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🤔 What are your favorite activities to do on the first day with a new family? 🤔

Diane Hoelter
June 23, 2018

Last week we asked you "What do you wish parents knew about your job?" and you had so many great answers!  This week our question is:

What are your favorite activities to do on the first day with a new family? 

Answers
Anna in Evanston, IL
Nov. 8, 2018

On the first day with a new family, I like to gauge what the child(ren) really like to do in line with their age and imagination. (Being around kids so much, you start to see some patterns!) Usually, with 2-8 year old boys, Legos, cars, even blowing up balloons and playing toss with them keeps them engaged. Random games with their everyday toys is a huge plus to winning them over. Little girls are always more structured in how they like to play. I try to come up with a make-believe story, have a coloring session, or even play "store." Stories and thought behind them is what keeps girls truly entertained. For older kids, my biggest draw has been getting to know their favorite shows and talking to them more as a friend than an authority figure. Then I break out electronic Monopoly. They love it, and I suggest you go to Target and pick up this game because it is a sitting game changer for the older kids.

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  1. BUILDING & DECORATING PAPER GOODS: I like this because it's fun, easy and typically, mess free. None of the children I've ever taken care of knew how to make items such as paper  boat or mask prior to me teaching them. So, this has been one of my go to first day activities for over a decade. 
  2. CREATING A BIO BOOK: This helps the children and I to get to know each other and bond by creating something together. When we are done creating and decorating the book, we store them in a designated safe area to serve as a reminder of the other person’s info: from birthdays to likes and dislikes and so on. Those books may or may not see the light of day again, but it served its purpose of helping you break the ice and foster a relationship with the children. 
  3. BAKING: A lot of children are quite picky about what they eat, but not so much when it comes to goodies. So, baking something simple like cookies or cupcakes is a sweet way (pun intended) to kick off the relationship.
  4. FOLLOWING THE CHILD'S LEAD: This means that I allow the children to show/tell me what they want to do. I provide easy prompts (e.g. can you please show me your favorite toys) because it gives them an idea of where to start. Also, using prompts can help to ease shy children into the process. One of the benefits of following their lead on the first day is that it allows me to learn about them in an organic and authentic manner. Also, it's a good opportunity for children to 1. take charge and 2. show me (or nannies in general) their world on their own terms.

Getting to know them , then after that I’ll get to know what are the boss like me to do and there children.. preferably I like to have some activities outside Bc they learn instead watching tv or doing nothing.. they need to engage outside so we can see what are they like with other children so that we get know them.. they will learn a lot if there are more activities.

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Cami in Huntley, IL
Aug. 16, 2018

I love doing what the children want to do, if they would like to go to the park, I will take them to the park and if they just want to play inside, then we will play inside. I like to let the child decide what he/she/they would like to do.

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Martha in Alameda, CA
Aug. 16, 2018

I very much enjoy Parks. Yes. Picnic with games. I like art activities. Maybe cooking a lunch together.

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Meet each other and have fun playing or cooking

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fun educational games.

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I like to let them know what makes me different. All my special skills and what I aspire to be in life. I like to learn about them as much as I can and treat them as if they were my family as well, not just treat them in a way were it seems like I'm only doing so because I'm getting paid.

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On the first day of meetings a family I like to get to know everyone's likes and dislikes, their quirks, and what makes them smile. When you have been a caregiver for a few years you start to realize that you cannot have a routine or plan beforehand. Every child is different and they each deserve their individualized care routine. So on the first day, I like to observe, ask questions, and get a feel for how things run in their household.

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User in Sylacauga, AL
June 25, 2018

I would have to say a game of uno, or maybe even a board game, along with some type of tasty drink and snack. Something fun along those lines.. to break the ice and get to know each other, personality wise.

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Depending on the time of year and what the weather is like I love spending time outside. I also love making something special and personal, finger painting, drawing a picture, a cute little poem.. something to show the parents that we are thinking of them !

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Katie in Raleigh, NC
Aug. 16, 2018

Go to a park if the parent is comfortable with it, coloring, painting the girl's nails, letting them help me bake things like cookies or cupcakes. I try my best to be as interactive as I can be with the kids, not just on the first day.

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Mia in Duluth, MN
June 25, 2018

On the first day with a new family I would love to do activities that interest that family to get a better sense of who each person really is and connect with them while doing something they love!

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To play some cards is nice..or to cook together..or go to the park and have ice cream.

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Madison in Smyrna, DE
Aug. 16, 2018

My favorite activities with a new family are board games! They are a great way to get to know each other a little better and they are always fun!

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I usually do many activities such as coloring, painting, going outside, water play... and at that point i can see what activities the child likes alot and then from then on we would experiment with new activities.

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play out side, ice breaker questions, arts and crafts. anything that will get the kids up and active so the will be able to look forward to that every day.

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Board games. Board games bring out the best on families. They are super fun and sometimes you can work on team-building skills and thinking.

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On the first day I would have a variety of activities. I always carry books and art supplies. Games are great for older children. I am also a big fan of sensory activities (play dough, paint, etc.). These activities help develop the young child's brain, but also help with stress. When first meeting a child, I try not to overwhelm. I usually place activities out and sit nearby allowing the child to watch me and begin to trust me.

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Amber in Ball, LA
Aug. 4, 2018

I love the make window sun catchers. Plus I spread all of the markers and confetti glitter around. There reason Is to ask them to pass me certain colors and they feel more comfortable with me too by asking me to pass things closer to me. Plus i always provide looks oh great jobs too and they repeat the same things.

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Katelyn in Alto, MI
Aug. 4, 2018

On the first day with a new family I would definitely play a little "get to know you" game. I think it is important to understand who you are taking care of and who they really are. Understanding the child makes it easier for me to help them in times of need, such as when they get frustrated and don't know how to deal with their emotions. Then just have fun, of course!

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I always love a good hide and go seek, an obstacle course, fort, board games etc.

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I was able to spy on my cheating ex phone without finding out.....it really helped me during my divorce ...you can contact (HACKSECRETE at GMAIL dot COM) text and call him on HIDDEN for spying and hacking social networks, school servers, icloud and much more,viber chats hack, Facebook messages and yahoo messenger,calls log and spy call recording, monitoring SMS text messages remotely,cell phone GPS location tracking, spy on Whats app Messages,his services are cheap.. and please tell him i referred you to him he is a man with a heart of GOLD.

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i was able to spy on my cheating ex phone without finding out.....it really helped me during my divorce ...you can contact (HIDDEN) call or text him on HIDDEN for spying and hacking social networks, school servers, icloud and much more,viber chats hack, Facebook messages and yahoo messenger,calls log and spy call recording, monitoring SMS text messages remotely,cell phone GPS location tracking, spy on Whats app Messages,his services are cheap.. and please tell him i referred you to him he is a man with a heart of GOLD.

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Play games and get to know Each other

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Meeting at home is a great way to see the children in their natural environment as well as get a feel for the family dynamic. Some fun activities to do with a new family might include going on a walk or to the park, that way the children can play while you and the parents can get to know each other.

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making sure the child gets to know me and see what he like. learn there routine and day to day activate.

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I would consider sitting down and talking, as a way to get to know about the family you will be working with.

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alots of fun

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Joe in Crockett, TX
July 21, 2018

I will share my tools (books, games,etc)but, whatever the parents suggests - they know their child better than I do. Be open minded.

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My favorite activity that I like to do on my first day with the new family is play family friendly board games and focus our time with the child/children.

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I like to get to know more about the likes and dislikes the children have towards things. It's good to get to know them because it'll make planning activities or games or meals much easier and enjoyable.

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A "sit down" game or walk to the park is the best way to casually get to know the children you care for. The dominant siblings, attention lovers, shy and things they like to talk about and do.

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My favorite thing is to get to know the house. Typically kids anywhere between the ages of 3-12 love to show me around if I turn it into a game! Asking the kids questions such as "Where is your favorite place to play?" and "Where do your favorite snacks live?" gets them involved and helps you quickly learn where the essentials are.

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Introducing myself, showing all the members of that family that I am dedicated to making their family happier, less stressed out, and more active. When I am actually on the job I like to (If this means babysitting) I ask what their favorites are (food, games, hobbies, colors, ect.) Then I like to put that info into acting by having fun with the childrren

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My favorite activities to do on the first day with a new family is art activities. Any type of coloring or painting is great! If the child is older, they will talk and ask questions as it is easier to open up when not getting stared down by the new babysitter. While coloring with little children, babysitters get to gauge their physical and mental skills since all kids grow at their own pace. Plus everyone loves coloring and painting!

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I like to take them to the zoo or a farm! Super fun and interactive!

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Depending on the the age. Play a game, take them outside if the weather permit.

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A good activity to do on the first day is going for a walk to a near park.

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Brisa in Downey, CA
July 12, 2018

Play games and get to know each other.

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Michelle in Lehi, UT
Nov. 15, 2018

On my first day with the family I like to get to know them and the kids and then start a family book, take a pic on the first day, make lasting memories maybe make a favorite dinner or dessert for the kids.

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1. Learn more about the child I am caring for (e.g. Interests, hobbies, challenges/achievements). 2. Ensure I have a plan for all special care tasks. 3. Have fun!!

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An exciting activity for us to engage in on the first day of meeting a new family would definitely be to take the children to the library and encourage them to select a few books they that catch their attention. I have found that allowing children to pick what interests them is an excellent motivator for them to read versus one picking one out for them. However, if they are very young children who cannot read on their own, I would make the selection and read it to them. Also, I would take them to the local park for a stroll around the park and play games with them as they wished me to.

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Great ideas.

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What I like to do when I meet a new family would be to get to know everyone. Everyone's comfort zones and what's not so comfortable. An Ice breaker is what I like to call them. Just really getting to know each other is the best. Playing games, anything that will help me do my job the right way.

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I really love first of all giving them a big warm smile and telling them how happy and excited I am to be able to work and play and help them. And that it’s going to be a fun day everyday! I am very creative from being a teacher and nanny many times in the past. I love making a surprise bag for the children and then letting them make their own creative book about themselves and their favorite things! We decorate it very detailed and it helps to let me see what they enjoy most. I engage in conversation with them and find out more so we build a great relationship!

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Mary in Monroe, NC
Oct. 3, 2018

I just started with a new family with two girls 5 and 7. I started doing this in interviews and I decided to continue this. I carry a tote bag with two library books, two stuffed animals from my collection and a simple activity. So far, dominoes, a Stem activity with gumdrops and toothpicks and sidewalk chalk, simple stuff. When homework is done, they get to see what's in the bag. I find that the dollar store is a great resource.

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According to the age group, I would sit for the first few hours and try to get to know the children. What they like to do, what they like to eat , if they like to cook because I cater so I would teach them a few things in the kitchen as time goes along but i like to feel them out first have them ask me whatever questions they want . That would be an introduction to our new friendship.

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Go out. Playground, walking, library.

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Angela in Nashua, NH
Aug. 14, 2018

I MEET BEFORE ND TALKING ABOUT GENERAL AND ALERGY MEDICAL PROBLEM AND WHAT KIDS LIKES

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Isis in Lemoore, CA
Aug. 13, 2018

I like to get to know the kids but I know they don't just wanna sit around and talk about themselves, so while I try and get to know them I will either take them outside to play and just ask then about things I'd like to know or just do something that they want to do(that is safe of course)

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For me the first day is getting to know the family. I use open ended questions when appropriate to get a feel for everyone's interests and skills. I observe everything: the spoken, unspoken what things they have in their rooms ect, to get a real feel for who they each are and what they enjoy doing. I always use a strength approach: build on the skills each child already possesses. The first few days is really about building rapport and getting to know each individual. New situations can be stressful, be very self-aware and remember you set the tone.

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Sadie in Waterloo, NE
Aug. 13, 2018

I wish parents know about my job is I love children, teaching them new things and playing with them and talking to them about thing they want to talk about. My favorite activities on the fist day with a new family , is telling them about my self and then getting to know the family. What do the kids do for fun, what movies they like, pro sports teams and favorite food and music.

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Lot's of play. Get to know the child's environment.

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The first week is all about getting to know the kids and their family. I do that in everything from games to chores to meal-time. Where possible, it's all about asking lots of questions.

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I welcome all parents and children to the daycare for the first few days so they can participate or just watch the activity to build trust and get comfortable with the routines. Its funny but I find that the children are usually ready to let Mommy and/or Daddy go before the parents are ready to release the child on their own. But that's okay; they all get through it!

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color or play a game watch how they play do they cheat cause they don't know better or cause they are little and know they can. do they share, do they have good sportsmanship or mad when they lose, get mad cause they don't get their own way... Are they the type you "work" for me I can get you fired. When they color do they color between the lines or all over the paper in one color. Are they happy faces or sad face pictures and how graphic are they or at all.

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With new families, I like to spend time with the children making "all about me" books. This is an excellent way to get to know the children, but also a great way for the children to get to know me! It's a huge bonus if the parents stay and partake in the activity, as well!

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