10 Ways Your Nanny Can Help With Halloween
Halloween can be a really stressful time for parents. Here are some ways that your nanny can make it a spooktacular time for everyone.
Ghosts, goblins and haunted houses may be scary, but preparing for Halloween doesn't have to be. A nanny can be a lifesaver for families!
Parents and nannies can work together to coordinate schedules, complete chores and errands and conquer seasonal to-do lists. It will make Halloween less about the stress and more about the fun! Here are 10 ways nannies can ease Halloween stress.
If you're a parent, ask your nanny to take some of these items off your plate so you can make the most of your time.
Looking for more spook-tacular ideas? Check out Care.com's Guide to Halloween.
Start the Halloween Fun
Nannies spend countless hours with children and have creative ideas to encourage early learning, creativity and thinking. A nanny can come up with Halloween-themed games, worksheets and activities that encourage kids to learn, while still having fun.
"To make holidays special, I've done a number of activities that can be tweaked for each season," says Becky Kavanagh, co-president of the International Nanny Association and a nanny with over 20 years of experience. She suggests that nannies arrange activities, such as themed treasure hunts where children find and follow clues that lead to a prize.
Make Holiday Crafts
Arts and crafts are synonymous with fun for kids who love to be creative and show off their artistic skills. Fall-themed finger painting and carving pumpkins are great arts and craft activities for nannies to do with children. They help pass the time and encourage children to express themselves through art.
"We have a super nanny named Kristle," says Jessica Stroop, a Maryland mom of three. "She will take the kids to Michael's and get special crafts, or to the dollar store to get decorations for special parties."
Pick up a Pumpkin
While the trip to the local pumpkin patch is fun for families, this is one item on a parent's to-do list that a nanny can take over. She can walk around the patch with the kids, find a suitable pumpkin and bring it home for the whole family to carve.
Before heading out, check out these 10 Tips for Picking the Perfect Pumpkin.
Bake and Decorate
Cooking activities are great for children of all ages. They are hands-on and bring kids a sense of accomplishment to see their hard work come together in the form of an edible treat. Having a nanny help out can also alleviate some of the parental responsibilities. If a child needs to bring a special treat to a school or neighborhood Halloween party, nannies can help kids find and create a cool new recipe.
She can also help decorate the house for the holiday. Use these 31 Halloween Decoration Ideas.
Get Ahead of the Game
Balancing hectic schedules and busy days can be stressful enough for parents. This tends to get amplified during any holiday season. One of the best ways that nannies can assist during busy times is to help alleviate as much stress as possible.
On Halloween, Stroop is especially grateful for her nanny having already fed the kids and gotten them into their costumes when she arrives home from work, so they can go right out the door to trick-or-treat before it gets too dark or too late.
Volunteer at School Celebrations
"Oftentimes parents aren't available to help in the classroom or school, but nannies are," explains Kavanagh. During the busy Halloween season, she suggests nannies (with their employers' approvals) offer teachers and PTA members their time and expertise for things like setting up for Halloween parties or planning costume contests. "They will appreciate you, your employer will appreciate you and the children will have great memories."
Complete Extra Chores and Errands
Both Kavanagh and Stroop feel child care should be the main focus of a nanny's attention and efforts. During busy times, however, it's certainly acceptable for nannies to assist with light chores or running errands. "It saves me from making multiple trips and I can spend more time with my kids rather than running around in my car," says Stroop.
If a nanny can pick up some extra slack doing something easy like laundry, parents will have more time to enjoy the Halloween fun with their kids and make memories that last longer than a wash cycle.
Pick Out Costumes
If parents and nannies communicate and can agree upon something to suit the parents' and child's wishes, it can be a big time saver to have children go costume shopping with the nanny. Have the kids throw mom and dad a costume fashion show when they arrive home.
As you shop, consider these 10 Tips for Picking a Costume.
Many malls, outdoor shopping centers and community centers offer daytime trick-or-treat activities. These are fun for younger children who may not be able to stay up late enough to enjoy the evening festivities. Having a nanny take the children to pre-Halloween events ensures the children get as much enjoyment as possible out of the holiday.
Provide a Safety Lesson
Safety is the top priority when it comes to kids. There are many safety protocols that should be discussed with children before they head out to trick-or-treat. Having the nanny discuss or reinforce basic safety measures will keep children safe and reduce stress.
Share these Top 5 Halloween Safety Tips.
Halloween is meant to be fun for the whole family. A nanny is not meant to replace a parent's involvement in special events and holiday activities, but she can certainly enhance the experience. Communicate and work together to make this Halloween fun, memorable and safe for all.
Remember, parents: If you're asking your nanny to do extra chores and go above and beyond, make sure to add a little extra to her paycheck as a thank you.
Jillian Amodio is an author and freelance writer who lives in Maryland. See more of her work here.
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