Older Child Needs Newer Toys

I need suggestions. I have asked my employers for new materials for my charge. I'm not asking for expensive things just new learning toys. My charge is an infant and developing rapidly. The same old books and toys are boring and too young for her.


BrooklynMomma said...

How old is this infant? Honestly, I'd be apt to think its YOU who is bored with the books and toys rather than the infant. Kids (and babies) enjoy repetition and exploring the same items in different ways. For an infant, a pot and spoon is interesting. Heck, a box is insanely fun for my preschooler! Store brought toys are overrated. Go to the library and get some books or make edible paint and let the baby go to town with it.

workingmom said...

You should have presented some specific suggestions of the learning toys you had in mind when you asked the parents for new things.........

And, as BrooklynMomma said, babies can have fun with boxes, etc. YOU need to be creative with the fun.

Bang on pots and pans, "drumming". Pull out all of the MB's plasticware and stack from smallest to largest, and opposite. Find the lids to fit the bowls. Point out which ones are circles, squares, rectangles, etc. Point out the colors of the bowls & lids. Make putting them away in an organized fashion a game.

Use a large bowl or ice cream bucket and see how many toys can be put in it. Count the toys out loud as you take them out.

Talk to the baby about everything you are doing, i.e. "this is the shampoo to wash your hair; this is the pancake mix...see how we mix the eggs and milk into the pancake mix?"

Practice words for baby to repeat: milk, ball, etc. Even if baby doesn't talk yet, they will eventually, and they will have these words in their head.

Point out and name body parts: arms, legs, nose, etc.

Sing silly songs and nursery rhymes. Over and over again. Small children LOVE repetition, and it helps them learn.

As far as 'learning' toys go, do some research and interview fellow nannies to see which ones are truly useful, and which ones are fancy fluff.

My son had trucks, dolls, and legos for fantasy play, but most of his 'learning toys' were household items and tasks.

Bethany said...

I agree in part with pps. I also empathize with you.

It's great if you can to use things around the home, and you should be specfic about the kids of items you are looking for.
But, I've worked in homes where there was nothing we could use. Everything was of limits .

If that's the case you could get books from the library, but I'm someone who believes infants should be allowed to hold and nibble books. If you do the same that could be a problem.

Say something like Junior is crawling now. I think he would enjoy a ball or push toy to help him practice his new found motor skills. Do you have a ball or something you wouldn't mind us using?

That sounds alittle awkward, but I"m sick and can't think too clearly.

Basically you want to tie in the things you need to develeopmental milestones and giver her the option of buying or pointing out things in the house she doesn't mind being used.

There is a difference in what a 4 month old needs and an 8 month old.

Could your issue be not so much with the toys, but that you feel MB doesn't understand that infants are more than just lumps?

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

When my own children were younger, they would have fun w/boxes, pots and pans, utensils, shower curtain name it.

Perhaps you can be creative and let the baby play w/some fun stuff.

Or if you really think the books are too boring, maybe bring some books from your local library for her to look at and for you to read her.

Hope this helps out a bit.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I was also thinking that perhaps it is you that is bored with the books and toys. I definitely feel your pain though because that has happened to me. Toys and books are important but I have to agree with PPs that objects you use in everyday life can entertain a baby for hours! If you go to a store and get an annoying toy that lights up and says the names of colors, thats great but you can do that with the baby yourself- it obviously requires more work on your part though. Walk around and point out colors, shapes, textures, sounds, etc.

Also narrating is great for babies. Now I am going to take your jammies off. Oh let's change that stinky diaper. Time to put your socks on, etc etc. As far as the books go, I can see your boredom with those. Maybe try to sing some songs instead or make up stories of your own from the books you have. The parents shouldn't have to shell out tons of money for toys when you most likely have a lot of material at your disposal.

Katie said...

Bring books from the library or your personal connection.

Better still , maybe you can see about taking baby on a trip to the library.

As far as activities try playing with an old toy in a new way. Example: instead of just shaking a rattle try hiding the rattle and let baby find it.

nannyof3 said...

I agree with Katie about taking the baby to the local library. Many libraries have tons of toys for children to play with..I would just bring tons of wipes as I've seen those toys go places they should never go!

lexeael13 said...

you can also make fun toys or activities for infants like putting up mirrors to look at, draw pictures for them or if they can hold a crayon let them try to color, you can also perhaps offer to purchase items for the baby if the parents are too busy or unsure what they are looking for and their parents can pay you back.

Susannah said...

If you need more ideas about what to do with a baby try looking online or checking out a few books from the library for yourself.

Also change up your routine with the baby a bit. Try more outside time, Put on some music and dance.

MommaBearsChildCare said...

There are books that give you ideas of games you can play with infants & toddlers. The best ones I've seen are made by Gymboree. You may have to order them online. Each book has about 100 activities (if I recall correctly). They require such materials as: ball, blanket, box, bowel, cotton balls, etc. You really don't NEED a bunch of toys or new toys for an infant. Im not sure how many toys this baby has bc you didn't say. My experience tells me this infant needs: a soft blanket, a stuffed animal, a book, a mirror, something that makes music, something with various textures, something that lights up, items she can stack, something that reacts while she moves it, such as a rattle, visually stimulating items with great contrast in color, something she can pull, something she can push, something she can open & close. Something that she can sit in, & a place to lay down & move freely without concern of safety hazards. You see, an infant doesn't need a lot of toys. Two bins would be plenty. She isn't going to get bored unless she has only two or three toys. And even then, she might not.

Nanny H said...

What if you suggest to the parents, "Could I have a spending allowance of $15-$20 to get baby some toys to improve some of her skills. Specifically I think it would be great to help with her motor skills and speaking skills." Then head to Target or somewhere reasonably low priced and get a thing or two. They still may say no, but this way you're taking the stress off them to get new toys, it could be a great outting for you and baby, they know you have baby's best interests, and you can pick whatever you and baby want, within budget!

Truth Seeker said...

Babies are not very picky and if you have a good dollar store near you, why not stop in and buy some $1 children's books and toys?

MondayMornings said...

My charge is 7 months old a basically only has a rattle and 3 books.
He is starting to sit a bit and all I've asked for a simple things like stacking cups or rings.Toys that make noise, books with realistic pictures. You can get all that fo $20

I know he doesn't need the fanciest toys, but he does need more than a rattle

I can't use anything from their house. They're the my couch cost $5000 type and the pots and pans are designer and freaked out when the baby spit up on their new carpet.

I'm thinking of going to the dollar store and buying a few things, and I'll just bring them in every day.

Phoenix said...

you know I was wondering how beneficial do you all think it would be to teach a baby to read music? Like when you are with them you have a key board and you play the c-note and tell baby that is the c. then as they get older introduce the written music as they learn to read?

course that would mean the nanny would need to read music but that isn't that hard to learn. I played the piano since I was 8.

just wondering...

OceanBlue said...

I'm not sure how much a baby would retain, but I know babies and small children love music, so I don't think it would hurt to be exposed to it.

Logical Skeptic said...

Phoenix, you crackpot, "playing the note and telling the baby it's a C" works about as well as reading a word and telling the baby what the letters are, i.e., not at all until they're cognitively able to start learning to read. You cannot force either reading or sheet-music comprehension on a child who's too young. If you think you have, it's either rote memorization performed to please you, the "Clever Hans" effect (where the kid figures out the right answer from small, unconscious cues you're giving), or you have a musical genius on your hands, and those are VERY VERY rare).

Best to just treat it like any other ability: introduce it when they're old enough (hint: walking and talking), and try to instill an appreciation for it before that.

mommabear said...

That makes me feel so sad. It also sounds like my own mother. Right down to the $5,000 couch. You can get some great toys for free! Join freecycle. Then offer something for free to members. They're. Local & will pick up or u can meet in a public place. The only problem with that is people flake. I say offer bc ur required to do so before u ask. After u offer, ask the members if they have any donations for your baby. If u live with driving distance of Benicia, Let me know & Ill load u up on a few hundred dollars worth of new toys. ;-)

google said...

So you're asking if you teach a child how to read music once they can read they'll be able to read it?


Fun stuff said...

Please be aware that the dollar store is not a good place to buy oral toys for children under two. They are more likely to contain lead and plastics containing harmful chemicals. Look to wood kitchen utensils, boxes, & Tupperware, for babies, play dough, crayons and tape or stickers for toddlers are great basics. Head to the library for baby for toddler story time, it's fun and you can check out books, music, and puzzles.

Nanny3 said...

Wow that's awesome... They have a $5000 couch, designer pots and pans, and new carpet.... Yet hesitate at spending $20+ on baby toys. I can get behind not spoiling the child, but come on! Good thing baby has you, an innovative nanny :)

Tina Marie said...

I can't believe the sofa and carpet mean more to this family than their baby.

Wonder how this situation will pan out.