A perfect way to get boys reading is to choose a topic that they love. Some girls love Star Wars too, but statistically, boys are more reluctant than girls to pick up a book!
There really is more to books than reading when the book itself is an amalgamation of Star Wars and Lego. See if you can make a space ship out of Lego, and send a picture to email@example.com to feature in this blog!
And for our younger learners, why not learn your numbers and alphabet with the Star Wars Gang!
I’d love to see your Star Wars antics today. Send in pictures of food/dressing up/colouring or simply reading/watching anything Star Wars related to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shout out to all nannies in the world right now! To those who have been furloughed or those, like myself that are working even harder in these strange times.
More to films…
As a child growing up, my favourite films were The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Harriet the Spy. All of which have nannies in them!
As an adult, I love Uptown Girls and The Nanny Diaries. Obvious in the title of the latter, but again, nannies!!!
More to books…
Mary Poppins is perhaps the most loveable Nanny. By PL Travers.
Nurse Matilda is a set of three books that were written on the 60’s and 70’s of a Maternity Nurse turned nanny who looked after the naughty Browns children. Heard that story line before? That is because it was adapted to Nanny Mcphee by Emma Thompson!
There is a very important reason this blog is on Nannies this week.
UK Nannies Matter Campaign
I am proud to announce that I am a founding campaign partner of The UK Nannies Matter Campaign.
It’s all about helping Nannies be recognised as Professionals. The campaign is founded by the wonderful Nannies at UK Nanny Ltd, Helen McCarthy and Maria Culley and Laura Hellfeld, founder of KoKoPie Families.
Together, Nannies are stronger.
The campaign is to empower nannies, regulate it as a profession to give a clear career path and safety for Nannies as well as showing the parents the safeguarding of the children and value, quality and standard they can expect from a Professional Nanny.
You all know my motto is that there’s more to books than reading, well, there is also more to Minecraft than screen time.
If you are at home and wanting to help educate your little ones, here are a few ideas (that I used via Skype lessons) When planning things for G7, I wanted to choose something that she was intrinsically motivated about which is half the battle, hey!
Writing a Manual can be about any subject that your child loves.
What I love about a manual is they get to tell you all they know and they are excited to learn more about the subject.
We did a fun facts page where we used different shapes for information boxes.
We learnt the key features of a non-fiction text, having a title and subtitle, writing a caption under our pictures, making a contents page and glossary.
When adding in instructions for someone else who has never played Minecraft, they start to use bossy verbs naturally.
Taking an actual interest in what they are doing online, can take it offline. I definitely don’t advocate lots of screen time but as a child who grew up on theme hospital and the sims, I think it’s worth using what they love to help.
G7 told me all the features that she has in a map that she had built on Minecraft. So we mapped out the coordinates and placed the items on our own map.
Using the map, have your “skin” character go on an adventure. Use the coordinates to say where they go from and to.
They can write out their adventure, use their senses to explain where they are, where thy do and choose some mobs to create something exciting, perhaps they need to go to the cave to find some diamonds or defeat the Enderdragon.
More to books…
And to get them outside, download Minecraft Earth, like Pokemon go a few years ago, but they collect things as they walk around and then have adventures and “build” things for other people to find in augmented reality! Also, when they are holding the phone, it keeps their hands from touching benches and fences and gates etc! (Do practice safety when crossing roads- I take the phone off her when we are crossing a road to keep us extra safe!)
As some of you know, I was supposed to be speaking at the Childcare and Education Expo next week at London Olympia. And while I fully understand and support the cancellation, I need something positive to look forward to.
With talk of school closures in Britain and lots of school closures around the world, my book literally is packed full of ideas you can do in the home for different ages of siblings, but you don’t need to buy my book to be involved in this competition. (You also don’t need to be suffering from school closures)
The four categories are:
Creative- 3D model of their favourite book
Writing- book review or their own story
Mathematics– using their favourite book, what maths can they do (let them think creatively- check out some of my blog posts for ideas) or baking and cooking works linked to their book
Drama- create a scene with their toys or act it out by themselves or make puppets/characters
The most creative CHILD LEAD ideas will win.
The age categories are:
Key stage one
Key stage two
If there is an uptake of Key stage three as I am fully aware you may have older siblings, then they can definitely get involved.
My book is for adults- parents and nannies or anyone who spends time with children. I will be giving the adult involved a book if their child wins, and an age appropriate prize for each child who wins.
If you are a nanny, please get permission from the parents to send pictures of the child.
Send their work in by March 31st to email@example.com with their name, age and general location. Their work will be shared if they win and others might also be shared on a blog.
When I was a teenager, my mum would be working so I perfected making three or four pancakes on the hob at once, usually for my brother and his hungry friends. I think what I loved about it when I was little was that it was a day you literally could eat dessert for the whole meal. I’m pretty sure we only had sugar and those fake plastic lemons on ours for years.
Making pancakes is easy. Cooking and baking, as I’ve said over and over again is great for reading opportunities but also maths and science. I differentiate based on age and ability of my children.
Flipping pancakes is a lot of fun, I think it’s important to show children safely how to flip. I remember making them with one Nanny Family and their 11 year old was helping me, her father walked in while she was flipping and was worried that it would be unsafe. I think the importance is modelling, supporting and teaching them how to cook safely. If they are aware of the dangers and know how to do it safely, the risk is lessened. Also, it’s a skill for life. If they do it under supervision throughout their childhood, it will be second nature to be sensible when cooking as they grow up.
Now, I am the first to say I love the theatre. I truly do! I try to go atleast once a month and I don’t mind the cheap seats in the back! I also love to take the children as I think not only is it an immersive way for story telling but it fires their imagination and could inspire them.
We went to see School of Rock with G7 and she now is intrinsically motivated to play the piano. It helps that her baby brother also loves “play” the piano.
I remember the first ballet I went to see was Sleeping Beauty in Manchester. I pirouetted all the way home.
I don’t know about you, but theatres always make me feel special. Wherever I am sat. The luxuriousness Of the curtains and the deep crimson with the gold. I love thinking about the history of the place and who was sat in this very theatre decades ago!
I think it’s important to let our children experience this. It also teaches them about being patient, waiting, sitting nicely, thinking of others.
A few weeks ago, my wonderful nanny friend and I went to see Alices adventures underground. It was an opera. I’m more used to musicals and plays but the costumes and set were amazing! This show had Russian, German and French as well as English and there were subtitles so our older learners might get some reading opportunities but I would say, you probably didn’t need any words to follow the much beloved story.
More to books…
I always try to show my NKs the Orchestra. Maybe in the interval, to go down to the front and look at all the instruments and the players. It could inspire them to become a musician.
I think Reading Beauty is me!
Share a picture of your little one at the theatre! What did you go to see?
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone from More to Books. I am declaring my love has always been and will always be for books!
This weeks blogs will share some books like usual but I really wanted to send it over to our lovely nannies and parents to give you ideas of what craft projects we can do just in time for Friday.
If you’d like to have your idea shared on this blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea and your name. If I share your idea, I will always credit you for your awesome work. Or if we are contacts on social media send a private message. On Twitter I am @KathrynLord912 and Instagram @Moretobooks!
This year my Nanny children are a bit older, meaning I could teach piping, marbling and let them roll creatively. G13 even did cursive writing in chocolate which really helps fine motor skills and artistic accuracy.
As some of you may know, I am super excited to be invited to share More to Books in a workshop on the 21st of March at 1.30pm in London Olympia.
Also, I have been invited to a book signing at the Nanny Hub by Helen McCarthy and Ria Culley, I can’t wait to see you all there. Come on over to have a chat!
So this weeks blog is guided by Exhibitors at the Childcare and Education Expo at London Olympia.
First up is the lovely Eleanor Barber: Marketing Events Executive at Widgit: I research the event landscape, develop our annual event plan and lead on the delivery of this. I really enjoy working at exhibitions and showing people our amazing programs! Widgit symbols are used worldwide to support people and help them realise their full potential, no matter what their age ability or background.
What was your favourite book when you were a child and why?
“My favourite books were “Brambley Hedge” and in particular “The Secret Staircase”.
The Brambley Hedge books are magical tales revealing the secret world of mice who live “on the other side of the stream, across the field. If you can find it” and believe me I did look.
The mice live in a tight knit, loving, friendly community. Food and celebrations feature heavily in Brambley Hedge. The mice work hard collecting fruit, nuts and berries which they use to make delicious foods, jams, preserves and baked goods. These foods are enjoyed at the many celebrations they hold: picnics, parties, balls, feasts and festivals. It was such an uplifting comforting and imaginative world for me to lose myself in.
Brambley Hedge is an enthralling place where there are mansions built inside trees, secret staircases, palaces, dressing up boxes, storage rooms crammed full of delicious food, roaring fires and Winter balls with ice rinks and feasts, celebrations and surprise picnics with plenty of adventure.
The descriptions and illustrations are beautiful, and I found it so easy to immerse myself in this enchanting miniature world.”
If you’d like to follow Eleanor, here are her social media handles.
Next up is Robb Johnson from Persona Doll Training.
As a child, my favourite book was “Little Old Mrs Pepperpot” by Alf Proysen. I was entranced by the idea that she could shrink to the size of a pepperpot, & delighted by her cleverness.
As a dad, my favourite book to read to our sons was “Guess How Much I Love You?” by Sam McBratney. I love the way it reads, the way it gives the child in the relationship a real voice, & it says pretty much all I wanted to say to my children.
I worked as a classroom teacher for 35 years, mainly in the wonderful world of Early Years education. Currently I work as a consultant for Persona Doll Training, & also as a songwriter. A book I have written about education “The People’s Republic Of Neverland: the Child vs the State” is due to be published by PM Press this summer.
Thank you to both of you for sharing your favourite books.
My most favourite thing about asking everyone what their favourite book was as a child is that I learn about books that I’ve never even heard of.
If you are excited about something, it’s contagious and the children get more motivated. Sharing the love of your favourite books is such a lovely thing to do.
In my book, There’s More to Books than Reading Guess How Much I love you features in the Mathematics- Measures sections!
I was just thinking about Krindlekrax by Philip Ridley. I remember this book so fondly because I lay on my Grandmas bay window for hours on end one holiday devouring this book.
I was just thinking that my G7 would probably love this book. She is into Captain Underpants at the moment. I believe any book that gets children motivated to read is positive.
For this weeks blog, I interviewed Dr Laura Meek about her book “Be Your Own Superhero”
I think it is so important to support our children on how to deal with their feelings and emotions in a healthy way.
How did your book come about?
By complete chance and good luck! I was completing an exercise one day about where I saw myself in 5 years’ time and what I would like more of in my life. I had previously written a blog and some articles for the Metro which for me was a hobby, and I realised how much I missed writing. I vowed to make more time for it, and after some brain-storming decided I would focus my writing around my area of expertise- children’s mental health. I wrote a number of articles for Rock My Style, a blog I was already a keen reader of. This was all completely unpaid, but through this I was approached by a book agent who was looking for an author on behalf of Penguin books. At first I couldn’t believe it was for real, but 8 months’ later my book was published and in the shops!
What do children learn from your book?
That they are all heroes in their own way. That difference is to be celebrated, and that they can take control of their feelings and not be ruled by them. I really hope that children feel empowered by my book and learn some tricks to stop unhelpful thoughts or feelings from taking over.
Tell us a little about your journey
For me, writing is something I’ve always enjoyed but never felt confident about. I started a blog when I was on maternity leave with my first child as a way of keeping my brain engaged and I really enjoyed it. I have studied for many years to become a Child Psychiatrist and feel passionate about supporting young people to have good mental health, so combining this with my writing seemed natural.
I’m currently making the final edits to my second book (a mental health guide for primary teachers) so have well and truly caught the writing bug now!
Thank You, Laura! What I love about this book is that it helps children to feel in control of their emotions to become happier and more confident using fun activities proving that there really is more to books than reading.
To follow Laura, her social media handles here: Insta: @mindfuldoctoring Twitter: @drlaurameek