Mother's Day is an occasion to show a mother how much they're appreciated. And one of the best ways to show this is through special gifts that are thoughtfully made or picked out.Read More
For most kids attending to public school in the greater Phoenix area, spring break is just around the corner. While some families are lucky enough to swing spring break vacations, not everyone will be able to. For any nanniesor stay at home parents who are wracking their brain for what to do with their kids during spring break, here’s a list of potential activities:
The Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is among the most unique attractions in the state. A vibrant 140-acre garden, the Desert Botanical Garden has dozens of trails, events, activities, and tours for visitors of all ages. Some attractions you and your children may be interested include:
● The "Birds in the Garden" Tour is a great way to introduce your children to wildlife indigenous to Arizona. Excellent for first time bird watchers, you won't want to forget your binoculars for this one.
● The Electric Desert Exhibit is a limited-time-only exhibit that will be on display through early May. Using plant-friendly lights, this exhibit is an immersive, experiential, and experimental art exhibit that marries light and sound art with the vibrant cacti and flowers in the garden. It's a once-in-the-life-time experience children will never forget. Not only will they have the opportunity to learn about Arizona plant life, it's also an engaging age-appropriate introduction to contemporary art.
The Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the United States. With cafes, gardens, and a wide array of animals, it's the perfect destination for any animal lover.
One of the best parts of the Phoenix Zoo is its special emphasis on education. Curious about giraffes? You won't only see them at the Phoenix Zoo, you'll get to truly experience them. With some of the foremost animal experts in the country, the Phoenix Zoo isn't just the place to see animals, it's the place to ask questions about them, too.
The Phoenix Zoo also has a wide array ofdaily events and exhibitions, including a bug exhibit, an art gallery, and a teen career conference for any young person considering a career in animal conservation.
Papago Park is great for experienced and beginner hikers. It's also an excellent destination to teach your children about hiking, the Arizona terrain, and Arizona wildlife. There are plenty of trails you can do on your own, as well as guided tours of the Park. It's close by to both the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo for families who are extra ambitious. Think you can see all three attractions in one day?
Bearizona Wildlife Park
Dreaming of a safari? Now you can experience one at home in Arizona! A unique experience, Bearizona Wildlife Park offers a drive-through animal sightseeing tour all from the comfort of a passenger car. Kids get the chance to learn about a variety of animals, including:
● Rocky Mountain Goats
● Alaskan Dall Sheep
● Alaskan Tundra Wolves
● Black Bears!
The Bearizona Wildlife Park also offers shows and guided bus tours for people who want a more in-depth experience.
For more information on family-friendly . events and attractions in the Phoenix area, be sure to check out Kids Out and About Phoenix. Their searchable calendar allows users to plug in zip codes and see if there are any events of interest happening in your own neighborhood.
Can’t believe is Christmas time again already! don’t get me wrong I love the holidays but where is time going?!
Anyways when it comes to gifts am all about unique ones. As I was researching for toys to give to the children in my life, decided to share with you my top 8 and the best part? they are under $30.
1.- Personalized plates for kids.
BPA free and dishwasher safe, so many cute food ideas you can do to decorate this plate and make meal time a fun time.
2.- A cute personalized book is always a good idea.
Children love personalized items. It gives them as sense of their uniqueness and how special they are.
These two are some of my favorites
3.- Bath Crayons
Made of non-toxic ingredients, these child-safe crayons encourage bathtime creativity—and wash off easily
4.- Click N' Play Gigantic Keyboard Play Mat
24 Keys Piano Mat, 8 Selectable Musical Instruments + Play -Record -Playback -Demo-mode
I have personally play with one of this and it’s so much fun for the whole family. Babies can crawl on it, toddlers can jump over it, adults can dance over it, etc.
5.- idoot Magnetic Blocks Building Set for Kids
Magnetic Tiles Educational Building Construction Toys for Boys and Girls with Storage Bag - 56pcs
Blocks and magnets are two of children’s favorite. They encourage creativity, imagination and problem solving.
6.- Moon in my room
Who doesn’t want their own moon?
This is a great gift for children all ages, educational and fun!
7.- Personalized name puzzle
Colorful, 3D and good for youngest ones to learn how to spell their name, motor skills, etc
The Magnatab is an exceptional learning tool that provides a sensory-reinforced lesson that allows children to process information through their eyes, ears and fingertips.
Which are your favorite children gifts?
Share with us below :)
What is summer like in your hometown? If you live in Phoenix, summer means temperatures of 100 degrees or higher before the end of May followed by monsoons, dust storms and other intense weather patterns until late October. But if you live further north in Montana or Wyoming or west in California you would have a very different experience of summer.
While the days get longer and the weather warms up, experiencing seasons varies a great deal depending on where you live. While this seems obvious to adults, kids may struggle to understand the four seasons when they do not experience them in their archetypical form.
For children who rarely travel, the idea of snow and constant rain can be mystery. Because of it's desert landscape and proximity to the equator, Phoenix is said to only experience two seasons: summer and winter. These waterless weather patterns can make teaching about four distinct seasons very difficult.
The change of the seasons is a great learning opportunity for children. While learning about the seasons, kids in Phoenix also get the chance to learn about geography, and why seasons look different here than they do in books and on TV. Here are a few clever ways for us to teach children about the changing seasons in the Phoenix area.
To measure the gradual transformation between seasons we can start year long projects with children to keep track of the changes. Consider keeping a daily weather journal from January on through the year so you can keep track of the slow rise in temperature and the sunset and sunset times to track the length of the day. You can even play games like guessing when the first 100-degree day will come!
Local Activities and Exploration
Despite the desert climate, there are a number of places to explore around Arizona to help your kids understand the changing of the seasons like the Arizona Science Center.
Springtime in the desert is just as gorgeous as anywhere else. Rare flowers bloom on cacti and local birds begin to gather.
To see the desert changes, bring the kids to the Desert Botanical Garden and explore the orange blossoms and other native plants. The garden is filled with colorful plants many non-natives would never dream of seeing, and the kids can spend time in the butterfly exhibit.
While you’re looking at the flowers, Teach the children about cacti. Cacti will hold the water inside their stems to combat the harsh conditions. This is a great time to explain why the desert has less water than places like Michigan.
Arizona in the summer can be a hot subject. When the kids want to go out to play, take them to the pool. Explain to the kids that other cities like Reno have rivers running through town. This is a great way to explain how other cities are built around bodies of water.
One fun art project is to create melted art masterpieces. While you wait for your crayons to melt in the sun, explain how Phoenix’s closeness to the equator brings the city into the direct line of the sun’s heat. This could help children appreciate just how powerful the sun’s heat is.
During October, bring the kids to take part of the harvest season at one of the many fall community festivals like the month-long Mortimer Family Farms Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze. This will teach the children about how different vegetables grow better in certain climates.
Consider taking a drive up to Flagstaff to see the leaves change colors. A quick road trip is a great way to show the kids that not all of Arizona is a desert. This is a great opportunity to explain the importance of mountains and how they affect the weather.
Although states like New York and Wisconsin may be filled with snow during December, kids in Arizona will notice the distinct lack of snow on the ground. We should take advantage of the weather to take the kids on a little hike and explain the difference between areas that experience four seasons while Phoenix only sees two.
Another great winter activity is visiting the penguins at the Odysea Aquarium. The penguins are a great example of animals that can only live in certain regions based on the weather. This is a great way to teach the kids about the importance of climate.
No matter where you live, experiencing change in the weather is a wonderful time to learn something new. The weather is a tool to explain to children the environmental importance of diversity.
Going back to school is tough on every member of the family. Children are anxious to start a new grade and make new friends, while parents and nannies want to make sure the children are as prepared as they can be. But if caregivers stay organized and plan ahead, there are a few things that theycan do to prepare the kids to goback to school,
End of Summer Blues
The end of summer marks the end of zero homework and the beginning of structured days for children. It can be incredibly difficult to transition from having fun in the summer to being in school for eight hours. Not only is it important to make sure the kids have all the right school clothes and supplies, it’s important to make sure they are prepared mentally to go back to school.
The end of summertime blues is not a joke. Changes in day duration and temperature have been proven to cause depression and anxiety. If your child is feeling down, consider using some change of mindset practices together.
Reframing a negative thought into a positive one has proved very effective in treating anxiety and depression. This technique is surprisingly easy and is an easy skill nannies can practice with kids throughout the day.
For example, if you hear the kids saying things like, “I don’t want to start waking up early!” or “I hate doing homework,” suggest happier thoughts about school, such as “But won’t you have a great time with your friends?” or “But field trips are fun!” This small change in thought or in speech, can make the transition back to school much easier for your child.
Rekindling Old Friendships
In K-12 who you hang out with defines who you are and how you fit in. There can be a lot of excitement and also anxiety about rekindling friendships during the new year.
Nannies and parents should attack these fears by reassuring kids and validating their fears. Try to direct the possible anxiety, to excitement about getting to know new people, and seeing others for the first time in months.
Finding A New Look
The best part about going back to school is back to school shopping. Buying new clothes and supplies are one of the most exciting back to school necessities for kids. A new year means a new time for a child to express who they are to their peers.
If parents allow nannies to handle shopping, consider making a day out of visiting the malls and stores. Let thekidshave a say in what backpack and lunch box they get, and pick out outfits (if your school does not require uniforms) and accessories for the year.
Set Up a Routine
Practicinga daily routine, a week or so before school starts will help the kids transition back to school. Nannies should begin implementing a few daily practices to help establish a daily rhythm
● For Mornings:
A good morning routine starts by waking up at the same time every day. wake the children upabout an hour and a half or more before school starts. This will allow them to have time to feel awake and prepared.
Starting this routine about a week or so before school startscanmake first week wake up much easier. Also try waking the teamup nicely, maybe sing to them or prepare their favorite breakfast foods. Nothing says “wake up!” like an enjoyable incentive.
● For After-School:
Before the school year starts, sit down and discuss your daily after school routine. If the older children are walking home alone, be sure to talk about safety and the responsibility of walking home alone.
Getting Ready for Homework
Nowadays, children of all ages are sent home with some type of homework. And as Parents or nannies, it's often up to you to double up as caretaker and tutor.
Many kids dread the idea of returning back to homework. But this is the perfect time of year to share the importance of studying with children, and to implement an additional incentive system. Consider printing out a rewards chart for homework (or even other chores) to keep track of the children’s progress.
Commuting to School
Whether you’re driving the children in the family car or walking a few blocks, take advantage off this time to bond with the kids and learn all about thoughts and perspective.
For example, on the way to school, ask the children about the day coming up. This can be a great way to gauge how the child is feeling in a general sense, and is a great time to help enforce more positive thinking. On the way home, ask how their day went. This will be a great time to teach problem solving skills for any issues they may have had that day.
Not everyone is excited to go back to school. Nannies are often placed in the position to deal with these attitudes, and it can be overwhelming. Luckily, all it takes is a little practicing before the school year starts for the children, their parents and caretakers to get pumped about classes this fall.
Nothing says “bonding” like going out to eat and connect with your family, friends, etc. While going to dinner or lunch may be considered a traditionally adult activity, kids enjoy going out to eat, too. It gives them a chance to see parts of their hometown they may never get to see otherwise, and helps them develop an image of their community. It provides a new setting for parents and nannies alike to bond with kids. And, of course, going out to eat is usually pretty fun for all parties involved.
However, parents and caretakers both struggle to find quality places to eat and explore with children.Taking a child to a normal, “boring” restaurant may seem like a terrible idea for those hoping for an easy lunch or dinner. Luckily, Phoenix is full of family friendly restaurants that are both fun and delicious.
Culinary Dropout at The Yard
One of Fox’s fastest growing concepts, Culinary Dropout, is a great place to bring the family for sporting events or to meet up with others. While the original Phoenix location is just off of 7th St and Missouri, the concept has expanded into Tempe. Their menu is centered around a traditional gastropub menu. And to keep the kids - and the adults - entertained, they have ping-pong tables, cornhole boards, and foosball tables out on the spacious, covered patio.
MacAlpine’s Diner & Soda Fountain
Close to Downtown Phoenix is a Coronado neighborhood staple, McAlpine’s. Stepping into this soda-fountain themed restaurant is like stepping into a time machine. The shop is chiefly known for its ice cream, shakes, malts, and sundays, but hamburgers and hotdogs make a menu appearance, too. Sit the kids at the bar and enjoy your tall glass of sweetness before ending your visit by wandering through the antique shop next door
Love the soda shop vibe? Don’t forget to check out Sugar Bowl in Old Town Scottsdale. This iconic pink building specializes in the traditional soda-fountain selection of ice creams, burgers, and sandwiches. Don’t miss the chance to share some literary history with the kids by showing them Family Circus comics featured all over the restaurant. Sugar Bowl has gained much of its notoriety from being featured in the newspaper classics. And no kid can resist being happy surrounded by such bright pink decor!
La Grande Orange
One of the best places to bring the family in Arcadia is La Grande Orange. Located on the corner of 44th Street and Campbell Ave, LGO is a beloved artisan grocery, complete with a bakery, pizzeria, and agelato shop. While you wait for you food, browse through their eclectic gift shop collections, filled with fun toys and specialty food items. The whole family will love to find their own unique treasures to take home!
Have you ever heard of a kid turning down pizza? Of course you haven’t - pizza is a natural staple in a child’s diet! But going out for pizza doesn’t have to be a pizza-and-arcade games extravaganza. Instead, take your family to try some of Chicago’s famous deep dishat Lou Malnati’s. Hidden in the corner of the Uptown Plaza, dive into some cheesy, saucy goodness and finish the meal off with a trip to the neighboring science themed ice cream parlor, Creamistry.
Another great themed restaurant for families is Camp Social, located off of Bethany Home Road and 7th Street. This summer-camp themedis full of wacky decor, including tire swing chairs and mason jar glasses. Kids can wander to the activity section, filled with arcade games, movies, and a pingpong table. Don’t worry about not sending the kids to summer camp this year - nannies can simply bring the kids to Camp Social!
Organ stop pizza
Home to the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa is one of the best places to bring the kids for dinner and a show. As their name suggests, the menu at Organ Stop consists of the typical pizza shop’s fare - pizza, pasta, and salad. But the main attraction is the Wurlitzer organ, originally built for a theater in Denver. Stop by in the evening to hear one of the four in house organists play first hand, and take the time to learn all about how the wind instrument works.
Looking for a more wild experience? Take the kids to The Perch Pub and Brewery in Chandler. In addition to a delicious pub menu, the store is filled with over 50 rescue birds. Visiting the store is a great way for nannies to explain the importance of taking care of animals properly, understanding their habits, and learning their histories while the kids interact with the different types of macaws and cockatoos. . Adults and kids alike are sure to love this experience!
Through out my years of nannying for many families I always researched new places to go with the kids when it was 100 and some degrees outside. Luckily some of the same activities are still around.
Here are my favorite 5 summer activity ideas
1.- AZ Movie Fun, for more than 35 years, Harkins Theatres has brought back some of Hollywood's best family films to keep kids entertained and cool during the summer. Kids can enjoy a movie a week for 10 weeks, for less than $1 per film. Make Harkins Summer Movie Fun for kids an annual tradition for your family. All adults must be accompanied by children.
2.- Create , is one of the attractions from the Phoenix Science center, they have camps for Pre-K age and up and its always a great indoor facility to visit, kids can create and explore around.
3.- As you wish is a pottery place with few locations around the valley, Pick a piece of pottery from our shelves, Design, decorate and doodle, As You Wish! and In just a few days, your piece will be glazed, fired and ready to pick up.
4.- Brunswick Lanes via Linda (bowling) summer games: With the Summer Games, you can bowl all summer for one low price—and save over 90%. Shoes are included with your pass, making the summer’s best deal on bowling even better!
5.- Bass pro shop in Mesa, Kid's Night - Every Tuesday 5-7pm
Bring the kids for FREE crafts, coloring, popcorn, archery, and the fish feeding at 6pm!
In this integrated and globalized world, it is increasingly important to raise children in a diverse, inclusive environment. However, it can be very difficult to know how to approach this in a child-centered way. Introducing children to culture locally is a great first step.
Communication and language are the primary bridges across difference. A growing trend in parents today is to teach infants and toddlers American Sign Language before their children are able to speak and even hired bilingual caregivers. While this is a practical way of communicating with a child, it also breaks down stereotypes associated with deafness. This concept can also be transcended to other spoken languages and cultures. Young children in particular are primed to learn a second or third language, as their brain is still rapidly developing their first. Exposure is the key; parents and teachers can use foreign language words interchangeably in casual conversation in place of the child’s first language. For a more structured approach, and for older children, foreign language classes are a great way to immerse a child in a new culture. Most language classes not only teach speaking and writing, but they will also teach children about cultural practices, traditions, and histories associated with the language.
The arts are an integral part of any culture, and are also a great tool to connect children to other ways of being across the world. Children thrive in imaginative environments, and love to explore new materials, sounds, and experiences. Visual art, music, and theater classes not only provide children with unique ways express themselves, but also give them tools to engage with the world and with each other. Community colleges, after school programs, group classes, and private instructors offer a menagerie of classes to children of all ages. Musical instruments, such as the guitar, drums, and piano, are versatile and accessible, as many cultures have either have similar instruments, or have adapted their musical styles to those instruments themselves. Visual and performing arts are similar, and local community centers will often offer classes that focus on Native or some form of non-Western art. Writing and poetry classes, too, can introduce children to important authors, scholars, and cultural figures that aren’t traditionally taught in Western schools. Books are also perhaps the easiest way to expose children to new cultures early; reading stories about and by people from other countries, religions, family structures, and gender norms teaches children to think less about how different we are, but how we can connect.
Other cultural experiences revolve around food, holidays, religions, and traditions. Cooking at home is an enriching way to learn a variety of different skills, including reading, measuring, time management, and cultural competency. It’s truly an immersive, integrative activity that can be scaled for all ages and learning levels. Planning home meals from around the world will also teach children to love trying new things, even if they aren’t food related! Festivals will usually have foods from the cultures they are celebrating, as well as traditional music, art, and dance. Getting children involved with performing or volunteering at festivals and other cultural celebrations is a more involved way of immersing children in culture, but often helps them build relationships and understanding across difference. For very young children, exposing them to international playgroups early on can immerse both them and their families in new ways of being. Similarly, nannies play an important role in a child’s perspective on the world, as they are often a primary caregiver. Nannies enrich children’s lives by sharing their language, culture, food, and values with the children in their care.
Phoenix is a multicultural, metropolitan area with plenty of opportunities to expose children to a variety of cultures. The Phoenix Art Museum and Musical Instrument Museum are great places to start, as they feature exhibits from artists and musicians from across the globe. The Heard Museum features American Indian Art, which is essential for an area with a long history of Native culture. Similarly, there is the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, which allows visitors to tour a real historical site will interacting with its rich history and culture. The Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center is also very immersive and interactive, and allows children to explore the vibrant Latin culture that exists in and around Arizona. The Fiesta de Las Americas is an annual festival held in April that also celebrates Latin culture from the US and Mexico, all the way down to the tip of South America. Near the end of March is the Italian Festival of Arizona, which immerses visitors in Italian music, food, and commerce. Finally, there is another European cultural celebration called the Tournament of Kings Dinner and Jousting show, which is held year round and is more of a performance than an integrative experience. However, it simply goes to show that there is a new cultural experience for every child in Phoenix!
I had the privilege this week to go visit Page, AZ and all I can say it’s WOW WOW WOW!
What a beautiful place!
Went by myself and while there I met a few families that were doing tourism in the area and thought what a great place to bring your children. I am not a tourist guide, obviously, but want to share with you the visits I did while there.
Page is four hours drive from Phoenix, very easy and pretty drive too. It’s all about nature and being outside. It's a very small town with lots of visitors all year long. There are many resorts where to stay. No fancy hotels but confortable, clean ones.
My first stop was at the Lower Antelope Canyon. This place leaves you speechless. Just stunning! You need a tour guide to go through the canyons, did it with Dixie's and it was a great experience.
For families, different travel bloggers recommended the Upper Antelope Canyon, which right across from the Lower one. The Upper it’s easier to go through and doesn’t have steep stairs like the Lower one does.
Second stop was the famous Horseshoe Bend, only 8 min away from Antelope canyon.
Another magical place. There is a short 1/2 mile trail that leads to the main view area. While visiting this place, if you have small children make sure you hold their hand the whole time. There not fencing around the view, which makes it nice but dangerous if you are not cautious.
Glenn Canyon Dam and Lake Powell
Last but not least I visited Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Cool place to see. When drive pass the Glenn Dam you can visit the marina and what they call "the beach" where people can get in the water during summer time.
Overall Page, AZ was a very nice place to visit and beautiful to the eyes and mind.
We had the pleasure to work with Camille from Friday We're in Love. She wrote her honest review about Ready Nanny services and caregivers.
Excited to share it with you all:
Take a look!
What is your idea of the perfect nanny? What would she be like? What kind of qualities would she have?
For me, that nanny would:
• Speak three languages--Mandarin, Spanish and English.
• Be creative, patient, mature, relaible and fun.
• Have lots of experience as a nanny and possibly have some camp counselor experience.
• Be super flexible with our schedule.
• Follow our family rules to the T.
• Stay with my family for all the years that I would need her to.
In a perfect world, I would love for her to even read my mind when it came to my children.
We all want the best nanny possible, but we first have to know what it is that we are looking for in that person. What are the essential qualities that we are seeking?
There are many key personality traits that I seek in every caregiver, but my top four are:
1. She has to LOVE children. You can feel that she genuinely enjoys being around them. Anyone can teach kids the house rules and how to behave, but the key is to find a nanny who is truly joyful working with children. This quality is priceless.
2. She must engage in your child’s life. She shows interest in the child's development. She offers suggestions on a new toy, finds a new class at the library, and comes up with a new healthy snack.
3. She is completely reliable.
4. She is a good communicator. (This is a quality you can get a feel for while setting up the interview and even during the interview. Something as simple as communicating that she is running 5 minutes late would leave you a totally different impression of her than her not communicating at all.)
Which are the TOP 4 qualities you look in a nanny? Share with us!
After researching childcare options for your family, you finally come to the conclusion that you need to hire a nanny. You can start the nanny-finding process by asking friends or co-workers for referrals, researching online or contacting a local nanny recruiting service. No matter what you choose, the search will take some time.
Let's start with some of the benefits of working with a local nanny agency:
• You have experts in the field helping you find the best caregiver for your family.
• You save time and money, as looking on your own is time-consuming and often overwhelming.
• You are instantly connected to a large database of qualified caregivers—something only an agency with years of experience and connections can offer.
• You will work with a "coach"––somebody that will answer any question and provide valuable feedback.
Is a nanny placement fee worth it?
Recruiting services and agencies normally charge a (one-time) placement fee to the family. Often people have the misconception that this fee is too expensive. The placement fee to the families is typically due once they find their right fit and decide to move forward. Most agencies do a guaranteed period of 30, 60 or 90 days (depends on the agency) and if the caregiver the family decided to hire doesn’t work out for any reason, they will find a replacement for not additional cost .
Recruiting services are a one-time service, not like for example, a personal trainer or a cleaning service where you pay a monthly fee. If you do the math, the initial cost is well worth it. Ultimately, finding the right caregiver for your family is work and once you find "the one", the benefits for your children and family are priceless.
While a service fee may feel intimidating at first, most families feel that hiring an agency is certainly worth the long-term investment.