Tuesday

Constructing a Curriculum

OPINION
I need some ideas for creating an infant curriculum. My MB wants me to put one together for her son.

37 comments:

bostonnanny said...

An infant curriculum? How old is the child? Developmentally an infant is not ready for a curriculum, a stable routine and plenty of time to explore new objects is more appropriate. You can set up a schedule where you designate certain times of the day for different activities like reading a story, going for a walk, playing with finger paints etc

NannyPants said...

Agree with bostonnanny...nothing too overwhelming for an infant! I make a schedule each week for my charge per my MB's request...it's not extremely detailed. His meal times and naps are on it as well as a small block of independent play, outdoor play, art&crafts/creative play...things like that. I would just do some research on developmentally appropriate activities for the age of your charge and try to create a rough schedule based on those.

OP said...

I am well aware that an infant is technically to young for a curriculum, but that is what MB wants.

He is alredy on a set nap and eating schedule, and has regular playtime , outdood time and stories etc,

But she wants a detailed curriculum as in this is our theme and we're working on xyz

It's nutty, but I'm trying to please her as well as be developmentally appropriate for him

OP said...

He's 7 months old.

bostonnanny said...

You need to bring in a book on child development that has highlighted sections on his age along with a book that discusses play based learning. I would not put up with that but if your going to do it then just take a preschool curriculum and adapt the material to reflect his age. Do a dinosaur theme week, take him to the science museum, read only books about them, create a sensory table and put dinosaurs in it with dirt then let the baby dirt the damn dirt. I'm sorry but that is absolutely crazy and I can't even continue with my idea. Seriously just stand up like a professional and tell her the truth

MissMannah said...

My charge is also 7 months and if I was asked to make a curriculum for her, I would refuse. Take Boston nanny's advice and give your boss some information about child development. To be honest, I don't even understand how Nanny Pants can create a schedule for her charge, unless she has an older infant. We have naps and meals more or less scheduled and everything else is play it by ear.

MissMannah said...

LOL I just told my MB about this question and she said "Are you kidding me?" She couldn't believe a boss would make such a weird demand.

NannyPants said...

Mannah it's not a strict schedule...it's basically what I already said it was. If I play on taking him to the zoo...the children's museum...the aquarium, etc., I put that on there but if he's having an off-day or something comes up it's nothing that I have to stick to. MB just likes to have variety in his day. It's not necessarily curriculum based. And yes, he is older than OP's charge.

Bethany said...

I'm going to assume you need a job and can't afford a showdown with MB.

It sounds like she wants a clearer picture of what you do with her son during the day.

Do you keep a log? If not I'd start that right away. You want to include things like eating, sleeping, & diaper changes and how much he ate, if he pooped or peed, and how long he napped also include what you did with him. Did you go for a walk around the neighborhood? right it in the log. Put down the names of the books and the songs that you sing to him during the day. If he liked a certain toy include that in the log. If he's pulling up to his knees and rocking back and forth put that down.

gypsy said...

There are some wonderful books filled with activities for infants & toddlers. She might like that. You could do a new activity each day. Or repeat the same one for a week. They're all very simple. Barnes & Noble sells them in the child care section.

Just trying to help you apease your MB. ;-)

Bethany said...

Part 2:

Since you said he has a pretty set storytime and playtime maybe you can do something like this week we're reading books wih pictures of faces, colors, animals etc and you can include songs related to those things.


My only concern for you is you might have the type of MB who rates you on the milestones he achieves.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

A curriculum for an infant? Hmm....that is the most craziest thing I have ever heard of!!

Perhaps she means more of a schedule of things you will be going, i.e., feeding schedule, diaper changing, tummy time, nap time, etc.??

Since every day w/a child is different based on many different factor, I would just say feeding roughly 3-4 hours, diaper changes (or checks at least) every couple hours as well (unless baby is in cloth.) Perhaps bath time around noon and then a nap afterward. And play time/tummy time in between.

Sewickley nanny said...

I worked for these wackos for 10 weeks..I wrote pages and pages daily in a log..I had to create "fun activities" so their 4 monh old could learn..I was suppose to teach her colors and shapes etc..it was insane..I would do little crafts with her handprints and read and sang every day..I made sure she had tummy time and a walk and lots of snuggling..honestly at the end of the day I couldn't stand it and I moved on..I had no problem finding a temp gig and then a few weeks later starting with my current family-3 years later

My advice is just make up some basic activities..sang a lady bug song..read the lazy ladybug...maybe if you feel like it decorate some ladybug cookies yourself for mom and dad to eat..etc. that way they will feel linked in. Maybe make a scrapbook for them too. And while you are doing all of this have your era open for a normal job.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Here is my "curriculum" for a 7 mo.

MUSIC, vocal and instrumental (Sing the wheels on the Bus etc. with shakies, bells and pans to bang with spoons)

SCIENCE, Anatomy, Botany, Zoology (sing head and shoulders knees and toes, to teach parts of the body, go for walks to study the flora and fauna)

LANGUAGE SKILLS, (talk to baby, repeat his sounds back to him)

LITERATURE, (read books)

ART, ( finger paint. If he/she is prone to eating the medium, use yogurt or pudding on wax paper)

PHYS. ED, (crawl, scoot and roll around, use available equipment such as a bounce swing)

DRAMATIC ARTS, (make silly faces and noises, clap when he imitates them)

another nanny said...

IMO the curriculum at this point should consist of various activities/materials that will promote skills in each of the major developmental domains (such as language, cognitive, gross and fine motor, social/emotional). A lot of this we might do without thinking about it, but the "curriculum" just makes it more intentional (So you can tell MB, for example, I selected this particular material to promote xyz). You could probably print a "lesson plan" template from online and fill it in with some activities/materials for the week (of course you may have to adapt if baby's having an off day). I would definitely get a book of appropriate infant/toddler activities to assist. I would also make sure to have handy a list of developmental milestones for baby's age range, in case MB wonders why you're not working on colors, shapes, or algebra yet.

OP said...

I'm not going to outright refuse to do a curriculum and argue with her, especially when I think there are ways to comply with her request and not cause harm to the baby.

Thanks to everyone that gave helpful tips.

Manhattan Nanny,
That is perfect! I think I will use that exact format with her!


I have been keeping a logbook, but it's more of a general one with boxes for checking BMs/ wet diapers and times & amounts ate.

Can any of you suggest a more detailed format as I think it may help her see how much her son is actually doing in a day.

gypsy said...

Sorry to bother u, bostonnanny. But if u go to SF craigslist, there's a nanny job under gigs/domestic. They're willing to hire anyone anywhere. It will be in CA. You're a live in & you get $1,000-$1,200/week net. Its a six month gig. But I bet a good nanny could keep it longer. I just wanted u to kno in case u were still wanting to move to CA. Its not a right away thing btw. Hth

Maci said...

I have never seen a seven month old finger paint. Nor have I seen one imitate anyone either.

NannyPants said...

Really, Maci? My charge was imitating faces and sounds I made at 6 months. He could also finger paint and hold a crayon to paper. It's not unheard of.

KS said...

OMG, I am a mom and not a nanny and all the mom is trying to do is ensure that the nanny is doing more than changing diapers, etc. She wants to make sure that developmentally appropriate activities are happening too--just like it would if she could be home. I like Manhattan Mom's "curriculum" too...and OP I would take pictures and either email them, or text them, to mom so she feels that good stuff is happening with her little one while she is at the office.

canadananny said...

The pictures are a good idea. I often take a picture or two of my 11 month old charge while he is doing something and text them to his mom. She knows he is at active tot class, or at the beach, or shaking a shaker to music etc. She loves it!

Amber said...

Hmmm....a finger painting 6 month old.

Now I think I have heard it all.

Bethany said...

I've heard of "finger painting" for infants it's not that unusual.

Of course they are not planning a picture the way an older child would, but it's still a fun sensory activity for them.

Texting pictures is a great idea! Keep mom in the loop as best you can, and she'll relaz abit about the curriculum. I'm sure.

Trash said...

I did fingerpainting with both my own and with the 'borrowed' children when they were small. I would empty the remnants of the pureed food onto the highchair tray at the end of the meal and let the fun commence. In terms of 'curriculum' you get gross and fine motor skills, environment exploration, textural comprehension and spatial awareness. Also known as making a jolly big mess and rubbing into everything from the tray to your hair. Mucky, damp and loads of fun.

MissMannah said...

I also let my charge mess around with her baby food for a sensory activity and she loves it. But I don't call it finger painting because she is not using paint or paper. So it isn't an art activity. Nor have I ever seen a child color with crayons before 10 months and even then it was only banging the crayon on the paper (or table).

Not your job said...

I agree with other posters that 7 mos is too young for a "curriculum," but my question is, for any age child, since when is it a nanny's job to make a curriculum?? Yes, as nannies we teach them some things, but we are not schoolteachers. If this MB wants a curriculum for her baby, she should figure it out herself and then tell you what she wants.

Bethany said...

Why don't you think planning a curriculum is part of a nanny's job?

I agree it's a bit much for an infant, but I think OP's MB just wants more details about her baby's days to feel more involved, and just had a funny way of going about it.

Nanny34 said...

I've taught an infant some baby sign language. Can't say it was as beneficial as all the books say it is, but MB and DB were extremely pleased. Just the usual.. "done" "hungry" "milk" etc. Would that please your MB?

NannyPants said...

Just because you haven't personally seen a child under 10 months color, doesn't mean there aren't some who can (and have).

Bethany said...

I find it amazing that a 6month old was able to color, and be truly aware they were doing it.

BTW I do believe you. I'm just amazed.

I haven't met a child younger than 16 months that actually colored.

Bethany said...

Baby signs are fun! Just the basics like diaper, milk, sleep, done, more, eat, drink, , and up are what I go with. I had a website I used to go to look up words. If I can find it on my computer. I'll post it for people that are interested in learning a few signs and don't want to pay for a clas or materials.

NannyPants said...

@Bethany I wasn't trying to be rude if I sounded like it..I know it isn't common but some of the posters made it sound like it was impossible. I kept every "picture" and dated them. :) He never stops amazing me every single day!!

Farrah said...

When I read "fingerpainting" I just assumed it meant using actual children's watercolor paint and construction paper.

Also, it is not possible for an infant to color.

What's next? That Doogie Howser M.D. was a true story.

NannyPants said...

Farrah, my charge was holding crayon to paper and making lines at 6 months. If that is what you consider coloring then yes, it is possible. I didn't say he was coloring in the lines of coloring books or drawing elaborate pictures.

bostonnanny said...

Obviously, it's not finger painting in the sense that the child is aware of what she /he is doing, it's more of a sensory activity with the use of paper and colors(baby food). If elephants can make works of art then a baby can too. My idea of curriculum is having a set theme/concept you are trying to teach through every avenue of learning ie cognitive, physical, emotional etc. infants don't have curriculums because they can't grasp the concepts behind the activities.
Gearing every activity towards the developmental requirements is totally necessary but you don't need a theme. Just like Manhattan nanny outlined. From what I gathered your MB wants a preschool type curriculum for an infant which is way to much simulation for such a young child. Reading, singing , teaching sign, infant massage or baby yoga covers most of what a child needs for age appropriate development. There are plenty of books on activities to do with infants and you can use some of those techniques or visit a local daycare and check out their infant room. If the mother is so concerned about what her child is doing then I suggest you get the babyconnect app for your phone. It logs everything you do with the baby including pictures and syncs with the mother phone. So she can basically check in at any moment and know what you did with the baby.

OP said...

I've decided to do basically what Manhattan outlines.

O will have a "theme", but it'll just be me reading different books.
Like next week when I read stories it will be books about colors. I don't expect him to grasp the concept in the way a preschooler would.

I looked on some daycare websites and that's petty much what they do for infants.

The more I think about it, I think she wants to make hers so is expsed to different things and that I'm doing my job. I think I will tell her about the app you mentioned bostonnanny.

Thanks all.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Not your job,
while some of us are making fun of the request for a formal "curriculum," providing age appropriate stimulation is most definitely a nanny's job, as is supervising homework for school age charges which can sometimes amount to tutoring.

Farrah,
finger paint is a thick gel like paint used on waterproof paper The child uses his fingers to scribble and make lines of the white paper show through. The benefits are more sensory than esthetic!

OP,
Please come back and let us know how it goes. GL