The Nannying Pre-school Teacher

guest column
By Nanny Megan
As a nanny, I have become obsessed with reading parenting books, preschool curriculum books, and any other book that is baby/child/toddler related. I have taken numerous amounts of Child Development classes, and I just can’t get enough of the stuff. It’s amazing that after reading so many books and taking all of these classes, that I still find something new to absorb from each lesson.

I wanted to share a couple of books that I use as a nanny for a 20 month old toddler on a daily basis. I try to make everything we do a learning experience. That includes outings, activities, open play, arts and crafts, and reading time.

The first book is “The Toddler’s Busy Book”. It is written by Trish Kuffner, and is jam packed with a creative game and activity to keep your 1 ½ to 3 year old busy 365 days out of the year. The activities are split up by subject and the subjects include: Rainy Day Play, Kids in the Kitchen, Water Play, Outdoor Adventures, Out and About, Nursery Rhymes and Finger Plays, Early Learning Fun, Music and Movement, Arts and Crafts, and Birthdays and Holidays. It is one of the most helpful books I have ever used as a Nanny. A and I have done quite a few activities from this book, and he seems to have enjoyed every one of them. They are activities that are geared towards toddlers, and they have modifications to gear toward your toddler’s exact age. For example, it will give you the guidelines for a certain activity, and then it will give you some modifications if you have an older toddler and the same if you have a younger toddler.

The second and last book is called “Toddlers Together”. It is written by Cynthia Catlin. It is a complete planning guide for a toddler curriculum. It’s activities are set up similar to the curriculum you would find in a preschool class room. There are seven chapters that are split up by season. This book suggest you introduce a new “lesson” to the toddler every two weeks, and it gives you plenty of activities, crafts, and field trips that pertain to the lesson you are teaching. A and are about a quarter of the way through this book, and have loved about 75% of the activities. The only problem I have with this book is that it is a preschool book, meaning the activities are geared towards larger groups of children. I am constantly having to modify each lesson so that it can be a lesson taught to one or two kids at a time. All of the lessons encourage language development, use of fine and gross motor skills, development of social-emotional skills, and pre-reading/emergent literacy. Each lesson subject has multiple learning activities, songs and rhymes, arts and crafts, outdoor play, and field trips. Although this book has its pros and cons, I would recommend it to nannies of toddlers.

To all of you nannies out there:

Do you guys read books that seem to help you with your job?

Which ones?

What do you like about them.

If not, why?
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Blythe said...

Oh man, I read parenting books like they are written for me personally! I am not, however, a parent-- just a nanny who really likes research. My very favourite parenting/nannying book is "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk." I can't rave about it enough. It's incredible.

I'm nannying for a self-identified "tween," and another book I've found helpful (though scary) is "Queen Bees and Wannabes." Good to read, but scared the living daylights out of me.

Will post more if I think of them, but those are my staples right now. I also get a subscription to Family Fun magazine-- they have awesome activities, ideas, and stories!

A nanny who cares said...

Blythe - I love "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen" It was assigned to me a few years back in one of my child development classes and I absolutely adore it! It is a very easy read and helps parents/nannies/teachers learn appropriate ways to communicate. I highly recommend this book to anyone who works with or has children of their own.

justthenanny said...

I'm the same way. Whenever I see a PARENTS magazine at their house I grab it and jot down ideas. They have the 365 ideas you were mentioning and that was great when my charge was younger. I get lots of ideas from blogs and magazines too, this summer we are cooking once a week as well which she LOVES. Also am starting to teach the phonics and I have been finding myself researching that quite a bit! :)

Sarah said...

I'm a trained pre-school teacher and I use all of my books and learning in my job every day. I also devour anything relating to parenting, childrearing, toddler and pre-school teaching etc. My husband has told me I am not allowed to buy any more books. I wonder if you can get decent reference books on kindle...hmmmmm.

I must admit to often reading books and then arguing with the authors as I read if I disagree with something lol!

MissMannah said...

I also love "How to talk..." I took a parenting/child development course in high school and we had to read excerpts from it and I loved it so much I had to go and buy it right then and there! You know what a lot of people find hilarious? And my husband teases me about it so much. I don't have kids of my own, nor do I plan to for at least another 2 or 3 years, but I have been a "Parents" magazine subscriber for about 5 years now. I have so many back issues that my magazine box is overflowing and cluttering up the office, but I love going back through them and finding activity or discipline ideas.