Juggling Many

I am curious to know how you guys handle activities when you are juggling 2 toddlers. I am a fairly new nanny to a 14 month old and 4 year old. I have been a nanny for many years, but am new to working with new kids at this age group. The 4 year old loves doing crafts or different activities like playdough, jewelry making, baking, etc. I would love it if you guys could give me some ideas on how to balance these activities so that 14 month old can feel included too. I don't want to just sit her in front of the TV or say no you can't play with this as I think that would make her feel left out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.


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nenanny said...

For activities that the 14 month old absolutely cannot do ( like the jewelry making etc) take them out during her morning nap ( I'm assuming she still naps twice a day) and they nap together in the afternoon

There is no reason they can't do finger paints, coloring , playdough, stamps, stickers, and even simple gluing together. It'll mean extra work and supervision for you, to make sure she doesn't eat the materials or color on herself, but 14 month olds can do crafts. I've done all those types of things with 14 month old toddlers as a nanny and toddler teacher.

If the 4 year old simply cannot wait for crafts at morning nap, set up a craft table for her where you can supervise her and play with the 14 month old. A little independence is a good thing imo.

The bigger more time consuming activities like baking limit to once a week. It's great that she likes these things, but her likes do not have to govern your entire activity selection all the time.
Try other activities to, crafts are great but expand her horizons try music, have a dance party, sensory activities like sand and shaving cream ( on a huge sheet of wax paper or trash bag). Go outside, and play, bubbles ( put them in a bucket and use big wands), chalk, get a big sheet of white paper put some paint and water and a spray bottle and let them "spray paint" a picture. Teach them to play duck duck goose. Play I spy, I see or I hear as you play in the yard or walk around the neighborhood.

If you're up to and allowed to pick one trip once or twice a week to take the kids to like a story time.

Nay The Nanny said...

I second that...when I had a 2 and a half year old and a 10 month old, the little one loved to watch his sister. She would finger paint, he would too (with pudding at the time.) Story times were great. The park and walks worked too. Reading, freeze dance, music time in the house...almost everything you would do with the 4 year old you can adjust for the 14 month old. He is being included as long as you are showing him, talking to him, letting him touch the different textures, etc.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I wound do cooking/baking projects with the 4 yo while the baby napped. For art/craft projects, I put the younger one in the highchair next to the table with his own age appropriate activities on his tray. That way you can supervise both.
Reading can be a problem with that age range if they are bored by what you read to the sib. I have a rule that you can listen to each others stories, but if you don't want to listen, you can play with----- something they are interested in, until we are finished.
I've found the older kids are much more willing to play with and help the younger ones if you don't push it too much. Let them think it is their idea.