Posts Tagged ‘South Florida babysitters’

Back to School Checklist

Families everywhere are getting ready for the beginning of the new school year.  Here are some helpful tips from Good Morning America parenting expert Ann Pleshette Murphy so you can be prepared for the first day.

1. Start readjusting to a school-year bedtime now.

2. Hang a family calendar and color-code everyone’s activities.

3. Gather all school forms as they arrive.

4. Book babysitters now for your school’s parents’ night and other dates when they’ll be in-demand.  Call TLC for Kids to help with all your babysitting needs.

5. Create a family station where you can find what you need as you head out the door.

6. Set up an in/out box for school forms.

7. Look at online organizational websites.

8. Discuss goals for the year.

9. Institute a night quiet hour.

10. Reach out to your child’s teacher.

 

Good luck on the first day.  Don’t forget to post your first day of school photo’s on our Facebook page for a chance to win $20 credit towards any TLC for Kids agency fee.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years.   TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

 

Six Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

It’s time for your child to head back to school. You roll your eyes, because that means coming up with a new lunch five times a week, for the rest of the school year. What’s a parent to do? Here are some ideas for creative and healthy lunchbox ideas that you can send to school with your child.

  1. Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are originally from Japan, and they are a very creative way to serve your child food. There are containers especially made for this purpose, or else you can simply use a variety of boxes in an assortment of sizes that you already have.

Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals or cartoon characters. The sky is the limit as far as creativity. There are plenty of websites dedicated solely to this artistic endeavor. Check them out and make your child’s lunch fun each and every day.

  1. Pasta

Pasta is an easy and quick lunchbox idea. Make a batch early in the week and then load it up with various vegetables and sauces to make many different options. You can pair spaghetti noodles with green peas and Parmesan, or add broccoli and a simple yet delicious tomato sauce to pasta shells.

  1. Sandwiches

Sandwiches have been an old lunch standby for as long as most of us can remember, but they are not to be scoffed at. There is almost nothing you cannot add between two pieces of bread that does not automatically become delicious. From peanut butter to BLTs, sandwiches filled the lunch boxes of our own childhood and continue to do so for our children.

Keep them fresh by storing any vegetables or other moist food in a separate container, so your child can put it all together directly before consuming it. Add new tastes to expand your child’s palate and prevent boredom, such as wasabi or sriracha mayo.

  1. Veggie Burritos

Why not turn an old favorite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store. What’s not to love about that? Simply choose a type each of beans, veggies, cheese and sauce, and then wrap it up. Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available.

  1. Soup

Soup is another great lunchbox standby. With all the thermoses and container options out there, it is easy to find something to keep it in, even keeping it warm until being eaten. A broth filled with numerous kinds of vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and onions is healthy and lasts well in a lunchbox. Simply add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a healthy, well-rounded meal.

  1. Salads

Salad is a great lunch option, and it does not have to be boring. Load it up with chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and top it off with a healthy dressing for a lunch your child will thank you for. There are now salad storage containers sold even at the big box stores that have special compartments to fit all the components of the salad – even tiny squeeze bottles for the dressing.

With all the options available, there is no reason for your child to get bored with their school lunches. Thanks to a variety of storage options, your child’s lunch can safely wait for lunch break and not even go bad. Fill up your child’s lunchbox with healthy meals to keep your child fueled all day long.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years.   TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products You Can Make Yourself

You don’t have to give up a clean and fresh-smelling home to become more eco-friendly. You can clean your home with ingredients you already have. Baking soda, water, and vinegar are the most frequently found ingredients in most eco-friendly household cleaners. Give some of these a try.

Window Cleaner

If you like shiny windows, mirrors and glass surfaces, then you probably need to make an eco-friendly window cleaner. It’s super easy; you simply need a glass spray bottle and equal parts glass vinegar, water, and isopropyl alcohol. Use a reusable lint free soft cloth to clean surfaces. You can also use old newspaper to bring a shine to your glass and mirrored surfaces.

Floor Cleaner

If you have laminate floors, use the same recipe for windows, but add a few drops of dish soap to help it work better. You can also add some olive oil to help condition the floors if they are made from wood. If you dry after washing, the shine will show even more.

Furniture Polish

You can make a very useful and earth-friendly furniture polish with two simple ingredients. Mix 1 part cold pressed olive oil with 1/2 part lemon juice. Use very sparingly to polish clean furniture to a beautiful sheen. You can clean the furniture first with 1 cup distilled water mixed with 3 TBS distilled white vinegar. The trick is to use a soft cloth, and to dry thoroughly when finished.

Sparkling Pans

If you have metal or stainless pans, you can quickly whip up an eco-friendly cleaner each time you want to clean up the pans. Do not make this in advance. A good tip is to have some baking soda in an old Parmesan cheese shaker at the ready near the sink. Shake on your pans as you wash them. You can add a little hydrogen peroxide to kick it up a notch.

Silver Cleaner

Baking soda is good for a lot of things, including cleaning silver. Make a paste of baking soda and water, in about equal amounts. Apply to the silver with a soft microfiber cloth (or extra soft baby toothbrush for silver with intricate designs), making small, circular motions. Once covered, rinse and dry silver.

Soap Scum Killer

You know that horrible scum that gets in your bathtub and bathroom sink? You can get rid of it naturally and safely. In a glass beaker, mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 TBS cornstarch. Heat until it’s hot and comes to a boil; mix quickly, being careful not to splash it. It’ll look kind of like a gel-like substance. Using a funnel, pour into a glass spray bottle, then add 2 TBS dish soap and shake well. Spray on the area, let sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Rinse and dry.

Get Rid of Lime Deposits

It’s easy to get rid of lime deposits by just using plain, distilled white vinegar. Spray on the deposits and let sit, then use a soft cloth to wipe down until dry. No need to rinse. To get the lime deposits off faucets, just use an old plastic grocery bag and fill with vinegar and tie to the faucet. Leave overnight if desired.

Clean Your Stainless

To clean stainless you have several choices. You can use distilled white vinegar on a soft cloth. This is the best choice for large appliances like refrigerators or the stove. For your stainless sinks you can use a paste of baking soda and water, but be sure to rinse very well and dry to ensure that you’ve removed all the cleaner.

These ideas are easy to use and you likely already have most of the ingredients on hand. Buying these ingredients in large quantities will save a lot of money and be a lot better on the environment than prepackaged chemically-laden cleaners.

 

Note: Many ideas are adapted from: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2013/06/homemade-all-natural-cleaning-recipes.html

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years.   TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

The Benefits of Unstructed Playtime

TLC Nanny AgencyI recently came across an article about the importance of free play for kids. The article stressed the importance of play for kids and how it links to their educational, social and physical development.

It’s clear that playing helps a child’s physical development. Gross motor skills are strengthened when kids have time to play and run around. But, did you know that play time can also improve a child’s communication and literacy skills? Play time on a playground with other kids or with a nanny teaches a child how to communicate and share. Play time also teaches kids how to interact with other people and read social cues. Woodbury School is showing kids how to turn imaginative play into plot lines. The schools teachers write down the ‘stories’ the kids are telling. The teachers read the stories back to the kids and then they learn to read them to each other.

The article goes on to say that young kids today have less and less time to play freely because of the emphasis on academics and structure in daycares and preschools. Hiring a nanny to take care of kids in a home instead of a structured daycare can give children more time to play freely. Nanny’s are able to give children one-on-one play time that can grow a child’s imagination.

To read the article in it’s entirety click here.

To learn more about hiring a nanny for your family visit the TLC for Kids Website.

Teaching Your Children about Safety

Kids are often very curious and sometimes aren’t very aware that there are numerous dangers surrounding us every day. It’s important that we get our kids to be conscious of dangers to help keep them safe. Listed below are steps to ensure that your children are conscientious about their own safety in and around your home.

  1. Teach your children how to make emergency calls in case of a serious emergency. Ensure they know the difference between someone needing help and calling about a minor issue like one of their toys being lost. Teach them the emergency numbers and have them posted in a visible location. Ask them frequently to recite the emergency number of 911 so it’s second nature to dial, even when they are scared and panicked.
  2. Review the emergency exit plan with your children frequently. In case of a fire, ensure that they know how to get out of the house and where they should meet once they’re outside. Practice this monthly because for many, doing is better than telling as they learn and know it better by doing the action.
  3. Teach your children about when to feel uncomfortable in certain situations. Ensure that they know to stay away from strangers. However, do it in a way that they aren’t scared of every person they meet. Teach your child what a stranger is and avoid teaching them that all strangers are dangerous, since this is not the case.
  4. Teach your children about what a dangerous situation will look like. Teach them that if someone they do not know tries to take them somewhere, they should run away screaming, “Someone’s trying to take me!” or something along those lines, to let others know they need help.

Also teach them that if someone is chasing them, they should run into a safe place. A safe place is any place that has multiple people inside – like a grocery store or a library, for example. Another situation may be when someone is trying to physically harm your child. Some parents don’t believe in this but teaching your child some self-defense skills may be something to think about. Teach them to poke a harmful guy in the eyes or kick them in the knee.

  1. Teach them what a stranger is. Giving them a private family code word that will be used if they are ever picked up by someone they are unfamiliar with can be helpful. They should never get in an unfamiliar vehicle, even if it seems innocent enough. If someone tries to get them to go in a vehicle, then they should leave and find a trusted adult right away.
  2. Always have a recent picture of your child with you. If they were to ever go missing, show the picture to the police so they can help you find them. Keep the info about your child up to date. Know their height, weight, eye color, and any birthmarks they may have. This will also help the police to find your child.

The safety of our children is so important. It’s important that we teach them how to be safe, especially in situations where we aren’t there. Remember though not to scare your children about certain situations. You don’t want them to fear every person they see, but you do want them to be aware of the people and their surroundings. When your child is safety conscious, you help to decrease the risk of anything happening to them.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years.   TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We place in St. Louis, Atlanta and Miami. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

TLC Can Help With Your Back to School Needs

New backpack? Check.

New crayons? Check.

New clothes? Check.

Childcare? Don’t stress. No matter how much help you need, TLC for Kids has a few ideas on how to help you gear up for the school year.

1. Hire an after school nanny. Not every parent is able to be home after school with their kids. Luckily, TLC for Kids has caregivers with flexible schedules to care for your children when you need it. After school caregivers can pick up your child from school, help with homework, start on dinner, etc. All of our caregivers have reliable, insured forms of transportation and have been thoroughly vetted.

2. Make a list of your top five favorite nannies. Once the school year starts, calendars start overflowing with practices, PTA meetings, and plays. When parents get this busy, it is easy to forget when you need a sitter. Plan ahead and make your requests now with for your favorite sitters. Requesting your favorite sitters in advance helps ensure one of them will be available. A familiar nanny is easier for you and your kiddos because they’ve been to your house before—you don’t have to spend time explaining all the dos and don’ts. Plus, being requested for a job lets your nanny know he/she is doing her job well.

3. Emergency Childcare. No matter how much planning we do last minute needs come up. Our kids will get sick, an extra practice is scheduled or a last minute meeting is added to the calendar. Don’t worry, the TLC for Kids Emergency Service can help with these last minute needs.

TLC for Kids is here to help as you gear up for this school year. Visit us online at tlcforkids.com or call 314-725-5660.

 

How to Raise an Extrovert Child When You Are an Introvert

Even with all the rewards and happiness that parenthood provides, it may often leave an introverted parent feeling drained and in desperate need of some time to be alone. This is especially true if you’re an introverted parent trying to raise an extroverted child, who has a need for social interaction that far exceeds your own. Here are some tips for raising an extroverted child when you’re an introverted parent.

Devote Time to Recharge

To provide the best care and environment for your extrovert, you need to devote time to unwind and recharge yourself. For many introverts, prolonged periods of social interaction can be daunting and often leads to feeling anxious or stressed out.

If you’re in a bad mood, there’s a good chance that your child will pick up on that. This can lead to your child feeling depressed. They may blame themselves as a result for something that couldn’t possibly be their fault. Schedule an hour out of the day for a break, to process and manage your stress. Explain to your child why it is important for people to recharge their batteries and turn it into a positive experience for them. This will also give your child the opportunity to process their feelings and experiences.

Provide Opportunities for Interaction

It’s important to provide many opportunities for social interaction for your extroverted child. However, that doesn’t mean you have to turn your home into a hangout spot for all their friends. Schedule social interactions for your child with a wide variety of people. Spend time with family members, schedule play dates with friends from school or take a trip to a public play place where your child can meet new friends.

By establishing interactions outside of the household, you can provide an appropriate level of social interaction for your extrovert while also keeping your personal space. It is recommended, however, that you allow your child to enjoy interactions with their friends in your household on occasion. Even if it’s just once or twice a week, your child will greatly benefit by having a social outlet on a more personal scale.

School Environment for Your Extrovert

Make sure your child is getting an education that properly caters to their extroverted needs. Meet with the school’s staff of teachers and assess what type of classes would be best for your extrovert. Seek out teachers that have a significant amount of practical “field work” in their lesson plans.

The best thing you can do for your child is to get them involved in extracurricular activities, preferably involving groups of people or clubs. This is something that they’ll already be interested in getting involved with. It is a wonderful way for them to socialize and build relationships with like-minded people, as well as learn valuable skills. Discuss what activities your child is interested in – whether it be sports, the chess team or the drama club, and get them involved in as many as you and they can comfortably manage.

As an introverted parent, an extroverted child can sometimes seem like quite a handful. But, even if you aren’t excited about expressing your feelings or meeting new people, it’s important that your kid gets the chance to do so. Every chance that you give them to interact with people will help them to develop their social skills and maybe even earn them a new friend.

 

TLC for Kids is currently placing summer nannies in St. Louis, Atlanta, and South Florida. If you need reliable, energetic, and professional child care visit our website at tlcforkids.com Or, email us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.

Summer Reading Challenges

Summer is almost here, and with that, the kids will be out of school. The kids are thinking about pool days, riding their bikes, sleeping in and sleepovers with friends! While you may have planned your summer vacation, day camps, sleep-away camps and play-dates, don’t forget to make time for reading!

Many schools require reading over the summer, and there are plenty of opportunities to make reading fun!

Check with your local library for their summer reading list by age. Many libraries will hold contests for the most books read and award prizes!

Check with your local bookstores. Many will host guest authors and reading challenges.

Barnes & Nobel has their popular reading program where kids can earn free books! Fostering a love of reading and its rewards, the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is popular with students in the first through sixth grades and educators throughout America. Participation is fun and an easy way for kids to earn free books. They simply read any eight books – library books, books borrowed from friends or books bought at Barnes & Noble – write about their favorite part, and bring a completed tear page to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Children then choose their free book from a list of paperback titles.

Scholastic is challenging young readers to join them and has put together an extensive list of recommendations.

Summer Reading Resources

Is your school requiring summer reading? Check out these great tips on Tackling School Reading Lists

A few more resources including:

Summer Reading Lists by Grade

Top 10 Summer Reading Lists

On the go? Whether, plane, or auto, Tales2Go is an innovative subscription service for anyone who want instant access to over a thousand great kids’ audio stories to stream to their smart phones, and listen to anywhere, at any time. They feature the best in kids’ audio stories from leading audio publishers and award-winning storytellers.

Happy Reading!

 

TLC for Kids is currently placing summer nannies in St. Louis and South Florida. If you need reliable, energetic, and professional child care this summer visit our website at tlcforkids.com Or, email us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.

Tips for traveling with a nanny this summer

Our friends at Regarding Nannies have some great advice when traveling as a nanny.  

To some, it seems like the ultimate gig. You get to travel to tropical islands and exotic foreign destinations with all of your expenses included — plus your regular salary. But while outsiders may hear “all-inclusive trip to the Jamaica,” a nanny hears “a long flight, a new location, no toys and strange food.”

Though you may actually serve sandwiches on a blanket multiple times on the trip, being a travel nanny is no picnic; it’s work. And unlike your usual set up, where the parents go to work and you’re at home in familiar territory with the kids, it’s all new, to you and your nanny family. So before you pack your bags, it’s important to prepare, communicate and set expectations that will ensure that everyone has a successful trip.

Continue reading 5 Things You Need to Know When Traveling as a Nanny

Jump on over to our Facebook page and share with us what helps you when traveling as a nanny.

 

 

Easter Ideas That You Can Do With The Kids

Easter is right around the corner. We found these quick, easy and entertaining activities you can do with the kids, guaranteed fun for all.  

Easter Bunny Bread – now who wouldn’t want to sit down to a wonderful meal and enjoy bunny shaped bread, made by the kids!

Marshmallow Peeps Cupcakes – Are you a fan of Peeps? These cupcakes will be a crowd pleaser.

Check out our Pinterest Board full of Easter ideas!

And there’s still time to make that Easter Basket! Our favorite …. you can never go wrong with books and candy!