I’m a working mom who leaves her two-year-old little girl in the hands of a nanny every morning. And, while I love that I have a job that allows me to do so many of the things that I love, it also brings with it a certain amount of mom-guilt.
You know the feeling, right? Of course you do, you’re moms! That feeling that, even though you’re doing what you think is the best for everyone, you’re still not getting it quite right. Which is how I feel every day when I walk out the front door to the soundtrack of my little girls sobbing her heart out as her mother walks away from her, yet again.
Anyway, one of my concerns at the moment is whether or not she’s getting all the stimulation she needs from her nanny. I know Sophie loves her, and she has Holly’s best interests at heart, but I’m still concerned that Holly should be learning more. At the same time, I’m not ready to send her off to play school.
I’ve been a teacher (albeit a high school teacher at a rough school) and those places are tough! It’s an eat or be eaten kind of place. And she’s going to get enough exposure to that later on in life. So, as I question our decision to keep her at home with a nanny for a few more months, I spend my spare time on weekends preparing activities for Sophie and Holly to do during the week. I’ll share some of these with you in this and the next blog post.
Every Sunday afternoon (ok, so almost every Sunday afternoon – I am human) I get out my craft supplies and the big plastic container I bought especially for this purpose, and I prepare two activities for each week day (one for morning and one for afternoon).
In this first activity, Holly uses a pair of plastic tongs to pick up coloured wooden blocks and place them into a little green box. This activity works her fine motor skills, colour recognition and hand-eye co-ordination.
This second activity is a colour naming activity and work’s Holly fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination again. I’ve stuck some little blue stickers on a piece of cardboard, and Holly’s nanny helps her to stick a sticker on top of the blue circles.
In this third activity, I’ve stuck pieces of cardboard to a wooden ice-cream stick, and I placed a picture of an owl on the cardboard to make Peter and Paul – two little dickie birds. Holly then holds a bird in each hand and Sophie recites to her while Holly does the actions:
Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Come back Peter, come back Paul.
This activity teaches Holly rhythm and works her gross motor co-ordination.
If you’re looking to make activities your little one can do at home, start collecting things now: empty egg boxes, pieces of cardboard, a couple of old magazines to cut pictures out of, old fabric or swatches from a fabric store, pom poms, wool – just about anything can be made into a learning activity.