The Battle to Keep Three Children Entertained...

Hello everyone,
I currently work for a few families, one of who I work for two days a week, 8 hours a day. They have four children but I am only in charge of three as one is in school during the day and spends time with his parents after school. When I started with this family their youngest was just 9 weeks old, now she is around 14mnths and her brother and sister are 2 and 3. The parents work from home and when I started they would keep the baby in their home office with them as she was a very relaxed baby and would just sit in her bouncer or play pen and they could work. Now she is older I am in charge of caring for her as well as her older brother and sister. This means that since I came back from Christmas holidays my work load has seemingly doubled to an overwhelming amount.
I've never been in charge of three small kids before and am at a bit of a loss. All the activities I used to do with the older two aren't appropriate for the smallest one (painting, crafting with small objects like googly eyes and pompoms etc, puzzles, building blocks, baking, building forts etc) she just tries to eat the small objects, breaks the older kids buildings, pulls down the forts and generally ruins the fun for them- I don't blame her, she's just a baby! It's just hard when she desperately wants to be involved but she's too little. Even trips to the park are hard as she just wants to shove the small bits of tan-bark into her mouth and I spend the whole time chasing her to stop her choking and can't engage with the older two. I also don't drive- usually I can take my charges on public transport for fun adventures like the zoo or museum but its just too hard with three.

I'm at my wits end trying to keep up with all three and trying to figure out things to do with them! I absolutely adore them and feel appreciated and valued by their parents but I am so tired all the time and starting to dread going to work because I know it is going to be a never ending battle to keep them entertained. It's also heading into winter in this part of the world and we'll be trapped inside more and more from now on.

Any advice you ladies could give me would be appreciated so much!


Nanny S said...

Can you buy some music and get the parents to reimburse you? Turn on some kids songs and lead a song and dance? Of course you can't do this all day, but maybe a few 30 minute sessions.

StaceyWhoStoppedBy said...

I wonder if you can't get some edible paint, clay and non-toxic craft items and let them work with these kind of media each at their own level? Could you also get disposable cameras and go on a weekly photo journal walk? Use the photos to caption? Then write stories? Doodle with the older ones on paper and let the baby doodle on a Magna Doodle or something similar? Exercise all together on mats? Messy fun in the kitchen? Let them be silly and film them on your cell it back on the monitor? Make and play musical instruments? Hand puppets? Reading all kinds of books with sounds accompanying? Finally, can you negotiate for time with just the older two as part of your day? If mom and dad work from home, perhaps they can have special time with one or with all three kids throughout the week? When it's too cold for outdoors... is the house big enough for play dates? Sometimes having another nanny and one to three other kids to bounce off of can add variety to the day, especially if you plan activities for them. Hope a little of this helps and that your own creative juices give you brilliant fun in the days ahead! You sound like an awesome nanny who is on top of her charges and concerned about all of them.

Anonymous said...

I got fired for suggesting stay at home mom make special one on one time for each if her twins.