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Harmony at Home - Nanny Agency Blog

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  • Holly Diamond
  • November 03, 2016 05:43:26 PM
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A Little About Us

Harmony at Home are a specialist nanny and childcare agency with many years of experience providing professional nannies for families. The Harmony at Home blog features a variety of articles on a great range of childcare related topics, including guides and tips for nannies and maternity nurses, as well as childcare news. The blog is an excellent resource for keeping up with the latest news, events and guidelines on childcare.

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    Easter Holiday Activities 2019

    Easter Holidays are upon us and we have some great hints and tips for different fun activities to experience with the whole family for Easter. The Woodland Trust Do you love a woodland day out with the family? Wanting to ensure your children have a great run around during the holidays, then take your children The post Easter Holiday Activities 2019 appeared first on Harmony at...

    Easter Holidays are upon us and we have some great hints and tips for different fun activities to experience with the whole family for Easter.

    The Woodland Trust

    Do you love a woodland day out with the family? Wanting to ensure your children have a great run around during the holidays, then take your children to the Woodland Trust. All the Woodland Trust woods are free to visit, find your local woodland trust wood here; https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/map/. Over the Easter period they have different Easter Activities for all ages, specific activities for ages 3-5 and 6+. You can download and print their activity sheets and take on the woodland adventure with you! Or set up your own mini adventure, using their activity sheets and placing Easter Eggs around for your children to hunt for.

    Tea Party, Picnic

    Enjoy the glorious Easter weather with picnics. The fun can start prior to the picnic with making Easter themed foods, such as chocolate rice crispy Easter nests. Easy to prep and make and fun for the whole family! All you need is:
    • Chocolate
    • Butter
    • Rice pops/krispies
    • Golden Syrup
    • Cupcake cases
    • Easter themed chocolate and sweets to decorate

    Hot Cross Buns can also be enjoyed throughout the Easter break, you can purchase all different flavours in different supermarkets. There are also Dairy Free and Gluten Free buns for allergy sufferers. Check your local supermarkets. Spend time making lovely foods for the picnic and then go on an adventure whilst searching for a great place to enjoy your picnic!

    Day out at the Zoo

    There are fantastic Zoo’s all over the Country and a great way to break up the Easter Holiday. You may be a parent busy working all week and want to have family fun at the weekend, then take a trip to the Zoo! Or planning a camping trip for the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, whether its raining or shining a trip to the Zoo will make everyone’s day great.

    Looking for a Zoo near you, we have created a list of some of the best Zoo’s in the UK:
    • ZSL London Zoo
    • Yorkshire Wildlife Park
    • Colchester Zoo
    • Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo
    • Chester Zoo
    • Dudley Zoo and Castle
    • Bristol Zoo Gardens
    • Banham Zoo
    • Edinburgh Zoo

    There are always different offers for trips out at the Zoo, whether you are travelling with a Railcard or collecting Club Card vouchers. Look at deals you can get!

    Trip to the Farm

    Perhaps your children love farm animals and having a muddy day out at the farm is more of the perfect day for your family. Make a picnic and take a trip to your nearest Farm.

    Looking for a Farm near you? We have created a list of some of the ‘free’ Children’s Farms in the UK:
    • Georgie City Farm, Edinburgh
    • Deen City Farm, South-West London
    • Stonebridge City Farm, Nottingham
    • Bath City Farm, near Bath
    • Surrey Docks Farm, South-East London
    • Vauxhall City Farm, South London

    Found inspiration for a day out? Search the internet and find a local Animal Farm to you!

    Easter Treats

    Looking to Jazz up your Easter eggs this year or have children that have allergies and you all feel safer making your own eggs, then spend days making your own extra special chocolate eggs.

    BBC GoodFood have four stages to make your own chocolate egg, so no need to fear >> https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-easter-egg

    You could also make other Easter treats… perfected your Rice Krispie Easter Nests? Take it to the next level and make Rice Krispie eggs. Easter cupcakes and even homemade Hot Cross Buns. Baking can always be fun for the whole family and children can learn so many different skills. Sometimes it is worth spending less time in the outdoors and more time in the kitchen… with tasty treats to enjoy at the end of the day!

    Easter Crafts

    Planning a big Easter event over the weekend and wanting to make outfits extra special? Easter Bonnets are a tradition for many families and schools all over the Country. Spend time making Easter Bonnets with your children and jazz up their outfits. For boys, if they do not want a ‘bonnet’ you could make an Easter Cap! For extra fun, make this a competition with family friends and have Easter treats and gifts as a prize for the best bonnets or caps… Parents can dive into their competitive side!

    Easter Baskets for Easter Egg Hunts. If your children are waiting all week for their Easter Egg Hunt Egg..stravaganza, start the excitement early with crafts to add to their hunt. Such as making their own baskets for the hunt.

    Make an Easter Tree. At Christmas many families have Christmas tree’s and if your children love decorating a Christmas tree… then make a special Easter Tree and let your children decorate with all different egg-style decorations. You could also spend time making decorations for the Easter Tree. The perfect family tradition!

    We hope these different days out and activities have helped give you some ideas of what you can do with the children this Easter holiday. Happy Easter from Harmony at Home x

    The post Easter Holiday Activities 2019 appeared first on Harmony at Home.


    Nannies and Families Celebrate World Book Day

    Nannies and families, World Book Day is on the 7th of March 2019! This is an exciting opportunity for all children, nannies and families to get involved by dressing up, reading and bringing their favourite stories to life! World Book Day gives young people the chance to celebrate reading, authors, illustrators and books. It gives The post Nannies and Families Celebrate World Book Day appeared first on Harmony at...

    Nannies and families, World Book Day is on the 7th of March 2019!

    This is an exciting opportunity for all children, nannies and families to get involved by dressing up, reading and bringing their favourite stories to life!

    World Book Day gives young people the chance to celebrate reading, authors, illustrators and books. It gives them the chance to discover new books and new authors to get to know and love.

    2019 is the 22nd World Book Day celebration and it is a time where young people can come together and celebrate reading. The main aim of World Book Day is ‘to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own’.

    Taken from the World Book Day Website: http://www.worldbookday.com/

    Dressing up:

    Nannies and parents, a great way to encourage children to join in is by dressing up. Your child may be celebrating at school and may be asked to come in dressed as their favourite character from their favourite book or your child may just want to dress up at home and have some fun.

    There are so many different books to choose from, it can be tricky to just choose one character to dress up as. If you are looking for some inspiration, here are a few well know characters that you can encourage your children to dress up as:

    • Harry Potter
    • Star Wars
    • Alice in Wonderland
    • Little Red Riding Hood
    • Dorothy – Wizard of Oz
    • Mary Poppins
    • Matilda, Miss Trunchbull – Matilda
    • Willy Wonka
    • Horrid Henry
    • The Cat in the Hat
    • Mr Men characters
    • A Peach – James and the Giant Peach
    • The Big Friendly Giant – The BFG
    • Where’s Wally?
    • The Gruffalo

    Bring your favourite stories to life:

    Parents and nannies encourage your children to re-create their favourite stories/ books with some dressing up and role play. A fun idea to encourage children to get involved with World Book Day.

    Nannies and families, why not have even more fun by joining your children and getting involved with dressing up and role play!

    You will need to:

    • Choose your favourite book & character
    • Get dressed up as your favourite character and start planning your role play
    • Bring your favourite book to life!
    • Have fun recreating your favourite short story! All children can get involved.

    Writing

    Another important aspect of World Book Day is writing. Children have amazing, creative imaginations! Nannies and parents, encourage them get thinking, put pen to paper and see what wonderful stories they can come up with.

    However you decide to celebrate World Book Day, enjoy it. It is a day that all can get involved with, children, parents and nannies! To celebrate World Book Day, many National Book Tokens are given out. If your child is given a World Book Day token to spend, remember to take them to choose a new book and get reading! To find more about information about World Book Day, National Book Tokens and more exciting ways to celebrate this amazing day, click the website link: http://www.worldbookday.com/

    Written for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2019

    The post Nannies and Families Celebrate World Book Day appeared first on Harmony at Home.


    Our top wooden toy gifts for Christmas 2018

    Looking for top wooden toy gifts for Christmas? We have cherry picked the best eco friendly wooden toys for children, from our in house boutique. Christmas is a few weeks away and gifts are flying off the shelves. Time to do some online shopping. Struggling to find the perfect gift? Harmony at Home Children’s Eco The post Our top wooden toy gifts for Christmas 2018 appeared first on Harmony at...

    Looking for top wooden toy gifts for Christmas? We have cherry picked the best eco friendly wooden toys for children, from our in house boutique.

    Christmas is a few weeks away and gifts are flying off the shelves. Time to do some online shopping. Struggling to find the perfect gift? Harmony at Home Children’s Eco Boutique has fantastic gifts for children of all ages. We specialise in personalised wooden toys. Making every toy special, unique and long-lasting.

    We have provided you with a list of our bestsellers, perfect for Christmas 2018.

    Gifts for animal lovers!

    Wooden rabbit hutch: suitable for ages 3+ years. A gorgeous wooden hutch, which comes with a fluffy bunny, a carrot, cabbage, water bottle, brush and removable ramp.  This hutch can also be made extra special with personalisation. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-rabbit-hutch/

     

    Animal Stacking Game: perfect for little ones. A fun game, which enhances hand to eye co-ordination. It is made with beautiful bright coloured woodland creatures. The aim of the game is to stack the woodland creatures on the 3 wooden pegs. This present can be personalised. Suitable for either genders and suitable for 12 months+. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/personalised-animal-stacking-game/

    Wooden vet kit: suitable for 3years+. This wooden Vet Kit includes 7 different items to help get the bunny back on its paws. There are tweezers, a syringe, thermometer, 2 x bottles of medicine, a tube of ointment and a stethoscope. All of the pieces, including the bunny, fit inside the case- making this a great toy to take when traveling. Can be personalised. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/personalised-wooden-vet-kit/

     

    Wooden farm set: suitable for 3years+. This farm set has all your expected animals you see on a farm- horse, sheep, cow, pig, duck and chicken along with a farmer and his wife. It also includes a wooden fence and two trees to complete the farm scene. The farm house doors open to add extra fun when playing and all items can be stored safely inside once finished playing. Can be personalised when requested. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/personalised-wooden-farm-set/

    Wooden pull along tractor: suitable for 12months+. Comes complete with a detachable trailer and farm animals.  A Pig, Horse, Cow, hay bale and milk churn are all included and fit onto the back of the trailer. The wooden tractor has rubber wheel coverings making it slide easily and smoothly across the floor. Pull it along the floor with the red string attached to the front of the tractor, or little ones can just push it along instead. Plenty of hours of fun will be had with this toy. Can also be personalised. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-pull-along-tractor/

    Gifts for 1year+

    Wooden bear walker: perfect for children that are learning to walk and wanting to play and develop at the same time. It helps enhance all stages of development. As well as doubling up into a toy box. This walker can be made extra special with personalisation. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-bear-walker/

     

    Cascading wooden cars: Suitable for 2years+. Cascading Wooden Cars is a fun game, Watch the four coloured cars zoom down the track. Tiny hands can put the cars back to the top to see another exciting race! This game can also be personalised, to make car lovers dreams come true. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/cascading-wooden-cars/

    Gifts for age 3years+

    Wooden popcorn machine: suitable for children age 3+ years. Great for children’s imaginations. Pull the side handle down to make the popcorn pop and bounce around. Then open the front and pour the popcorn into a classic wooden striped popcorn basket. With cut out tickets, people can come and purchase your special popcorn when playing. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-popcorn-machine/

     

    Wooden chess and checkers: suitable for 6years+. A perfect travel game. This game turns form a case to a chess and checkers board game. This game can also be personalised if you wish. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-chess-checkers/

     

     

     

    DIY wooden Christmas tree: suitable for 4+ years. Get festive this Christmas with this DIY tree. Colour or paint the wooden Christmas tree sections to make your 3D tree. Then thread the coloured beads and the extra wooden items such as the stocking and candy canes to decorate and complete the tree. Made from wood, with wooden beads and nylon string. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/diy-wooden-christmas-tree-kit/

     

    Wild animal bookends: This lovely set of Wild Animal Bookends will be a bright and colourful addition to any child’s bedroom or playroom. They feature friendly looking animals, with butterflies mounted on springs for extra fun. They have non-scratch bottoms, and personalisation is available. Great for any book lover. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wild-animal-bookends/

     

    Song bird musical box: suitable for 3years+. This musical box is decorated with a bird theme. Open up the lid to find a bird dancing to Le temps des cerises by Antoine Renard. Inside there’s plenty of room for necklaces, bracelets and much more! Can also be personalised. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/song-bird-musical-box/

    The post Our top wooden toy gifts for Christmas 2018 appeared first on Harmony at Home.


    Nannies & Parents keep your children safe on the Internet!

    With the online world becoming a prominent part of children’s lives today and the age of children using the internet is getting younger. Popular games on the internet are resulting in children becoming vulnerable when at home. Because of this, Harmony at Home have created this quick guide to keeping children safe online, as it The post Nannies & Parents keep your children safe on the Internet! appeared first on Harmony at...

    With the online world becoming a prominent part of children’s lives today and the age of children using the internet is getting younger. Popular games on the internet are resulting in children becoming vulnerable when at home. Because of this, Harmony at Home have created this quick guide to keeping children safe online, as it is very important that both parents and nannies are aware of the possible internet misuse.

    Varying concerns of child safety:

    Communication between players when gaming: players can chat to each other via microphones, headsets and messaging. Children can talk to peers from school but can also talk to strangers. Although speaking over the internet can be innocent, it can lead to cyberbullying or sexual misuse by strangers.

    In-app purchasing: children can easily purchase different products and game upgrades, such as ‘skins’, without realising they are spending money. Leading to large bills on parents’ accounts. Parents are no longer in control of their finances as innocent gaming can lead to large payments.

    Addictive nature of the game: arguably children are staying up all night to play their game and falling asleep in lessons. It has been argued that long sessions of game play is due to games evolving and being able to play with friends. Resulting in children becoming addicted to the continually new elements of their favourite games.

    When should you report internet misuse?

    If you’re worried that your child is being groomed online or sexually exploited, you should report your concerns to CEOP.

    It is not necessarily easy to spot the signs of your child being groomed/sexually exploited. Therefore if you have any concerns you should call 999 or contact CEOP as soon as possible.

    You should always report to CEOP if your child is or has been in contact with someone who is:

    • Chatting online to your child about sex
    • Asking them to do sexual things
    • Asking to meet up if they’ve only met them online
    • Requesting sexual pictures
    • Forcing them into sexual activity
    • Making them feel unsafe

    CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency and can investigate what is happening – your children’s safety and wellbeing is paramount. You can make a report to CEOP using the CEOP Safety Centre. https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre

    FORTNITE

    The current popular online game is Fortnite, the game gives you the option to play singular or as a duo. The aim of the game is to be the last person (or duo) standing in a post-apocalyptic world. Fortnite: Battle Royale, sees up to 100 players pitted against each other to stay alive on an island. Players can build and demolish structures, and collect weapons, supplies and armour to help them along the way. Players shoot each other using a range of lethal weapons, but the brightly-coloured, cartoon-style graphics and lack of bloodshed mean it doesn’t feel too gory or graphic.

    To play, the age recommendation is 12 and above due to ‘mild violence’, although you don’t have to provide your age when creating an account, so younger children can still log on easily.

    Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to download on PC/Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch and iOS devices (Apple phones and tablets). It’s coming to Android soon.

    It has about 45 million monthly users worldwide including the England football team, who reportedly played it in their World Cup downtime.

    ROBLOX

    Roblox is a popular online game, with players as young as 5 year olds. There are over 15 million games created by users, individuals can learn and play with their friends in a family-friendly, immersive, 3D environment. Roblox can be accessed on different devices, resulting in children being able to play with anyone wherever they are. Although family-friendly, there is always a chance that strangers can connect with younger children on these different devices.

    How can I keep my children safe?

    Parental controls on the gaming device: most devices have options to set time limits on game play, set age limits for content and also restrict those in-app purchases.

    You can visit the website ‘ask about games’ for links to detailed instructions on the device your child uses – the site covers Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple and Android phones, and Nintendo Switch. Ask About Games

    www.askaboutgames.com/advice/parental-controls

    The battles in Fortnite roughly late 20 minutes. Having this idea on how long a game lasts means you can set time limits for matches rather than a set number of hours. Resulting in your children not fixating on how long they can play.

    Turn off the voice chat feature: Speak to your child to make sure they know this feature exists and encourage them to use the options below if they encounter someone who is offensive or inappropriate.

    You can disable the voice chat function in the game if you:

    • Open the settings menu (the 3 lines on the right-hand-side of the screen), then choose the ‘cog’ icon
    • Select the ‘audio’ tab
    • You should be able to turn off ‘voice chat’ by tapping the arrows next to it

    You can also ‘mute’ individual players in the game by:

    • Pausing the game
    • Hovering over the player you wish to mute
    • Selecting the mute button (a loudspeaker icon)

    Make sure your child knows how to report inappropriate behaviour:

    You or your child can report players who make them uncomfortable using the in-game feedback tool (located in the main menu).

    You can also use the ‘support’ section of the Epic Games site (the makers of Fortnite). You’re asked to select the platform you play the game on, the game mode you’re playing, and then you can select ‘report player’. You can provide more detail such as the player’s name and attach a screenshot.

    Support, Epic Games

    https://fortnitehelp.epicgames.com/customer/portal/emails/new?b_id=9729&q=email+us

    What else can I do?

    • You can download and play the game to help you understand it
    • Talk to your child about what they’re doing online, and make sure they know they can talk to you about anything that has upset them
    • Check your bank statements and gaming system account balance regularly to look for in-app purchases you’re not happy with, and to make sure your child isn’t getting around any passwords you’ve set up

    The post Nannies & Parents keep your children safe on the Internet! appeared first on Harmony at Home.


    November is Safeguarding Month

    November is Safeguarding Month. Nannies must follow child safeguarding guidelines, as it is important to ensure that all children are safe and protected correctly. Safeguarding guidelines are important among organisations, such as schools. However, it is just as important for nannies to understand the importance of safeguarding. Therefore, please help spread the word throughout November, The post November is Safeguarding Month appeared first on Harmony at...

    November is Safeguarding Month.

    Nannies must follow child safeguarding guidelines, as it is important to ensure that all children are safe and protected correctly. Safeguarding guidelines are important among organisations, such as schools. However, it is just as important for nannies to understand the importance of safeguarding. Therefore, please help spread the word throughout November, to ensure that all children are protected and treated fairly throughout the UK.

    Safeguarding means:

    • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
    • preventing harm to children’s health or development
    • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
    • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes

    As well as this, nannies that are aware of the safeguarding guidelines can enhance child protection among individuals that have been identified as suffering from harm or preventing individuals suffering from harm.

    We want to ensure that all nannies are aware of the importance of safeguarding and follow the guidelines set. There are many sites and resources to keep you in the loop about the proper procedure, one being the NSPCC website

    Further your knowledge

    Become Level 2 qualified and Harmony at Home accredited by completing our Child Protection training.

    Support and promote Safeguarding throughout November

    Furthermore, the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board have created “What Safeguarding Children Means to me” speech bubbles. Print out the speech bubbles, take a picture of you and your speech bubble, send to the West Sussex board and these will be displayed throughout November to raise awareness. For more information, please follow the link >> http://www.westsussexscb.org.uk/2018/09/november-will-be-safeguarding-month/

    The post November is Safeguarding Month appeared first on Harmony at Home.


    Halloween must haves!

    Halloween is only two weeks away!!  The leaves are changing and falling off trees. Pumpkins are out in full force and shops are filled with tasty treats. This Halloween, Harmony at Home Children’s Eco Boutique (in Worthing and online on Notonthehighstreet) have some great Halloween accessories and costumes to make children look extra special. Whether The post Halloween must haves! appeared first on Harmony at...

    Halloween is only two weeks away!! 

    The leaves are changing and falling off trees. Pumpkins are out in full force and shops are filled with tasty treats.

    This Halloween, Harmony at Home Children’s Eco Boutique (in Worthing and online on Notonthehighstreet) have some great Halloween accessories and costumes to make children look extra special. Whether they want to dress scary, pretty or funky, we have some great ideas for you.

    Looking to make your children’s outfits extra special?

    We have the best ‘trick or treat’ bags to fill with sweets. These bags come in either orange or black, with a spiderweb decoration and the option of being personalised. Plus, they are reusable and easy to store away till next year. A great addition to any Halloween outfit. https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/harmonyathomechildrensboutique/product/happy-halloween-trick-or-treat-bags

    Searching for the perfect Halloween Tutu?

    This orange and black beautiful tutu is great for parties and Halloween night. With super soft satin topper and a matching bow, this multi-layered skirt is super bouncy and fun. Available in medium (age 2-4) or large (age 4-8). It can be used repeatedly, for many parties and Halloween nights to follow. https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/harmonyathomechildrensboutique/product/halloween-animal-costumes-for-children

    Go in store or order online as soon as possible, Halloween is only two weeks away!

    The post Halloween must haves! appeared first on Harmony at Home.


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