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The 1st official day of AUTUMN!

September 23, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Today it is officially AUTUMN!

Autumn is the season for knitted sweaters, scarves, and thick socks in boots. And of course, a knitted bobble hat. But not only is Autumn great for fashion, it is also a time of year full of great facts and fun for children.

8 Facts about Autumn:

  1. In North America, Autumn is known as the fall and many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and Halloween during the Autumn season.
  2. Autumn is mostly known for the change in leaves and the shedding of these leaves from trees.
  3. In ancient times, autumn was one of the most important periods of the year as many cultures/individuals practiced rituals and offerings to their gods and goddesses so that they would have a successful harvest to feed them through winter.
  4. There is less sunlight in Autumn because the days are shorter.
  5. The Autumn season starts on the 23rd September and ends on the 21st December!! Only 4 days before Christmas!!
  6. Autumn nights are great for stargazing as the skies are much clearer.
  7. In the U.S. Monarch butterflies are the only insect to migrate to a warmer country during the colder season.
  8. Common Autumn harvests are pumpkins, corn and apples.
REMEMBER in October there is a half term,which means a week of entertaining the children.

Family days out, arts and crafts and activities to celebrate Autumn and keep the children entertained:

  1. Pumpkin Picking and Carving: whether its finding your pumpkin in your local supermarket or taking a day out to go to your local farm, finding the perfect pumpkin and spending time decorating and carving it is a great way to pass the time. A great activity to do as a family! You can even make a pumpkin family 😉
  2. At the Science Museum in London, 7-11 year old’s can experience a sleepover of a life time. With hands-on experiments, watching different shows and sleeping among the exhibits. As well as breakfast and a movie in their iMAX theatre the next morning to finish the experience. Running on October 7th and November 11th– get booking!
  3. In Kent, at Leeds Castle, spend the day watching different birds of prey soaring through the air. Great day enjoying the crisp air and watching some of the most incredible birds take to the sky.
  4. Lewes Bonfire night on November 4th. A procession through Town, lighting of 6 or more bonfires all over the town, as well as a firework extravaganza!
  5. Days out in a maze, no better way to enjoy the changing season and the growth in crops that adventuring round (and getting lost) in cornfields.
  6. When staying at home, use fallen leaves to create fantastic images and paintings. Whether its painting leaves and creating prints or making leaves look even more beautiful by adding glitter and using them as decorations.
  7. Re-create a childhood favourite using chestnuts to play conkers. Hours of entertainment and you can re-live your childhood. As well as this, you can decorate them to again make decorations.
  8. Finally, trick or treating! This tradition is big in America, but it is great to do in the UK too. Dress up and enjoy the American tradition. Fun to do with a group of friends or as a family 😊

Get set for National Nanny Recognition Week 2018

September 5, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Celebrate National Nanny Recognition Week 2018!

Are you aware that the fourth week in September (23rd – 29th) 2018 is National Nanny Recognition Week?

This special week created in 1998 recognises the work that Nannies do for families.

National Nanny Recognition Week gives families the opportunity to celebrate the work that their Nanny does for them.

National Nanny Recognition week is not necessarily a time to give your Nanny a gift, it is however, a time to reflect on the amazing work that Nannies do, and a time to say ‘thank you’.

How to celebrate National Nanny Recognition Week

Tell your Nanny how much they mean to you.

Make an effort to tell your Nanny how much they mean to you. There are many ways in which you can do this:

Give them words of encouragement – throughout National Nanny Recognition Week, give your nanny a few extra words of encouragement

Be positive – When your Nanny helps you out, praise them for the job they have done.

Personalise a special gift for your Nanny

Put your creative minds to the test and see what gifts you can make with your children. Creating a personal gift is an ideal activity to do with children to show how much their Nanny means to them personally. It gives them the opportunity to get involved and make something special that their Nanny can treasure.

Give your Nanny a bunch of flowers

A bunch of flowers is a simple gift to give your nanny to show your appreciation. Choose a bouquet you think they would love and give it to your Nanny some point during National Nanny Recognition Week.

Let your Nanny have a surprise half or day off

In celebration of National Nanny Recognition Week and to show how much they mean to you, why not see if you are able to let your nanny have some time off. Any time off you can offer would be appreciated.

Invite your Nanny to have a meal with you and your family

The perfect idea for a ‘live in Nanny’ to show your appreciation. Invite them to join you for a meal at breakfast or dinner, don’t forget to prepare their preferred meal.

The Simplest Gift of All…

Having a great Nanny employed to work with your family is a something that cannot be taken for granted. Over National Nanny Recognition Week, make sure you make the effort to tell your Nanny how special they are to you and how they are a valued member of your family. A little bit of praise and appreciation, really can go a long way. Offering praise can help them to feel appreciated and know that they work they are doing is not going un-noticed.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

How to Celebrate National Grandparents Day

August 15, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Sunday 7th October is National Grandparents Day!

Nannies & parents, do your children know how special their grandparents are? NGD allows them to show off their love and appreciation for them.

Grandparents are so special, so it is important to recognize and celebrate all they do. Not only do they offer love and support, but they also offer time, patience, guidance and most often or not, TREATS!

Grandparents love to shower their Grandchildren with gifts & treats, so it is nice to say ‘thank you’ and show a bit of appreciation for a day!

How to celebrate with your children:

Spend the day with them

Spend quality time with your grandparents. However you decide to celebrate, enjoy spending time together.

  • Go out sightseeing
  • Take a trip to the cinema/ theater
  • Go out for a meal or simply stay in.

Make them a special gift

  • Decorate a photo frame and place a your favourite photo with them in there.
  • Create your family tree
  • Make your own puzzle for them to do

Design a card for them

Make them a special card. Include a personalised message, a poem, a song or a picture to show how much you love and appreciate them!

Cook them a special meal

Show your appreciation by making their favourite meal for them.

Relive special memories with them

Take a trip down memory lane and list out your special memories you have with your grandparents. You may remember a certain day or place that you visited. Re-spark and re-live the day with them.

Tell them you love them

One of the simplest ways to celebrate and show your appreciation is simply to tell them how much you love them.

Nannies & parents, however you decide to celebrate National Grandparents Day with your children, get involved, have fun and make them feel special. Find out more about this event HERE!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Best Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

July 4, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Looking for Birthday Party theme ideas?

Celebrate your child’s Birthday in style!

Many children’s birthday parties have a theme. With fun new crazes being introduced, party planning is being taken to a whole new level.

Take the stress out of having to think of a suitable birthday party theme, by checking out our ideas:

Birthday Party Themes:

  • Superheros – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman
  • Fairies
  • Princesses
  • Unicorns
  • Cars
  • Trains
  • Star Wars
  • Peppa Pig
  • Animals – favourite pet or zoo animal
  • Disney
  • Beach/ summer time
  • Vintage
  • Circus
  • Neon
  • Pirate
  • Cowboys
  • Under the sea
  • The great outdoors
  • Space
  • Sport – football, dance

So, if you are planning a party but stuck for a theme, why not consider some of our awesome themes? Remember, your never too old for a themed birthday!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

TOP Summer Time Activities for Children

July 4, 2018 | Leave a Comment

The Summer Holidays = 6 weeks off. That’s roughly 42 days of finding activities to do with your children.

Having to come up with fresh, fun and new activities to do with your children or charges is no easy task. It can hard. There is no denying it. Especially when there is so much exciting technology out there that does the job of entertaining for you.

So, to give you a helping hand, we have come up with a list of our TOP summer time activities for your children!

Discover our summer activity guide for children of all ages to participate in!

  1. Spend time in the garden
  2. Play some garden games – hopscotch, catch
  3. Have a water fight
  4. Go to the park
  5. Make home made pizzas
  6. Have a BBQ
  7. Bake some treats
  8. Go to the beach
  9. Build a sandcastle
  10. Do some gardening
  11. Arrange a play date
  12. Go for a bike ride
  13. Go for a walk/ hike
  14. Play some sports – tennis, badminton, croquet, golf,  hoola-hopping
  15. Make your own bubbles
  16. Grab out the paddling pool
  17. Stargaze on a clear night
  18. Discover different wildlife
  19. Go visit some local attractions – castles, museums,
  20. Feed the birds
  21. Feed the ducks
  22. Go swimming
  23. Go bowling
  24. Visit a fruit picking farm
  25. Take a picnic to the park
  26. Make your own ice lollies
  27. Make your own smoothie/ milkshakes
  28. Get crafty
  29. Wash the car
  30. Build a fort
  31. Go camping
  32. Learn a new language
  33. Read a new book
  34. Make homemade jewellery
  35. Have fun dressing up
  36. Create a summer scrapbook to catch your memories
  37. Go bug hunting
  38. Have a movie afternoon
  39. Take a road trip
  40. Go shopping for new school supplies
  41. Fly a kite
  42. Go horse riding
  43. Go to the cinema
  44. Catch up on SLEEP!

None of these ideas taking your fancy? Why not visit your nearest National Trust? Go on your very own adventure! Discover, explore and have fun! Check out the National Trust website to find out whats on!

So, if you are stuck for activity ideas to do over the summer with your children or charges, take a look at our list! Remember, stay safe, have fun and make memories this summer!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Rainy Day Fun!

March 29, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Unfortunately, the British Weather is very unpredictable. As we approach summer time, we long for a bit of warmth and sunshine and look forward to spending days at the beach and the playground. However, we can not always guarantee the weather is always going to be so nice. It is most likely that our summer will contain many rainy, wet days.

It can be hard to keep children entertained when you are stuck at home all day. Coming up with new ideas to keep your children or charges occupied can be hard.

Discover our ‘Rainy Day Guide’ for ideas to entertain all!

Grab a jar and some paper and write a few of these ideas down. Fold the paper and put in the jar. When the sun is not shining, grab the jar and pull out an idea!

  • Make a Scrapbook
  • Do some baking – cakes, cookies or cupcakes
  • Have a go at a jigsaw puzzle
  • Play a board game
  • Invite a friend over
  • Read a book
  • Write a story
  • Imaginative play
  • Create your own cinema – watch a film
  • Have a clear out/ de-clutter – toys, clothes
  • Dress up in fancy dress
  • Organise a fashion show
  • Get creative with crafts – check out our paper plate craft activity!
  • Do some colouring or painting
  • Build a den/ fort
  • Play hide & seek
  • Have a treasure hunt around the house
  • Have a dance or singing competition
  • Plan an activity for a sunny day
  • Go for a splash in the Garden – if the rain is not too heavy

So, when the sun is not shining and you find yourself stuck indoors with your children or charges, grab your jar of rainy day activities and have fun with these fun ideas! Who said staying in has to be boring?

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

A Nannies Birthday Guide

February 22, 2018 | Leave a Comment

On a day to day basis, your nanny is there to look after and care for your children.

Many nannies work long hours so their birthday is the perfect occasion to celebrate and show your appreciation for them.

So, this year add your Nannies birthday to your diary and celebrate it by doing something special.

Discover our guide for ideas to celebrate your nannies birthday and show your appreciation:

Buy them a gift

One of the most popular ways to celebrate a persons birthday is by giving them a gift. So why not do the same for your nanny?

It does not have to be anything fancy or expensive, but just a little something can really mean a lot.

It is completely up to you how much you spend. Discover our gift ideas below:

  • Personalised gifts – Make your gift personal by adding a special touch. Gifts that work perfectly to get personalised include: mugs, key rings, pictures and jewellery. Personalise it with there name, initial or your child’s name.
  • Homemade gifts – If you don’t want to have to break the bank for a present, consider making something special for your nanny. Ask your children to see if they would like to be involved and make a special card or picture for them. Nannies love gifts they can treasure, and a homemade gift is something that they will.
  • Gift card or experience days – These gifts are perfect for when you don’t know what to buy. Choose an experience that you know your nanny will love or get them a gift card for a shop, cafe or place they will enjoy. A small gift that is always appreciated.

Get them a Card

If you don’t feel that a gift would be appropriate for your nanny, why not consider just getting them a card? A card is simple way of acknowledging their birthday, without having to worry about a gift.

Your children might like to right, sign or leave a special message in it. Card are always greatly received and show that you have acknowledged their birthday, without making a fuss.

Arrange a cake for them

Every birthday should be celebrated with a cake, so why not arrange one? Especially if you have a live in nanny, arrange to celebrate their birthday with them. Organise a special birthday meal to celebrate with them and present them with a cake for them to enjoy.

Get your children involved

Another way to make their day special is to make your children part of it.

Give them some time off

Finally, if you can, see if you are able to offer your nanny some time off on or around their birthday. Even if it is just a few hours, a little bit of extra time off on their birthday, will be greatly appreciated.

So, why not find out when your nannies birthday and arrange a few little treats for them. Even the smallest of gifts are appreciated.

Don’t forget to wish them a ‘Happy Birthday’ on their special day!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Celebrate World Book Day 2018 in Style

February 22, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Thursday 1st March is World Book Day!

World Book Day is back for its 21st year and is a day to celebrate writers, illustrators, authors, reading and all book lovers out there.

Celebrate World Book Day 2018 in style by dressing up as a character from your favorite book or novel. 

It doesn’t have to be a well known story or one that everyone knows about, you just have to love it.

Nannies and parents, encourage your children to get involved this year and have fun dressing up and discovering new books to read and love.

If you are looking for a few ideas, discover our top dress up ideas below:

  • Fantastic Mr Fox
  • Gangsta Granny
  • The Hungry Caterpillar
  • Sophie from The Tiger who came to Tea
  • Angelina from Angelina and the Ballerina
  • The BFG
  • Willy Wonka or Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • A character from Harry Potter
  • Horrid Henry
  • Mr Men characters
  • Paddington Bear
  • The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland
  • Mary Poppins

For more ideas of how to celebrate WBD 2018, visit their website. Full of fun ideas and activities for children and the latest news and events.

Discover other ways to celebrate WBD with your children HERE

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day 2018

February 13, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Don’t forget that the 17th February is Random Acts of Kindness Day 2018…

To celebrate, we have come up with a list of top activities that children can do to show an act of kindness to a friend, a family member, their Nanny or neighbour:

  1. Bake someone some cookies, cakes or brownies
  2. Start a ‘piggy bank’ fund for a worthwhile cause
  3. Give someone a gift of something special
  4. Hold the door open for someone
  5. Offer encouragement to someone
  6. Lend a hand in the kitchen – cooking or doing the dishes
  7. Make a cup of tea for someone
  8. Clean your room
  9. Thank your teacher
  10. Offer to help out with housework or walking the dog

These are just a few simple things that you can do to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Just the simplest of acts can have a positive impact on someones day.

So, nannies and parents why not get involved and encourage your children to make someone’s day this year?

 

To find out more information, click and follow the link to be taken to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Website: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Allergy Friendly Pancake Day Recipes for Nannies, Children and Families

February 6, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Nannies and Families, it’s nearly time for Pancake Day. This year Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) falls on Tuesday the 13th February 2018. It is the one day of the year that it is acceptable to have pancakes for dinner. It is a day that all children, nannies and families can enjoy and get involved with cooking and creating pancakes. It is a perfect opportunity for nannies and families to get the children involved with cooking. Nannies can use the day to encourage the children they care for to help in the kitchen, cooking up some delicious pancakes. Children can also be encouraged to put their creative minds to the test and see what topping flavours they can come up with.

Here are some pancake toppings that are known and loved by all children, nannies and families… and some slightly more obscure ones:

Sweet: Lots of different combinations that children will enjoy…

  • Lemon and Sugar – a classic that is loved by all
  • Maple Syrup – Sweet and delicious
  • Honey – works well on its own or with yoghurt or fruit and is a perfect choice for a healthy pancake.
  • Chocolate Spread – Perfect served on its own. Or to make it a little healthier, try adding some fresh strawberries/raspberries/banana
  • American Blueberry/ syrup – The perfect topping for a thicker style pancake
  • Fresh fruit and ice cream – You choose! All different types of fruit make the perfect accompaniment to pancakes. Why not try adding your favourite fruit and a dollop of ice cream to complement your pancake?
  • Berries and White chocolate – Frozen berries and white chocolate to top of your pancake, delicious!
  • Chocolate, peanut butter and banana – this super sweet filling will be sure to fill you up!
  • Salted caramel and pretzel pancakes – perfect to serve with ice cream. The perfect combination of sweetness and saltiness.

Savoury: Some people have their pancakes savoury… check out some of these topping ideas…

  • Bacon and Eggs – a breakfast pancake!
  • Ham and Cheese – the perfect pairing
  • Bacon and avocado
  • Spinach and grated cheese
  • Tomato and Mushroom – a great choice if you are wanting to create a healthy pancake
  • Tuna and sweetcorn – 2 foods which go hand in hand and are perfect to put on top of pancakes
  • Bacon and Maple Syrup – the slightly controversial, sweet and savoury topping

There are so many flavour combinations that can be created. Why not try a few different combinations and see which one is your favourite!

Fun ideas for Nannies and Children:

To make your pancake that little bit extra special, why not create an exciting design/shape with your pancakes or use your toppings to do so?

Here are a few deigns/shapes that you can have a go at creating:

  • A heart
  • A flower
  • Farm yard animals
  • A cat
  • A dog
  • A bunny
  • A Teddy Bear
  • Mickey mouse

A fun way to try out new designs and get creative with children. All you need to do is draw the outline of your desired shape with pancake mixture onto a heated pan, let it cook for a few seconds, fill in with more pancake mixture, cook further until golden brown and then flip to cook the other side. It may take practice and may not work out the first time, but it is a great way to be inventive and have fun in the kitchen.

 pancake day recipes for nannies nad children

Pancake Recipes

Perfect Pancake Recipe: ideal for sweet/savoury toppings:

You will need:

100g of plain flour

2 eggs

300ml of semi skimmed milk

1 tablespoon of sunflower or vegetable oil (plus extra for frying)

A pinch of salt

To make:

  • Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and create a well in the middle
  • Add the eggs, 50ml of milk and 1tbsp of oil to the middle of the flour
  • Start to whisk from the middle, slowly combining the mixture. Once combined, beat until smooth and a thick paste has been formed. More milk can be added at this point if the mixture is too stiff.
  • Add a good splash of milk and whisk to loosen. Whilst still whisking, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk.
  • If you can wait, set aside the mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Grab a frying pan and place over a medium heat. Heat up some oil and then add some mixture to the pan (enough to cover). Depending how thick you like your pancakes, add the right amount for you
  • Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip when golden brown and then allow to cook again
  • Once you have the perfect amount of pancakes, add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3374/perfect-pancakes

If you or someone in the family has a special dietary requirement, maybe you have an intolerance to gluten, dairy products or eggs, you don’t have to miss out on Pancake Day. These recipes are tailored to suit almost all requirements:

Allergy Friendly Pancake Recipes

Gluten Free pancake recipe:

You will need:

125g of gluten free flour

1 egg

250ml of milk

Butter for frying

To make:

  • Put the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Crack the egg into the well and pour in a quarter of the milk
  • Whisk the mixture until a paste is formed and then add another quarter of milk.
  • Once the mixture is free of lumps, add the remainder of the milk and stir once again
  • If you can wait, set aside the mixture for 20 – 30 minutes. If not, start cooking!
  • Using a non-stick frying pan, place on the heat and add a small amount of butter and wait until it starts to bubble.
  • Then add the mixture, ensuring enough is added to cover the base of the frying pan. Cook until golden brown and then flip and cook.
  • Once you have the perfect amount of pancakes, add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2920665/glutenfree-pancakes

You will need:

125g of plain flour

1 egg

300ml of help of coconut milk (used as a replacement for regular milk)

Sunflower or rice bran oil for frying

To make:

  • Put the flour into a bowl and create a well in the middle
  • Crack the egg into the well and pour in a quarter of the milk
  • Whisk the mixture until a paste is formed and then add another quarter of milk.
  • Once the mixture is free of lumps, add the remainder of the milk and stir once again
  • If you can wait, set aside the mixture for 20 – 30 minutes. If not start cooking!
  • Using a non-stick frying pan, place over the heat and add a splash of oil and allow to heat up.
  • When hot enough, add the mixture, ensuring enough is added to cover the base of the frying pan. Cook until golden brown and then flip and cook.
  • Once you have the perfect amount of pancakes, add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2920663/dairyfree-pancakes

Dairy, egg and gluten free pancake recipe:

You will need:

125g of gluten free flour

An egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg

250ml hemp of coconut milk (used as a replacement for regular milk)

Sunflower or rice bran oil for frying

To make:

  • Put the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre
  • Pour in the egg replacer and a quarter of the milk
  • Whisk the mixture until a paste is formed and then add another quarter of milk.
  • Once the mixture is free of lumps, add the remainder of the milk and stir once again
  • If you can wait, set aside the mixture for 20 – 30 minutes. If not start cooking!
  • Using a non-stick frying pan, place over the heat and add a splash of oil and allow to heat up.
  • When hot enough, add the mixture, ensuring enough is added to cover the base of the frying pan. Cook until golden brown and then flip and cook.
  • Once you have the perfect amount of pancakes, add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2920662/egg-dairy-and-glutenfree-pancakes

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

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