African Animals

I finally went to see the new Lion King. At first, it was slow and felt more like a wildlife documentary (which I do love, but there’s a time and a place)

What I loved about the movie was the introduction of so many more African Animals, and how it showed children how they move, what their patterns are really like, in some cases of the lion and warthog as well as the rhino, especially, it showed the baby and the adult.

Also, for any adults who watch The Apprentice, that was in Cape Town, South Africa last week.

There are some amazing African Folklore books that tell you how animals became the way they are today. All written by Andrea Florens and illustrated by Claire Norden.


For activities about elephants, please follow the link to my previous blog-


There are penguins in Boulders Beach in South Africa. I spoke to my new child I look after and she didn’t realise that some penguins live in hot climates. This is a lovely book about an egg on top of Table Mountain, and when it hatches, the penguin goes in search of other penguins and meets African animals on the way down the mountain.

I climbed Table Mountain on Easter Sunday in 2018!

In this book, the Rhino is not very nice to the other animals so in the watering hole, the other animals get their own back. While I think the premise is good for talking about verbal bullying, I think the other animals go about it in the wrong way…I like this book because of the medicine man in the village that helps the animals. It could help to introduce looking at other cultures and comparing and contrasting like in Understanding the World, the world aka Geography higher up the school. This book can help with animal rights! The chief wants a beautiful leopard coat, like Cruella wanting a Dalmatian. It could introduce how fur was once widely used and debate other issues about animal welfare, take a look at my blog on Veganism for more books to help you with that.

I went on a safari on Easter 2018 and I am so grateful that I got to see animals in their natural habitat. I am feeling sad about animals when they are not in their natural habitat but at the same time, I also know of zoo keepers love the animals they care for and zoos that research and support animals to not go extinct, so I guess that’s a debate you may start with your children.

I do believe children learn more through experience, so reading, watching and visiting animals will help them learn more, be more curious and ask more questions.

Send some pictures of activities you’ve done on African Animals with your children

Laiq, aged 3 (Rochdale) seeing elephants at the zoo!

Laiq as a baby (Rochdale) dressing up as an elephant!

Thank you to Hellen Prideaux (an awesome nanny) for the following ideas and photos:

Preparing a Giraffe Jacuzzi

Looking at lions on safari
With the zoo keeper, searching for animal poo

Watching a lion king show!

Also, go to see the West end Lion king if possible, the way they dance to move like the animals is incredible!

Love Kat xx if you’d like more content, follow the link to my website and click on the amazon link for my book or buy the e book on kindle for just £1.99

More to Books

Welcome to my regular readers and to anyone who has come here because of the workshop at the Childcare Expo!

This blog will take you in a tour of the content from the workshop!


The kiss that missed by David Melling

The amazing volunteer of the noble knight, who won the prize of a signed copy of my book!

Using puppets or little soft toy animals or even just props really brings stories to life. During my speeches, I retell The Kiss that Missed by David Melling by inviting some of the audience to “act” it out, while there are also actions and noises that can involve everyone. I would really encourage everyone to learn a story off by heart. Children hang on your every word.

Another wonderful volunteer, Princess Abby in her Burger King Crown

I totally went to Burger King for the crowns!

Practice different voices. Practice pausing. Practice getting your child involved.

Screen time

Speaking of screen time, check out CBeebies with Sid Sloane!

For a full guest blog on screen time that I was invited to write head to

And to add to that, using screen time in a positive and purposeful way such as the amazing Cosmic Kids Yoga where they retell stories and help children to learn new yoga poses.

Yoga for Kids by Susannah Hoffman

I also attended Yoga Bugs workshop where she did an amazing story about packing to go to the jungle and all the animals they good see with brilliant ideas that you can use with your nanny kids for warming up, breathing and mindfulness as well as yoga poses.

I also love a YouTube of Just Dance Kids to get them really active on a rainy day. My last Nanny Child thought she was earning the points! If you have a console, obviously you could actually play the game and really earn the points! (I never let children use YouTube alone. It is very important in this day and age to preview content and be present to make sure it’s child friendly. With just dance, you can select from a range of song titles)

Giraffes can’t dance by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

Not actual watching the screen, but using a phone or tablet, again with YouTube, I love story meditations with the children. There’s one where you go to the land of the unicorns and I’m always asleep before they go over the rainbow! The ones I use are by New Horizon. You can go to space, on a hot air balloon ride, or to a secret treehouse and many more. (Again, I advise you to listen with your child or least preview them if it’s something new)


In this blog are some programmes I recommend for those moments when you do need to sit them in front of the TV!

Added to that for new vocabulary and French, I’ve started to love Fancy Nancy Clancy.

Nancy Clancy by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preise Glasser


My favourite puzzle to do with older children is to find the next part of a pattern.

So here’s one for you!

F, T, F, T, T, T, T, F, F, F, F, _____

Message below or contact me for the answer!

My blog on Fruit Pastille maths is completely transferable to anything with lots of colours. So I love to use things we just have around the house too, like crayons!

The day the crayons quit by Drew Daywelt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

This can also help to generate information for Bar charts or pictograms.


Head to my blog on Musical Punctuation!


I like to tell a story of a man with no arms who walks around a pond, then lots of flies swarm him, so he walks over the hill, to go home for breakfast. He has two eggs and two sausages.

The picture ends up as a dogs face and children love it!

Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew

James Mayhew has written a series of books based on Artists. Why not take your little one to an art gallery and generate stories from what you see?


There’s More to Books than Reading by Kathryn Lord

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, which has ideas for all areas of the EYFS, head to and click on the amazon link.

Also, very excited to launch the e-book today!

Just £1.99

Or if you’re in America:

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and/or has got my book.

I’d love to read your messages: comment below what your favourite part of this blog or the workshop was!

Love Kat x

Roald Dahl

As it was Roald Dahl day last Friday, I thought it was only fitting to share my favourite Roald Dahl books and share activities that I’ve done with children over time.


This is my favourite book and film of all time. And the musical is also awesome. (The songs so resonate with me)

Obviously being someone who loves reading and books, I identified with Matilda, you don’t know how many times I tried to move my spoon or shut the curtains with my eyes.

One of the main things I love about her is the fact that she goes to the library and devours the books.

I love to take all my Nanny kids to the library, I also think it’s important to check them out and take good care of the books and return them. I believe it teaches children respect for the books and it’s exciting to choose new books every week.

George’s Marvellous Medicine

I love to make the medicine with Nanny children, we usually concoct our own disgusting medicine with anything we can find in the house.

Nanny quarter

I am so grateful to two Nannies who have helped me with this blog this week:

From the amazing Hellen Prideaux, who is the most wonderful creative Nanny.

Charlie and the Glass Elevator activities

  • Willy Wonka chocolate shop
  • Chocolate Cake for Bruce Bogtrotter In Matilda.
  • Fantastic Mr Fox foxes.
  • Dream jars from The BFG.

Another amazing Nanny is Nanny Kimbo who made Crocodile bookmarks from the Enormous Crocodile, on an Enid Blyton book.

Egg box crocodiles. Follow NannyKimbo on Instagram for more ideas!

Nanny Kimbo read Roald Dahls’ Fantastic Mr Fox.

Love Kat x

Send pictures of your little ones enjoying their favourite Roald Dahl book!

Grace (aged 4, Newcastle) dressed as Matilda!


I’m not actually vegan, but with more and more of my beautiful friends turning vegan, I do support them when we are together by eating vegan or even cooking vegan when they come to visit.

In my personal life, I do eat meat at work or out at restaurants but when cooking for myself, I would describe myself, if I have to be pigeon holed, as pescatarian.

Time and time again, it has been proven that a plant based diet is the healthier option.

I do try to eat less meat and even fish, and I believe in food that’s as unprocessed as possible and I love fresh fruit and veg.

While in Portland, my friend Aly, took me to the first ever vegan mini mall. We ate some delicious food and shopped in a gorgeous little shop where she bought vegan shoes and I bought what I love the most, BOOKS!

(We didn’t eat either of them)

Whether you are vegan or not, I think opening the conversation with our little ones is what is important. After all, they are the future, and if there is anything we can do to support sustainability of our amazing planet and all be a little healthier, I’m in!

More to books…

Ruby Roth is the leading author and illustrator on all things vegan.

V is For Vegan by Ruby Roth

This book is for our younger learners and uses the alphabet to tell you more about veganism.

That’s why we don’t eat animals by Ruby Roth

There is some hard hitting information in this book and the one below. Definitely read through and decide whether your children are ready to hear it. But essentially, I think using books to open conversations giving our children the choice to decide for themselves is important.

Vegan is love by Ruby Roth
The help yourself cookbook for kids by Ruby Roth

Absolutely loved this book and gifted it to my Nanny Children. My souvenirs to my girls are always books, or some kind of activity that we can learn from! We have used this several times. They love pink cous cous and the banana and peanut butter . It’s so bright and set out in an original way that my G6 would look at it daily.

They also enjoyed cucumber sandwiches, avo toast and pizzas from the book. They were very intrigued by the colourful drinks.

Show me pictures of your little ones enjoying a meat free meal!

Love Kat x

I connected with Lorena Jane Docker on Nanny Chat who is a Nanny in London, she is planning to do Meat- free Mondays and Try it Tuesdays to support her Nanny children to eat less meat and try new things.

Childcare Expo, Coventry

With only three weeks to go until I give my workshop on More to Books, this weeks blog will share a book that will help bring stories to life in all areas of the EYFS.

It would be so wonderful to see you there!

Let me know if you are coming!

Follow this link to get your free ticket:

More to books…

If you want to know more about me and what I’ve done so far check out my website.

Today, I’m recommending my Baby, as this is what the workshop is based on, and also what this blog is based on.

There’s More to Books than Reading- how to help your child bring stories to life By Kathryn Lord

And if you’d like to get hold of a copy yourself, head to

Or follow the Amazon Link on my website.

Show me pics of you or your children with my book!

Love Kat x

Amelia (aged 3) London
Riley (aged 4) Rossendale
Keaton (aged 4) Durham

Eliana (aged 3) Manchester

Jack (aged 4) Lancashire

Aquarium – Acquario In Livorno

This week with my Nanny Kids, we visited an aquarium in Livorno, Italy. So this weeks blog will use our visit to share books and activities.

If you happen to be in the area, go check it out!

I am obviously an amazing surf boarder/guitar player! This picture reminds me of surfs up! With all those penguins riding the waves. On researching I came across a book about frogs of the same title. I love this because the main character is such a book worm.

Surfs up by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Daniel Miyaros (Photo credit by

There’s been a murder!

More to books…

This is actually a book my Mum bought for my Nanny Children, and they think it’s hilarious. What I love about it is the fact that there’s a section at the back of the book full of facts! Proving there’s more to books!

Steve- terror of the seas by Megan Brewis (Photo credit:

Gigantic turtle!

We used the turtle to make our own scene using mixed media.

3D Aquarium scene/craft

We made a 3D Aquarium scene. This was a lot that we bought from the Aquarium in Cape Town. If you happen to be there, here is the link. This one is still our favourite aquarium, it has those surfs up penguins that I mentioned above!

We glued blue tissue paper into a box, decorated it using bubble stickers and sea life stickers, then made fish out of coloured shapes and eye stickers. You can make anemones with couloirs cars and seaweed from green tissue paper.

More to books…

Especially with the colours of the scene above, this is a good dip in, dip out book if you want a catchy rhyme for different ocean animals!

Commotion in the ocean by Giles Andreae and Illustrated by David Wojtowycz (Photo

Send me a picture of your little ones at an aquarium!

Show us a picture of your 3D scenes!

Love Kat x

Dreamwoods, Tuscany

We went through the car wash earlier. Rookie error as the un-tarmacced (That’s not a word, but you know what I mean) road wound on before us!

We drove through an eerie cloud of white dust where the sun beams shone down in diagonal lines through the trees! It was mystical!

G6 was peering through the forest looking for fairies. She thought she saw a tooth mouse (they don’t have tooth fairies in some countries in the world, it must be too much work for one species!)

More to books…

The tooth mouse by Susan Hood and Janet Nuova (Photo credit-

The uneven road made the car wobble and G3 said we must be driving over DRAGON FOOTPRINTS!

More to books…

Herb the Vegetarian Dragon by Jules Bass and Debbie Harter (Photo credit by

(I used to love reading this book at a Nursery I worked in, the potential for children to learn it’s ok to be different but also, eating more vegetables is healthy and eating less meat is good for the environment)

I can’t describe truely how magical it was, you would have to have been there, not even a photograph could have done it justice.

But at the end of the 5km track was even more magic!

Since 1982, Deva Manfredo has been collecting stones and literally anything that he finds in nature: forests and beaches. He does not alter them at all, and he sculpts with them without any glue or cement! He just uses gravity and balancing/equilibrium. There are over 120 sculptures. What I loved most about this place was how it opened the children’s eyes and heart to thinking differently. How they learnt that you can while away the hours without plastic toys or electronics.

So this blog will share books based on some of the sculptures we saw, and share ideas of how your children can make sculptures too!

There’s a baby! This reminded me of Avocado Baby! Great book!

More to books…

Avocado Baby by John (Photo credit:

This sculpture reminds me of a scarecrow!

More to books…

The Scarecrows wedding by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Photo credit:

PIRATES. What’s a pirates favourite letter?

More to books…

Pirate Pete (and Princess Polly) have a range of books for lots of subjects. We used this to help potty train G2!

Pirate Pete- Potty by Andrea Pennington (Photo credit-

To support your children to get creative, take them to the forest or park, by a river or on the beach and collect things there and then.

Let them use their imagination as to what it reminds them of, how would they like to build them? Sculptures can be made flat so there is less risk that things will fall on them if they are young but this is a great opportunity for engineering and science.

Do you remember art attack? Where Neil Buchannan would make pictures out of random stuff and then the camera pulled away it looked like something! I used to try and dot hat with my clothes. I’m pretty sure my mum hated that when they all ended up crumpled!

Check this out: what Is Neil making in this Big Art Attack?

Show me your pictures of your own sculptures

love Kat x

Seb (aged 16) from Peterborough. Thank you to Janet O’Keefe for her sculpture with shells, stones and cones.

Seb collected materials and learnt about the natural sculptures of Andy Goldsworthy.

Thank you to Jennifer Lyn Johnson who made these on a hike with her Nanny Kids in North Carolina, USA.

Check out this website if you want to make some for yourself!

Florence, Italy

On my time off last week, two of my friends flew out from London and met me in Italy.

Being August, it was really hot, but the Italians have a two week holiday so it actually wasn’t exhaustingly busy.

I will use things we have done to promote books and activities with your children.

Would you believe this blog is going to talk about graffiti and ducks!?


Just two bridges down from the famous bridge with all the jewellery shops on, down a little side street is a Rubber Duck shop.

They literally have any duck you could think of!

So when I took to social media to ask for pictures of their little ones with ducks, the response was overwhelming! So do check out all the wonderful children’s faces at the end of the blog.

But also, I connected with the lovely Helen McCarthy and Ria Culley from UK Nanny LTD. They held a hook a duck fundraiser for ERIC which is a children’s bowel and bladder charity.

Photo credit: UK Nanny LTD

Check out the websites for more info:

Photo credit: UK Nanny LTD

From this, an idea to help your children learn letters, words or numbers, is to use a marker to write on the bottom of the duck and let your child hook the duck to learn.

More to books…

Find the duck illustrated by Stephen Cartwright

Usborne have hundreds of books where little ducks are hidden on each page!

Tower and graffiti

Photo credit- Pippa Kay
Photo credit- Pippa Kay

Half way up the tower of the cathedral (not the dome- as you have to book in advance for that, just heads up if you do go to Florence) there was a little screen where you can “graffiti” on the “wall” and it gets published to their website! If you have a reluctant writer, use chalk on the floors and walls as in my blog on spellings!

And for your older learners, take them to learn how to do graffiti (in appropriate places)

With amazing artists such as Banksy, I think it’s a good way to motivate the reluctant ones.

At one school, we used to do talking Tuesdays where we took a picture of anything to create a writing activity. Use Banksy’s art to make up things about the people, or label them.

More to books…

Unauthorised Underground Brick street art Bricksy by Jeff Friesen (Photo credit: Kindle)

When doing my research, I came across this book. Using the pictures that you feel appropriate for the age of your children can inspire talk/writing or BUILDING!!! I love Lego!

Florence- more to Books

Florence for kids- a city guide with Pimpa by Francesco T Altan

Pippo the fool by Tracey E Fern, illustrated by Pau Estrada, being held by the beautiful Pippa Kay (who is not a fool)

This book is for our older learners as the text is quite heavy. But it takes you on a journey where they are invited to design the dome for the cathedral.

Palazzo Vecchio- a pop up book by Matteo Faglia

Who doesn’t love a pop- up book? For older kids again, or with adult supervision, I think younger children can get a lot out of a pop up book. I think the 3D element brings a certain magic to it.

Florence- a painted dream by Marta Manetti and Michèle Fantoli

A journey of a child through Florence turns out not to be as boring as she thought it would be!

Mini chef by Sandra Rosi, illustrated by Sara Gitto

There really is more to books than reading when you can cook! Gorgeous traditional Italian recipes. Cooking also helps with maths and science and art! And full tummies!

Florence- playing with Art by Maria S. De Salvia Baldini, illustrated by Paolo Baldrini

As with Banksy, using art to create a conversation and opportunities to write or help them to get creative, I love this book as it takes artwork from Florence.

Have you been to Florence? Send a picture to feature on this blog.

Let’s see those duck photos!

Love Kat x

Laiq, Rochdale, England (aged 3) enjoying a duck run in Wales!

Eliana, Manchester, England (aged 5) visiting New Zealand!

Emily, Canada (aged 4 months)
Scarlet (aged 8) Ivy (aged 4) Emily( aged 4) Harry (aged 7 months) Cousins playing with ducks in the summer heat from Manchester, England.

Absolutely amazing response to my request for duck photos, thank you to everyone for sharing 🥰 it means so much to me when people interact with my blogs x keep them coming x

Pinocchio, Collodi

This is my third year of nannying in Tuscany for the summer.

In Collodi, in Italy, there is Pinocchio Park!

It is a great little park with lots to explore.

Along a walkway, there are sculptures to see and interact with.

There is a maze. See last weeks blog on books for Mazes!

There are two mini ‘Go Ape’ like adventures that your children can go on as well, with a zip line across a river!

Puppet show

They also have a puppet show, albeit it being in Italian, my nanny children still got the grasp of the story from the visuals. Just be warned if you do go here, it’s all in the trees so be sure to spray with insect repellent or you’ll be eaten alive!

Watching the Puppet show inspired (then) G5 to put on her own puppet show with little Pinocchios we had bought.

Why not put on your own puppet show. Make your own “theatre” out of a cardboard box or just use a fancy material like we did!

And don’t worry about not having your own Pinocchio! You can make a split pin one!

I really love Twinkl, it has resources for literally any topic. This download should be free, but think about signing up, when I was a teacher, a few of us would chip in and all have the log in details so maybe ask other parents or nanny friends if they want to join too!

Recently, I’ve been using it to print of pictures for G3’s phonics homework. It has activities for different sounds and pictures to go with it. I usually cut the pictures out and she colours and sticks them. She absolutely loves it.

There are all sorts of different kinds of puppets. Pinocchio is a string puppet. When I worked on a nursery they used to have two big bird string puppets and they’d constantly need untangling.

Shadow puppets are easy to do with your hands, or draw a character and stick it on a pencil.

Hand puppets or finger puppets could be a great DT project. Or buy some and put on a show.


There is a huge whale sculpture in the park, you have to cross stepping stones and then he sprays water out his spout. The children LOVE it.

More to books…

The snail and the whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Photo credit:


Across the road from Pinocchio park is some Gardens with a Butterfly house in it. Check out my blog from Spring to see ideas for life cycles!

More to books…

Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Photo credit:


As in other blogs, I always send a postcard with questions about a new place to my last Nanny Children. I don’t know about you, but I loved receiving post when I was little. Plus, it supports their reading. Why not let them write postcards while you’re away, even if you just go somewhere not far? It’s brilliant practice.

More to books…

Pinocchio by Usborne based on a book By Carlo Collodi, illustrated by Mauro Evangalista.

I like this book because it has a CD to go with it. Useful to listen to on car journeys or even better, to listen to and follow the words at the same time.

This book is for independent readers, so they can enjoy it on their own.

Pinocchio illustrated by Giuseppe Di Lernia

This is for a younger audience.

The Story of Pinocchio illustrated by Mauro Evangelista

This one is illustrated by the same person as the Usborne one and I love her style but with slightly different wording. One to read to your little ones rather than them read it alone.

Show me pictures of your puppets!


When I was in Canada, my friend and I took a road trip to Portland. Mainly to go to the first Vegan Mini Mall which will be in another blog- lots of books from an amazing author/illustrator who is very passionate about veganism.

But for today’s, it’s inspired by Portland.


Alison Harris and I at Voodoo donuts!
Lots of donuts at Voodoo donuts (even vegan ones)

When I told my friends that I was having a Road trip to Portland, literally everyone said I should check out Voodoo donuts! And what an experience- 24/7 donuts! And all sorts of flavours and toppings!

I’ve decorated biscuits and even cupcakes, but never donuts!

Why not buy a pack of donuts and decorate them yourselves? Be as creative as you can! They put sweets and biscuits on their icing!

More to books…

There is literally a book for any topic…

Norman the slug with a funny shell by Sue Hendra (Photo credit by

This is a lovely book where Norman loves snails and tries on lots of different items as a “shell”.

Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony (Photo credit:

Children’s museum

To get to the Children’s museum, we took the trams which are really easy to use. The station you need to get off at is in a “mountain” and you have to take a lift for what feels like forever. It was interesting. Luckily, I’m over my childhood fear of lift doors. When I was little and we were in Madeira. I ran into a hotel lift and the doors shut on me. Years later, I went up the Empire States building with two friends. One was claustrophobic and the other was afraid of heights. And with my fear of lift doors, we must have looked like a comedy sketch!

I got to drive a train. (Pretend to drive a train!) Did you know the first female train driver in England was Karen Harrison in 1977! I have been researching for a book I’ve written for the Suffragettes and women’s empowerment. I’m currently seeking representation.

For all things trains, check out my blog on the Water and Steam museum for ideas on books.

There was also a garden maze at the museum.

A maze, can you guess where it is!? (Photo credit:

I went to York University and went to York maize maze (I love saying that) often. One Halloween we went in the dark and they had live actors scaring us. Maybe don’t take your really young children to that!

But see if there is a maze close to you. It’s so fun getting lost. I have been to Hampton court maze with so many Nanny Children.

More to books…

Paddington Bear and the Marmalade Maze by Michael Bond (Photo credit:

I love Paddington Bear always but here he gets lost with Mr Gruber in Hampton Court Maze!

And to show there really is more to books than reading, I’m sharing a book of mazes!

These are amazing for children’s fine motor skills and are super fun to do. I’ve taught (now) G6 to put a x when she goes wrong and go back. It’s brilliant for logic, patience and problem solving. She’s taken to asking me to draw mazes for her. I’ll take some pics when I’m back at work on Wednesday. She even draws them for me too!

The Usborne big maze book by Kirsteen Robson (Photo credit:

Photo credit- Alison Harris (in fact all photos with me in them on this trip were taken by her 😀)

We had an awesome time!

Show me your own made up maze drawings.

Send me a photo of you and your littles ones conquering a hedge or maize maze!

Show me your decorated donuts!

Love Kat x

Lorelei, Salem, USA (aged 5) with a decorated donut!