Now is the time to sit down with your nanny to walk through how she can help with Halloween.
Make sure your schedules around the holidays are coordinated, you have a complete list of chores and errands, with clear ownership of your seasonal to-do lists. It will help ease Halloween stress for the whole family so that you can all enjoy the fun!
Here are 10 ways nannies can help with Halloween.
1. Create Halloween activities
Nannies spend countless hours with your children and have creative ideas to encourage early learning, creativity and thinking. Ask her to come up with Halloween-themed games, worksheets and activities that encourage your child to learn, while still having fun.
“To make holidays special, I’ve done a number of activities that can be tweaked for each season,” says Becky Kavanagh, co-president of the International Nanny Association and a nanny with over 20 years of experience. She suggests asking your nanny to arrange activities, such as themed treasure hunts where children find and follow clues that lead to a prize.
2. Make Halloween-themed arts and crafts
Arts and crafts are synonymous with fun for kids who love to be creative and show off their artistic skills. Fall-themed finger painting and carving pumpkins are great arts and craft activities for nannies to do with children. They help pass the time and encourage children to express themselves through art. “We have a super nanny named Kristle,” says Jessica Stroop, a Maryland mom of three. “She will take the kids to get special crafts, or to the dollar store to get decorations for special parties.”
3. Pick Out a Pumpkin
While the trip to the local pumpkin patch is fun, this is one item on your to-do list that nannies can take over. She can walk around the patch with your kids, find a suitable pumpkin and bring it home for you to carve with your kids.
4. Decorate and bake
Cooking activities are great for children of all ages. They are hands-on and bring kids a sense of accomplishment to see their hard work come together in the form of an edible treat. Having your nanny help out can also alleviate some of the parental responsibilities. If your child needs to bring a special treat to a school or neighbourhood Halloween party, your nanny can help your kids find and create a cool new recipe. She can also help decorate the house for the holiday.
5. Get the kids ready
Balancing hectic schedules and busy days can be stressful enough. This tends to get amplified during any holiday season. One of the best ways that nannies can assist during busy times is to help alleviate as much stress as possible.
On Halloween, Stroop is especially grateful for her nanny having already fed the kids and gotten them into their costumes when she arrives home from work, so they can go right out the door before it gets too dark or too late.
6. Volunteer at school events
“Oftentimes parents aren’t available to help in the classroom or school, but nannies are,” explains Kavanagh. During the busy Halloween season, she suggests nannies (with their employers’ approvals) offer teachers and PTA members their time and expertise for things like setting up for Halloween parties or planning costume contests. “They will appreciate you, your employer will appreciate you and the children will have great memories.”
7. Help with extra chores and errands
Both Kavanagh and Stroop feel child care should be the main focus of a nanny’s attention and efforts. During busy times, however, it’s certainly acceptable to ask your nanny to assist with light chores or running errands. “It saves me from making multiple trips and I can spend more time with my kids rather than running around in my car,” says Stroop. If your nanny can pick up some extra slack doing something easy like laundry, you’ll have more time to enjoy the Halloween fun with your kids and make memories that last longer than a wash cycle.
8. Get costumes ready
If parents and nannies communicate and can agree upon something to suit the parents’ and child’s wishes, it can be a big time saver to have children go costume shopping with the nanny. Have the kids throw mom and dad a costume fashion show when they arrive home.
9. Take the kids to pre-Halloween trick-or-treat
Many malls, outdoor shopping centers and community centers offer daytime trick-or-treat activities. These are fun for younger children who may not be able to stay up late enough to enjoy the evening festivities. Having your nanny take the children to pre-Halloween events ensures the children get as much enjoyment as possible out of the holiday.
10. Provide a safety lesson
Safety is the top priority when it comes to kids. There are many safety protocols that should be discussed with children before they head out to trick-or-treat. Having the nanny discuss or reinforce basic safety measures will keep children safe and reduce stress.
Halloween is meant to be fun for the whole family. A nanny is not meant to replace your involvement in special events and holiday activities, but she can certainly enhance the experience. Communicate and work together to make this Halloween fun, memorable and safe for all.
But if you’re asking her to do extra chores and go above and beyond, make sure to add a little extra to her pay check as a thank you.
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