It’s Nanny Georgia here and today I’ll be talking about the benefits of sensory play for our children!
Most of us are born with 5 sensory elements, sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste! Just like any skill, we aren’t born having full control over these abilities, rather as we go through life we learn to adapt our senses as we experience new things.
There are 5 key benefits of sensory play for children, so lets get in to it!
The first benefit of sensory play is that it builds the nerve connections within the developing brains neural pathways. Creating a neural pathway can take up to as little as 18 days and as long as 200! Did you know that it takes 66 days as the average amount of time to form an understanding or habit! A child’s new found ability through sensory play can increase their inclination for and ability in completing more complex learning tasks and life skills.
Benefit number two is that sensory play helps support the development of a child’s language, by allowing children to discuss their sensory experience, this extends their language development and vocabulary. Sensory play helps with cognitive growth, enhancing their thought process, manipulating new materials and understanding new concepts, such as wet and dry. Social interaction is another benefit that sensory play supports, a positive environment with sensory experiences encourages children to interact and work effectively with others, they will share ideas and develop new relationships.
Another crucial benefit of sensory play is that it enhances memory! Memories occur when certain groups of neurons are reactivated. Encoding is a biological even which begins in recognising the senses which allows the perceived item of interest to be made into a construct which can be stored in the brain and recalled later from either long-term or short-term memory! How cool is that, by allowing our children to engage in sensory activities we hand them the opportunity to enhance their memory function!
When overwhelmed with emotions, even as adults we can sometimes feel like the world is against us. Lucky for our children, us adults can incorporate sensory play into their environment in hopes to calm them back down. Allowing a child to engage in a sensory activity while they are experiencing an emotional out-burst, letting a child use their senses to bring themselves back down is an import way of learning to understand and regulate their emotions. This applies to benefit number 4, sensory play is a good way to settle children.
Our fifth and final benefit of sensory play, is that it allows children to learn vitally important sensory attributes like; sticky, wet, cold dry and hot, loud and soft. Allowing children to explore and discover these attributes through sensory play also then helps build the neural path ways, bringing more of an understanding of the world around them.
Yes, sensory play can be messy and time hungry, but children learn through their senses every day, not just when given the opportunity to play a sensory activity or game. Next time you’re out with your babies, ask them questions about the world around them.
Its Nanny GG here and today our topic of discussion is about communication between families and nannies.
When being assigned a new nanny or carer, it can be very daunting, will they fit in with your family? Are their beliefs similar to yours? Will the children like them? There’s lots of questions to ask and plenty of answers to be given. So, let’s get onto the topic of communication!
How does communication help us? How does communication help you? How does communication help the children? What happens if you forget to mention something? What happens if there is a miss-communication?
Sometimes things happen, things get missed or forgotten and that’s okay! We are all human, it happens. Are there ways we can try and avoid this happening? There sure are! So now I am going to answer these questions and give some helpful hints on how to stay connected!
When working with families, as nannies, it is one of our priorities to understand and adapt to your routine, we are here to support you and your children. Sometimes it can be a little scary meeting a new family or meeting a new nanny. What questions do you ask? Are those questions too weird? Too straight forward? What if they don’t agree to something I believe in? I have concerns, how do I address them?
Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions, no question is too weird or straight forward, in-fact we would rather you ask as many questions as possible, that way we can get the best idea of you and your family, helping us to understand your dynamic and how things happen in your family home. The more questions and answers that are given, between both family and nanny, the clearer understanding we both have of the role the nanny will play in your family and the easier it will be for all of us to adapt to each other!
The hardest questions to ask are usually the most important and often, the longer the party waits to ask these questions, the more awkward or confusing it can become for everyone. It is important for both nannies and families to be open and honest, seeking ways to give the best outcome for everyone involved. we
The more we know and understand about our families, allows us to better accommodate for your wants and needs, your beliefs and cultural preferences. One of these major accommodations is discipline. Giggles and Smiles is a child safe organisation, which means we work and collaborate with parents, to ensure we are putting the needs and best interests of the children first. Being a child safe organisation means we do not allow, tolerate or encourage any physical discipline or any verbal discipline that would de-humanize the children. With the effort between both parents and nannies we can arrange strategies and put them in to place to try and implement the best possible learning outcome for your children.
Here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying we understand the important roles we play in helping families guide and support their child’s behaviour in positive and effective ways in line with NQF Q.A. 5 Supporting Children to Regulate their own Behaviour. Our nannies work together to ensure we include respectfully communication about all aspects of a child’s learning and development, which allows both sides to obtain a holistic and consistent approach.
So when it comes to asking the hard questions, or you find yourself second guessing whether you should ask or not… please do! Communication is vital, and remember no question is silly or unnecessary. Your nanny is providing care for your little ones, the most important things in your life, you can ask as many questions as you want!
That’s all from me for now, have any questions or feedback? Leave them in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date on all things GSN and Nanny related.
See you soon,
Coming up soon:
Benefits of Sensory Play
Tots and Tech
ACECQA, National Quality Standard|Information sheet: Quality Area 5 Supporting Children to Regulate Their Own Behaviour (February 2019)
It’s Nanny Gg here and today we are going to be talking about, “what is a nanny” and what the “GSN Nanny” difference is.
So let’s get started! What is a Nanny? Well, here at GSN our Nannies are lots of different things, future doctors, future teachers, dancers and performers, mums and educators and we all share the same passion caring for children.
Our Nannies are people who bring quality childcare to you and your children, into your own home. Here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying our nannies are regularly invited to attended professional development workshops and training days to help bring the most out in ourselves and the children when working, to ensure we are providing the highest quality care possible.
So, what do we do exactly? Among most stereotypes of working in the childcare industry, we just get to sit and play, all day, every day, maybe sort out an argument between children every now and then, right? Wrong!
For sure, we do play with the children! But before children want to play with us, they first have to feel comfortable. So we start by building a bond, a connection with your children, talking to them, discussing their favourite things, what they like to do, and then we can play! Creating this bond allows the children to feel safe and secure and will allow for future learning when in our care!
Don’t they have that connection at schools and day cares though?
100% they do, but I find it’s harder to maintain a bond and respectful relationship with a child when you have 25 other children in the same class, with only 2 teachers, who all need your attention, a cuddle, a cup of water or even just a hug. We only have so many hands!!
Having just one person focusing on your children, assuring all their needs are met without the disruption of having the responsibility of caring for a large group of children can help build your child’s ability to have meaningful and respected connections to people and things outside of their own family.
So, back to play! After we have established a growing bond with your child, we will engage them in activities, that’s right, we bring all the fun (and take the mess away too!) Most often we will have discussed with families prior, their children’s interests and will accommodate for that from our very first day together, which is usually a play session. Play Sessions are where we get to meet families and their children, for a 2-hour session dedicated to engaging in play with the children to establish that initial bond prior to commencing care services.
Then our nannies will go from there, continuing to help grow your child’s interest and ability to explore their world, Giggles and Smiles Nannying is a true believer in Child led play! This is so important because children will want to learn anything and everything, but only if they’re interested in that topic, we can’t rush a genius!
As well as playing and activities and having fun, our nannies will accommodate for their needs, cooking for them, making sure they are comfortable, bed time routines, morning routines, lunch routines, all kinds of routines! You tell us what they are and what they need and we can continue to have that set routine for you while you’re away, that way the children aren’t all put out of whack after having no routine! Don’t have a routine established yet? No worries! Giggles and Smiles Nannying will take the time to get to know your family dynamics and priorities as we support your family in establishing a routine suitable to your needs.
One of the most important things to us here at GSN is the safety of your children, our nannies are required to have all their correct training and checks done before being sent out to a new family! What a relief, right?! Along with ensuring that our Nannies have valid clearances, checks and experience to work with children, we also go that extra step in ensuring our Nannies have access to company policies and procedures, in-house training as well as external training providers across a variety of topics specific to caring for children and families in the home environment. You can be assured that in an emergency your nanny is trained to remain calm, collected and capable in keeping your children safe.
Over all, all our nannies here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying are dedicated to providing the safest and best possible care for your children, where it is engaging, led by them and developed to extend their interests, abilities and help them venture in their own world, confidently and safely.
Being part of the GSN Nanny Team has been an amazing opportunity and opened my eyes beyond what I expected when first interviewing for a Nanny position. Are you a fellow Nanny yourself? What is your experience as a Nanny? Get in touch and share your story, we would love to hear others experiences as a Nanny.
That’s all from me for now. Stay tuned for our next blog post. Talk soon!
It’s Nanny Georgia here and I am super excited to type up this blog and share with you the amazing things I learnt at the International Nanny Training day in Sydney last weekend!
As you may have seen through our GSN social media threads, I attended a Nanny training day in Sydney. Being able to go to something like this and not only take in information and learn new things but starting to network with so many different nannies from all over Australia. I am so privileged to have attended such an amazing event and connected with so many new people.
The training day was provided thanks to “Nannypalooza“; a National Nanny Conference over in the United States of America designed by nannies, for nannies, focused on learning, connecting and growing as a professional. During our training day here in Sydney, NSW Australia, we had three speakers; Rebecca Thompson from “Stone & Sprocket“, Angela Agius from “Circle of Security” and Shannon from “Oh Creative Day“.
The below reflections are based on my own personal experience as an attendee and have not been endorsed by any of the mentioned speakers or organisations.
Stone & Sprocket offers high quality professional development, nature programs and support in children’s behaviour.
Stone & Sprocket Website
Rebecca focused on children’s behaviour and digging deeper to understand why children behave in certain ways and strategies in combating that behaviour. She discussed the different types of words we use when talking to children and that certain tones and reactions can influence a child’s behaviour. For example, if there is a child who is visibly upset because they didn’t get an ice-cream and is now kicking you and screaming; us as parents, educators and nannies need to allow time for that child to calm back down whilst also acknowledging their emotions.
“Billie* I can see you are really upset right now, but it’s not safe to kick people, I am telling you to stop kicking now and we can talk when you are ready”
By doing this, you acknowledge their emotions but also let them know that what they’re doing isn’t okay. Rebecca also pointed out that children will often continue to react in a negative way if they know it will bring attention to them. By acknowledging their distress and asserting the kicking issue, it is then time to take a step back and wait for them to calm down into a more settle state. Some may see this as a ‘time out’, where as we refer to this as ‘calm space’. Rebecca’s description of this being a snow globe affect was a great example; the child has just been shaken up, there is snow everywhere and we need to allow time for the child to settle before attempting to talk with them, like the snow in the snow globe and being able to see clearly again.
It was then discussed that children will continue to respond negatively when our reactions are “over the top” thus giving them the reaction and the attention they want. Coming back to the previous situation with Billie*, if we respond with words like
“stop it, you’re being dramatic!”
“no! don’t do that!”
We aren’t allowing ourselves or the child the chance to acknowledge their emotions, this will then often lead the child to become more distressed, thus continuing to react due to the words and tone we use, then that creates one exhausted carer! It will become draining for you both.
Angela was our second speaker, focusing on the ways in which children ask for our attention. Often when children want our attention, they are seeking a connection with us.
You know how your three year old asks 100 questions in thirty seconds? That’s your child asking “I would like you to talk to me, I want a connection with you”
Often they may only need five minutes of your time, but time is such a valuable thing, isn’t it?
There are so many ways we can establish that connection with our children even when we are a little bit strapped for time but the most important thing us as adults need to remember is that the children want a connection not just a response. Engaging with them about what you’re doing, tell them, show them, even get them to assist you when it is okay. Sometimes they will only need those five minutes but in those five minutes you have established that connection, they feel connected and listened to.
This connection links to the circle of security. When a child is ready and eager to explore, they will only be capable if they feel safe and secure, and guess who their safety and security is? Yup! You!
You are the person they will go to when they need just that little bit of reassurance, they are safe and you’re right there learning with them. You don’t need to be constantly talking to them, or engaging with them, if they are happy to explore their world alone, let them, but be there for when they return and begin interacting with you, showing you what they have found or what they can do.
This links back to our discussion on children’s behaviour, if they are interacting with you it means they want connection, reassurance, they want to feel supported and secure in their world and they will get this through the people they feel most safe with. After a child gets that connection and reassurance, they will venture back out and do it all over again!
OH CREATIVE DAY IS A PLACE WHERE WHIMSY AND WISDOM LIVE AND THRIVE!
Oh Creative Day Website
Our third and final speaker today was Shannon, who runs her own social media blog called “ohcreativeday” and we were lucky enough to even participate in some cool activities she shared with us!
We discussed today the importance of craft play, what do you think is so important about craft? You may be sitting reading this and thinking “oh my, all that mess!” – you’re not alone! However, as much as we all don’t like huge messes, a mess means children got creative and that’s awesome!
What is it that they learn when they cut up 3 pieces of paper, stuck it on cardboard, drew on it with some textas and made a monster out of it?
Well, first and for most, they used their imagination, they created something from nothing and they did it all by themselves, it was their idea, their design and their work. Cutting and pasting the paper on to the cardboard gives them the opportunity to strengthen their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination!
“But cutting and pasting is so simple?”
Fine motor activities (activities that require a lot of hand work) actually help the muscles in the child’s hand to develop and strengthen, so when they start learning to write or doing up a button they are able to manipulate those smaller materials into doing what they need.
Who knew that such a simple craft activity could help children achieve so much developmentally?!
For further information on organisations mentioned in this blog, please refer directly to their websites below:
I am Nanny Georgia! (or GG as some people call me) and I am super-duper excited to be taking over our Giggles and Smiles, “Life as a Nanny” blog!
I have been working with Giggles and Smiles Nannying for almost 6 months now and it is hands down the best job I have ever had! So I am eager to get started on this spectacular blog that I get to share with you alongside our Instagram feed for Life as a GSN Nanny.
Our life as a GSN Nanny blog has been designed to keep you up to date on all things GSN and all those special and amazing events that happen Nationally and Internationally throughout the year.
Seeing as it is already the end of March, maybe we need a little catch up on what has been happening!
January was fairly quiet for me this year, I took on a beautiful new family, two afternoons a week after school and we have already been on so many adventures! It is truly amazing how much you miss when you live somewhere. Going exploring with the children has opened up my eyes to all the wonders Newcastle has to offer.
This year we also kicked off our monthly newsletter, which is filled with recent events at GSN, tips and tricks, recipes and Nanny of the month! I had the privilege of receiving our January Nanny of the month. This was such a lovely surprise, I had received some great feedback from a few of my beautiful families and shed a few tears when I read the lovely things they said about me! I just absolutely love my job!
During February we located to a new office in Gosford! Giggles and Smiles Nannying is a service that provides quality in-home child care for families up the coast from the hunter region all the way down to Sydney. The relocation to Gosford meant that our admin and office facilities became more accessible to our families and staff members, providing a location at a half way point! Our superstar admin manager Jaycinta was awarded team member of the month! Jaycinta is an absolute legend and is the superstar working behind the scenes! She ensures that the business side (so all that paper work, reading and organising!!) runs smoothly! Not too sure what we would do with out her!
We also launched
Giggles and Smiles Parties! Myself, Director Elle and the lovely party host Mel
had a party host induction where we did costume fittings, we practiced face
painting, sang some songs and brain stormed some ideas for the parties! We all
had an absolute blast.
That following weekend
was March! Giggles and Smiles Parties attended the Capes 4 Kids even at Gosford
show ground, I was working that weekend but decided to take the children down
to Gosford and have a share in all the fun! So many capes and so many bubbles….
The children and all of us at GSN and GSP had an absolute ball! Even if it did start raining while we packed away. This month I also took over the resource room and our Life as a GSN nanny blog! This week I am heading down to the office to crash tackle the resource room, getting it as organised as a resource room can be and hopefully I can make it super easy to follow and understand for all the Nannies and Party hosts at GSN. Stay tuned to read all about the mysterious treasures we have stored away in our GSN resource room.
All in all I think that is pretty much it for the last few months here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying! It’s been a busy start to the year with many more adventures to come. So make sure you follow our blog by subscribing below to ensure you stay up to date on all the excitement Life as a GSN Nanny can be!
See you soon,
Coming up next:
International Nanny Training Day 2019
What is a Nanny?
GSN Goes to America!!!
The importance of investing in Professional Development,