with a pet that they can’t touch like fish might be a better choice.

* Show them what to do – Before kids can learn to care for their pets, they need to see what it involved. If you have fish, show them how to feed the fish, clean the aquarium and change the water. It may take several times (if you have small kids) but they will catch on.

* Discuss the consequences of not caring for them – When they forget to feed or clean the cages, discuss what will happen: odor, germs and more of a mess than you originally would have had.

* Be backup – Watch your child care for their pets but know that you are backup in case they forget to do anything.

Children can learn to care for pets at any age. Start with animals that don’t need much care and graduate up as your kid demonstrates maturity and interest.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.