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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

Valentines Day Crafts for Children

January 24, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Celebrate this Valentines Day with your children or charges by getting involved with these fun Valentines Day themed crafts!

Discover our Valentines Day Craft ideas below:

Heart Wreath

To make your very own heart wreath, you will need:

  • A paper plate
  • Coloured card
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  1. To begin, cut out the middle of the paper plate so you are left with just the outer ridged part.
  2. Cut out a number of heart shapes using the coloured card. Create a variety of different sizes, using different coloured card.
  3. Position your heart shapes around the wreath. Once you are happy with your arrangement, stick down with glue.
  4. Decorate further or simply hang up.

Valentines Day cards

The perfect craft for children to make, is there very own valentines card.

You will need:

  • A piece of card – any colour of your choice
  • Your choice of decoration – pom poms, felt tips, tissue paper.
  1. To begin, fold your piece of A4 paper in half.
  2. Decorate and design as you choose! Get creative with your own designs.

We made our very own Valentines Cards:

Love heart paper chains

Paper chains are super easy and fun to make. Children of all ages love to make them so why not have a go at making some for Valentines Day this year?

You will need:

  • Stripes of paper
  • A pair of scissors – With adult supervision
  • A stapler

To make love heart shaped paper chains:

1. First thing you will need to do is create your strips of paper. Choose 2 different colours of A4 card, and cut strips of the same width out. We would recommend cutting across the paper landscape.

2. Depending on how long you would like your chain, make sure you have the appropriate amount of strips. Once you have your strips, you can now create your chain.

3. Grab your first colour strip and fold in half. To turn your strip into a heart, fold over the 2 flaps and staple together.

Discover our attempt below:

4. Now you have your first heart, simply repeat! Remember to thread your next strip through the previous heart to create a chain.

5. Carry on until you have reached your desired chain length.

6. Decorate your chain and hang up this Valentines Day.

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

Chinese New Year Lantern Craft

January 24, 2018 | Leave a Comment

This year, Chinese New Year is celebrated on Friday 16th February 2018 and it is the year of the dog.

Nannies, get in the spirit with your charges and make your very own Chinese style lanterns. Not only are they easy to make, they are fun and effective and work perfectly as decorations.

How to make a paper Chinese Lantern:

You will need:

  • Coloured card
  • A pair of scissors
  • A stapler
  • Decorating materials

1). Turn your piece of card landscape and cut a strip out. Put this to one side, as you will need it later to create the handle for your lantern.

2). Fold the piece of card in half.

3). Make a number of cuts down the paper. Do not cut all the way to the end.

4). Unfold your paper.

5). Now fold the paper round and staple the top and bottom

6). Take your strip of paper that you put to one side and attach to the top of your lantern.

7). Get creative and decorate your lantern!

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

Top Winter Activities to keep Children Entertained

December 14, 2017 | Leave a Comment

With the weather turning colder and the nights getting darker, Winter has well and truly arrived. So to welcome the new season, we have come up with a few top winter activities to keep all children entertained.

Nannies and parents, keep your children and charges happy with these Winter themed activities that all children are set to love:

Baking

Have a go at making some winter treats with your children or charges. Encourage children to get creative in the kitchen learning new recipes and baking skills.

To get you started, here are a few Winter themed baking ideas:

  • Gingerbread
  • A yule log
  • Mince pies
  • A snowman cake

Go ice skating

If you are looking for a fun filled activity to take your children or charges to, then ice skating is perfect. A top winter time activity that older children can enjoy. Please be aware that it is not advisable to take younger children ice skating.

Have fun in the Snow

With the British weather as unpredictable as it is, we never know what weather we will get next. If snow falls this Winter, have fun playing around, building snowmen, making snow angels, sledging and having snow ball fights.

Make homemade paper chains

Have a go at making your own winter/ Christmas decorations and hang them in your home/ bedroom. A simple craft activity that creates hours of fun! All you will need is lots of strips of wrapping paper and sticky tape.

Make homemade paper snowflakes

A fun winter craft idea that allows you to be as creative as you want to be. Check out our ‘How to’ Guide below:

How to make you own paper snowflake guide:

  1. Grab a piece of A4 Paper
  2. You will need to make your piece of paper square. To do this, take one of the top corners and fold diagonally across the paper. The bit of paper that is below, fold over and crease. This is the bit that you will need to ‘chop’. Cut across the fold that you have made. You should now have a square.  Make sure it is in the right place before you crease the paper.
  3. Fold the square piece of paper in half diagonally and fold the triangle into half again
  4. Next, you will need to fold the triangle into thirds. With the top point of the triangle at the bottom, fold over side 1 (left side) and then repeat for side 2 (right side).
  5. Now chop off the bottom to make it straight.
  6. Now let your creative side come out. Cut out various triangles and shapes along the sides of your snowflake, making it as creative as you like.
  7. Once you have finish your design, unfold to reveal your creation.
  8. If you want to, have a go a decorating your snowflake with colour or even glitter!
  9. When finished, allow to dry if needed and hand up or display on a window.

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

Christmas Crafts and Activities for Children

November 30, 2017 | Leave a Comment

When stuck for things to do over the Christmas period with your children or charges, have a go at these festive activities and Christmas crafts.

Crafts – Get arty with these fun Christmas themed craft ideas:

Have a go at making your own:

  • Advent Calendar
  • Christmas tree decorations
  • Christmas wreath
  • Paper snowflakes
  • Christmas cards
  • Father Christmas
  • Christmas tree’s

Baking – Have fun in the kitchen baking these delicious festive treats:

Have a got a baking your own:

  • Gingerbread House
  • Mince pies
  • Christmas cake
  • Yule logs

Activities – Get involved with these festive activities to really get you in the Christmas spirit:

Get in the Christmas spirit by taking part in these fun-filled Christmas activities:

  • Decorating your own gingerbread house
  • Christmas carol singing
  • Decorating your own Christmas tree – a perfect activity for children of all ages to get involved with.

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

Paper Plate Crafts for Children

November 4, 2017 | Leave a Comment

If you have some left-over paper plates from a recent party or event, why not have fun and get crafty with your children or charges?

Make good use of your left over paper plates with these fun craft ideas…

Bunny Rabbit

Resources you will need:

  • A paper plate
  • 3 pink pipe cleaners
  • A pink pom pom
  • A pair of googly eyes
  • White card
  • Pink card
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots

Make use of your left over plate by creating your very own bunny. We had a go, and this is how ours turned out…

All you will need to do is…

  1. Grab a plate and turn it over
  2. Add a pair of googly eyes and secure a pink pom pom for the nose
  3. Grab your 3 pipe cleaners and cut in half to make 6
  4. Secure to the plate, 3 either side of the nose
  5. It is up to you how you decide to decorate, but don’t forget to draw on a mouth
  6. For the ears, cut out your desired shape on white card and the same shape but smaller onto pink card
  7. You should be left with 4 ears. Secure the pink ones onto the white card and attach to the top of your bunny rabbit
  8. Don’t forget to give your bunny a name!

Cow

Resources you will need:

  • A paper plate
  • Black card
  • Pink card
  • A pair of googly eyes
  • A pink pipe cleaner
  • Glue
  • Sellotape
  • Scissors

Make use of your left over plate by creating your very own cow. We had a go, and this is how ours turned out…

All you will need to do is…

  1. Grab some black card and cut out a number of different size and shape dots.
  2. Using the same black card, cut out 2 ear shapes. Once you have you 2 ears, grab a piece of pink card and cut out 2 of the same shapes smaller and stick onto the black card.
  3. With the same pink card, cut out a large oval shape to use as the mouth.
  4. Grab you paper plate to stick everything down
  5. At the bottom, secure the mouth down with glue and arrange the black spots around the plate. Secure these with glue and secure your ears either side too.
  6. Add a pair of googly eyes and the finer details, such as a mouth and a nose
  7. Don’t forget to give your cow a tail! Use a pink pipe cleaner and wrap around a pen to create the curl. When desired look has been created, secure to the back of the plate with sellotape.

Poppy

Resources you will need:

  • A paper plate
  • Red tissue paper
  • Black card
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue dots

In remembrance of Remembrance Sunday, make use of your paper plate and create your very own poppy. We had a go, and this is how ours turned out…

All you will need to do is…

  1. Grab your plate and cut out 4 small triangles to give you a poppy like shape
  2. Once you have your shape, grab some red tissue paper. Simply tear off stripes, scrunch and stick down. This will need to be done to cover the entire plate.
  3. Using some black card, cut out a small black circle to stick in the middle of your poppy.

Weather Chart

Resources you will need:

  • A paper plate
  • A selection of coloured pens for decoration
  • Coloured card
  • A split pin
  • Scissors

Make use of your left over paper plate by creating your very own weather chart. A fun way for children to learn about the weather. We had a go and this is how ours turned out…

All you will need to do is:

  1. Grab your paper plate and draw on 2 lines – 1 down the middle and the other across to give you 4 sections
  2. In each section, draw something that represents each weather type. The mains ones I would focus would be ‘sunny, rainy, cloudy and windy’. However, for the different seasons you may decide to change to make more appropriate
  3. You may also decide to write the weather type alongside your picture
  4. Once you have finished decorating, you will need to draw an arrow shape on a piece of card and cut out
  5. Using a split pin, pierce the end of your arrow through with the middle of the paper plate to connect
  6. Using your weather chart, encourage your children or charges to have a go at identifying the weather at the start of each day.

Clock

Resources you will need:

  • A paper plate
  • A selection of coloured pens for decoration
  • Coloured card
  • A split pin
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

Learning to tell the time is not always easy. Have a go at making this paper plate clock craft with your children or charges to try and make the process a little simpler. We had a go and this is how ours turned out…

All you will need to do is:

  1. Grab your paper plate and using a ruler draw 2 lines – 1 down the middle and the other across
  2. Working around the plate, add the numbers of a clock starting with 12 o’clock at the top, working your way around
  3. To make learning the time a little easier, write on the appropriate time labels. For example, quarter past, half past.
  4. It wouldn’t be a clock with out the clock hands, so you will need to cut out 2 hands from a piece of card. You will need to make one big hand and one small hand!
  5. When you have your 2 clock hands, attach to the middle of your plate using a split pin
  6. Once you have created your clock, decorate as desired and have fun learning the time.

Leaf Wreath

Resources you will need:

  • Paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Leaves (Craft or real ones)
  • Glue or glue dots

The perfect Autumnal craft to use up a left over paper plate. We had a go and this is how ours tuned out…

All you will need to do it:

  1. Cut out the middle section of your paper plate so that you are just left with the outer ‘ridged’ part.
  2. Arrange your leafs onto the plate template. Have a go at either using real leaves found in the garden, or craft ones. Both are very effective
  3. When you are happy with your arrangement, stick down using glue dots
  4. Once you have secured all leaves down, choose a place to hang your creation!

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

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