So it has been quite a while since I posted on the blog… and of course the reason for this silence is that I’ve jumped straight into the deep end of my new career as a childminder. There is so little time to stop and do things like blogging so I’ve had all these pictures and ideas and activities to share but not a spare minute to actually do just that. Finally I have a little shred of time so here is a quite round up of the past three months.
On the whole it has gone really well. My mindees are lovely and not at all hard to mind and I’m coping with the tos and fros of the school and nursery runs too. Roslyn on occasion has been a little miffed about being woken early from her nap to go pick up the kids but I think that will disappear soon as she now seems intent on dropping her nap altogether.
Luckily for me the time of year I started childminding at was chock full of events that make it easy to plan and execute fun activities for my four charges. It started with Halloween…
We made some pumpkin decorated biscuits…
… and carved pumpkins!
They turned out super scary! They were out front on the night glowing creepily, and my mindees later took theirs home to do the same.
We also had a sensory bucket full of halloween items and water beads – my newest find thanks to my friend Faye. They are like squishy marbles that grow from seeds to balls in water.
Strangely hard not to touch! The kids loved them.
At home my three year old mindee had been challenging me to help him build the biggest train tracks…
… and been beating my at our Orchard Toys toddler games!
On Fridays Roslyn and my little mindee go to bookbug while Sandy and our bigger mindee are at nursery and school.
For Guy Fawkes we did some safe sparkling which was fun, if a little damped by the rain!
And my mindee made me a lovely birthday card 🙂
Neither of my kids’ or my mindees’ food choices are particularly varied so we created a food chart. Every time I offer a new food they get a sticker for giving it a try and when they get five stickers they get to pick a fun activity to do one evening. We’ve been hitting up the soft play as the rewards flew in, while some foods have now made a regular appearance on the menu such as green beans, tortellini pasta and sweet potato chips! A total success and we are now on our second chart!
One of the ways I have been offering such new food is through interactive dinner prep such as top your own pizza night!
Having a mindee of similar age to Sandy is great, they get on well and are little buddies always wanting to hold hands.
Roslyn at bookbug pretending to be a sleeping scarecrow!
Since the mindees started the art wall has flourished, with barely enough frames to accomodate the amount of art generated in a day, never mind a week!
Christmas lights spotting season begins!
And also rainbow spotting!
Our oldest mindee makes up her own games and the little kids join in. This was a toy collection for a pet shop game illustrating the shameful number of plush toys my kids own!!
We have been getting in on some science activities too, and child led learning. My oldest mindee had seen videos on YouTube of watermelon challenges, where a family were putting rubber bands round a watermelon and the pressure made it explode. We did our own experiment in the garden which was a success… so much fun!
For Road Safety week we practiced safely crossing the road, then inside made our own lollipops and role played crossings too.
It got chilly in November on the school run so we needed to think of more indoor activities…
… such as visiting the library to use their drawing wall and get some books out.
The festive season started and we have had lots of fun, starting with a walk to Dalzell Estate to collect holly to make a wreath.
We made fake snow from shaving foam and corn flour and made our own mini snowmen…
… so cute!
Much crafting has been taking place…
… and also another sensory bucket, this time an antarctic one with ice bergs (made by freezing water in freezer bags!)
Some puddle splashing has taken place on the nursery run too!
We made a gingerbread house, FROM SCRATCH! One of my personal best baking accomplishments, with help from my brother, Jamie.
The kids were very happy to help decorate, and of course, demolish in due course.
Roslyn on the nursery run.
On the last day before christmas we had a mini christmas dinner with crackers!
And of course we did lots of cooking and baking too.
In the holidays I took a week off but got my mindees for three full days, rather than their hours spread over 5, so we got the chance to explore. We visited Dynamic Earth and then Almond Valley.
Roslyn’s favourite bit? When the big pig pooed. Obvs.
So yes, all in all childminding is going well. There are ups and downs, and financially times are tight until Sandy goes to school in August and I can mind more under 5s, but it is worth it to be at home with my kids and get to work by being creative and playing all day – my favourite things (child at heart!). So bear with me if the updates are few and far between, we are having too much fun to stop just now!!