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Sugar the Elf

19 Nov




Elf after



Hello blog followers! Its been a long time since I’ve posted and much has happened since my last post. I’m writing to you from the sunny south this time and have enjoyed my time here (sunshine’s always a good thing in my book). Decided on reviving my long neglected blog with Elf on a Shelf this year.

I’ve considered having an elf visit a home for quite some time and this year I’m in luck! Sugar the Elf will be visiting the charges I care for and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this process. It’s not official that his name will be Sugar but I’ll call him that for now until he has his official name.

I’m excited to be sharing my adventures with you from this very fun and busy household. As always, I appreciate comments on what you’d like to see here.

I’ve scoured the internet for the best ideas on everything elf and look forward to sharing a full post with you the week after Thanksgiving on how I worked through the process of getting him ready for his month visit. I’ve ‘hacked’ him, or as I like to say given him surgery, thought of tons of ideas, have a long list of to-do’s, written a rough draft of a letter from Santa (no joke, at least enough for 2 Christmas seasons thanks to Pinterest). Leave comments below on what you’d like to see in this post and I’ll do my best to include what you’d like to see. What would be the most fun and helpful for you to prepare your Elf visit? Here is Sugar before ‘surgery’

elf before

Elf before ‘hack’

I’m excited to be back and look forward to hearing from you all. What’s new in your lives? Have you ever done Elf on the shelf? If you have I’d love links/comments to your favorite ideas!

Thanksgiving is one week away, can you believe it?! Where did 2015 go?

Nanny G



Wacky Wednesday-Pipe Cleaners

25 Oct

Last week I left you with the challenge of pipe cleaners. What did you come up with, can’t wait to see!

Here is what Mack, Little one and I came up with

Create a design and blow bubbles with them

Get a colander and let them have some fun!

This kept them preoccupied for about 30 minutes the first time 🙂

Also there were enough pipes and holes that they shared splendidly!

Noticed when doing this the difference between the two kids. Mack holds the pipe cleaners towards the bottom and Little one holds them towards the top. Little one is learning he has better control when holding them towards the bottom. Fun to watch his eye hand coordination at work as well as his brain 🙂

Mack came up with the idea to make arches with them!

We also made the shapes of flowers and animals, which I didn’t take pictures of.

I am certain there are many more ideas and as we come up with more, I will add them!

Hope that was as much fun for you as it was for us!

What ideas did you come up with this week? Appreciate if you leave your ideas in the comments below to share with all of us!

This weeks challenge

Find two opportunities for RAC’s (random acts of kindness). Purchase someones coffee, leave a random encouraging note, open the door for someone. Be creative and see what you come up with!


Nanny G

As a side note: Some of these ideas I spotted on Pinterest. The links did not work when I clicked them.

When you hold my hand, you hold my heart

19 May

When it comes to gifts for Mothers (esp. of the charges I work with) I find that personal is best. This mothers day I decided on the hand print. Ran across a great idea (you guess it, Pinterest again!).

I liked the idea of having a hand print for each year. Have seen the heavy clay hand prints, and while those are fun…they are heavy and cumbersome and I haven’t seen them displayed in homes. For these reasons I really like this idea

I knew it could be a challenge to trace the kids hands as they are 4 and 1. So I opted to use paint and get a hand print instead. Mack was easy peasy to do because he has been enjoying finger painting lately. I was able to get one good print from him.

Little one was a bit more challenging. I put the paint on his hand and quickly pressed his hand to the paper several times (with the hope that I could make one print work). He still puts things in his mouth so I quickly washed his hand off afterwards. He looked at me wondering what was going on as the I made the process really quick.

I enjoy crafty things. Have heard of Modge Podge but never purchased or worked with it. Now I have a whole jar and thinking there are more products  I can use this stuff for! If you have some ideas that you have used Modge Podge for, pass on the link or the idea (you may even see your idea featured here).

Here are the products you will need for this project:

  • Moge Podge
  • Sponge Paint Brushes (recommended to me as the best to use with Modge Podge)
  • Patterned Paper
  • Plain Paper (for the heart)
  • Gel Pen (or something similar)
  • Pen/Pencil (to trace hand)
  • Canvas
  • Scissors

The lovely hand prints before:

I taped the prints to the back of the patterned paper and cut them out. One could trace the hand on the paper and then cut it out:

I then mod podged the canvas and centered the masterpiece. Then added another coat of modge podge on top..Voila!:

Then added a heart with their name and age written with gel pens (and added another coat of Modge Podge):

Aren’t they cute?

What projects have you done for  Mothers Day?

What is your most memorable gift as a Mother?

Have an idea you would like to see on this blog (hint: leave me a comment in the box below!) ? 

As always, appreciate you stopping by to catch up on my blog.

Enjoy your weekend and be blessed!

Nanny G

Just in case the title had you thinking of a song, yes, that was the intention! It is lyrics from  an oldie the Chantrellines When you hold my hand, you hold my heart.

Dinosaurs, snakes, and eggs, oh my!

12 May

No, we are not taking a prehistoric tour, although you could if you wanted to!  It is play dough time. Remember my previous comment about jello on a previous post?  If you are on pinterest you may have seen this, if not, the secret ingredient to this recipe is jello!

Here is the link to the recipe I used needed:


I find that after cooking the play dough the color changes  as well as the smell. The most appealing have been the cherry and berry blue as far as smell and color goes. So far we have tried red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Purple comes out grey (not very appealing) but one could add glitter or additional dye if desired.

This particular project is great because children can help with all but the cooking portion. I have found this project has many opportunities for discussion. Mack is to the point now that we have made it so many times he knows the ingredients by heart. I ask him what we need and then get it down from the cupboard/drawers. He looks back at the table to see what is missing (sometimes I will give him a clue that there is one item missing.). He knows everything we need down to the pot, spoon, bowl, and measuring spoons! Discussion suggestions :

  • math skills (children can count as you measure)
  • large motor/small motor
  • pouring
  • spatial relations
  • colors (and mixing of)
  • liquids/solids
  • homogeneous mixtures
  • where do the items come from (flour from wheat)? (this can lead to many discussions on gardening/farming, etc.)

Now for the picture tutorial Gather all your ingredients

Measure one cup of flour, pour into bowl

Add two Tablespoons Cream of Tarter

Add two Tablespoons of Salt

Add 1 cup of water + 2 Tablespoons of oil

Add the jello and stir all together

Add extra coloring now, if desired.

Beautiful yellow!

On to part 2. Cooking and completion of the dough

See the slide show below for a picture tutorial.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What a fun post!

What was your favorite feature of this post (trying out new things with format, etc)?

Have a favorite play dough recipe to share?

Explore your world today!

Nanny G

P.s.  All fixed! It appears as if my pictures dissapeared on this post. Unfortunately, I am not certain how they did or for how long.  I would be very appreciative if you see anything amiss in my blog to leave me a comment.

Finger painting Glee!

10 May

I will admit, it has been a while since my last post. To be honest haven’t felt much like updating. Not that there hasn’t been wonderful things to share and not that I haven’t wanted to share. Have been focusing on my time here, which has been refreshing. There have been plenty of things I could have written about but, kids + project + camera doesn’t always = pictures!

Little did I know when starting finger painting today, what I was getting into (and I mean in a good way!).  Never have I enjoyed watching a child exploring finger painting as much as I did today.

I started by getting out the handy orange tray and place mat to ensure an easier cleanup routine when finished. One could use a piece of paper to put the paint on but I used some fun animal plates.

Essential components of this activity:

  • Paper
  • Paint
  • Hands, arms, feet 🙂

I squeezed all 4 colors into a fun animal paper plate(This added in the ease of cleanup).

It took some prompting to get Mack started, once started he was on a roll (pun intended). He was hesitant to get his hands dirty and in the paint. First it was tips of fingers. Slowly, he poked at the different colors giggling as he went and looking to me for reassurance (it was o.k. to do this, right?!).


Having a place mat and the orange tray really eased the cleanup process!



After some time of letting him explore at his comfort level I then delved in and put paint all over my hands and put my hand prints on some paper. He then put his hands in and squealed with delight.

“It’s cold”

“ha, squeal..”

“giggle, giggle”

“can I wash my hands now?”

No sooner had we washed hands he was ready for rounds 2,3, and 4. What a fun memory forever etched into my mind!


What is your favorite memories of fun projects with kids?

Is there a project you prepared that the child’s reaction surprised you?

Is there a fun project you would like to see featured in a post soon?

Interested in hearing your answers in the box below 🙂


Nanny G

First project!

7 Apr

Well, here we are with the first project done with the boys. Have to say it was a success.

This day was my second with the boys. The snow had melted and only a light jacket was needed to be outside. After a bit-o-sunscreen on our faces, out we went.  We all just pretty much stayed in the sandbox.  Little one*  kept leaning back and looking up at the sky, nearly tipping over as he did so (think he only managed to actually tip once.).  He had me laughing a few times!

It was really nice to be in their moments with them. Children are very in the moment little people.  We also enjoyed listening and spotting the many airplanes in the blue sky.  Mack* was  really enjoying looking for them as he heard the sound they made. There was never a time he was not equally amazed at the next one’s appearing.

Another fun moment was when I was putting Little One down for a nap. Apparently I forgot to turn the fan in the hallway on and Mack runs up and opens the door and says (in his cute high squeaky 4 year old voice)

“You forgot to turn on the fan!”

“Thank You” I said, while tying to be a bit quiet as Little One was nodding off.

Apparently Mack didn’t hear because he pokes his head in the door and says, “Can you say Thank you?”

“Thank you” I said.

It took everything within me not to burst out laughing. I have been working on asking not telling adults what to do and he was simply putting into action what I was teaching him.  Loved this moment!

Oh, the first project you say? Patience, here it is.  We did paint in a bag.  It is a project that, surprise, surprise, I found on pinterest.  The original idea can be found on the feeling Lovesome blog Erin, the blog owner has worked 3 years as a preschool teacher and has some wonderful ideas!

This project is great for when you may be cooking and need something for the kids to work on while you are working. What is nice is that the mess stays in the bag. Believe me there are plenty of times they will have fun with sand, water, and finger paints. Sometimes it is nice to have an easy cleanup project.  Beware that little ones may want to bite the bag, so supervision is always necessary.

Mixing colors and  hand-eye coordination are a few things they will take away from this project.  Adding extra objects will allow them to experiment with what kinds of tracks different object make.

What you will need for this project:

  • Gallon zip lock bags
  • Washable finger paint (in a variety of colors)
  • Strong tape
  • Optional: objects such as crayons, cars, etc

Next  open all the paint lids

( I find this useful so I can have my other hand to keep the bag open)

With one hand hold bag open and squeeze desired amount of paint into bag

Then seal bag

To secure bag more add the tape

All set!

Add different object for added fun!


* the terms “Little one” and “Mack” will be used throughout this blog  as the names of my charges I work with,  to protect their identity.  I came up with the terms because the 11 mo. old is so tiny and cute I can’t help but call him “Little one.” Mack is pretty self explanatory in that the 4 year old is obsessed with  Cars!

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know what you enjoyed about it  by leaving a comment below.

On to the next project… what will it be?

(hint, it has jello as an ingredients)

Nanny G

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