Families in New York City will never run out of fun things to do outside in the winter. For many people, ice skating is at the top of the list. The best outdoor skating rinks are at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park (free if you bring your own skates), the Wollman Rink near the Zoo in Central Park, the Lasker Rink in the pretty northern end of the park, and two rinks in Brooklyn that are brand new this winter — one at the McCarren Park Pool at the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and the other in Prospect Park’s new $74 million entertainment complex, which also includes a second skating rink that is covered. When the city is blanketed with a fresh snowfall, grab your sleds and head for Central Park, a golf course in the outer boroughs, or one of the Parks Department’s official sledding locations: Crotona Park in the Bronx, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Juniper Valley Park, or Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island. If you need help with the kids, a NY Nanny Agency can find the best caregiver match for you, whether you need help just for the winter or all year round.
The recent blizzard, followed by a “polar vortex” of below-freezing temperatures left plenty of nannies and babysitters in NYC stuck indoors with their charges. Instead of letting the computer or television keep the kids entertained and engaged, try a fun activity the next time winter weather means a day spent inside. Check out these suggestions from our NY nanny agency.
Brighten up the kids’ day with face painting. Invest in several different colors of face paint, and a book showing you how to do basic designs. If your charges are older, let them paint each other’s faces or your own face. Since the activity can get a bit messy, remember to have paper towels and moistened face wipes at the ready.
Spark the kids’ creativity and use old magazines (that their parents say are OK to cut up) to make collages. Help younger children cut out pictures and words that they like, then arrange them on posterboard or a sheet of paper. Use a glue stick or white glue to secure the pictures to the paper or posterboard.
If the kids are cooped up inside too long, they can get antsy. Yoga’s a great way to get some physical activity in, in a confined space. Lay out mats or towels, then lead them through a few simple poses.
Nanny agency Penelope’s People helps you find a nanny or babysitter to entertain and care for your children during winter weather and beyond.
In-home senior care has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially as more baby boomers have moved into the caregiver role. Allowing a loved one to “age in place” offers significant advantages over institutionalized care, especially when you’re able to partner with a reliable and skilled nanny agency that’s experienced in providing state-of-the-art compassionate senior care. Here are a few of those advantages:
- It can reduce anxiety: Relocating is always stressful, but especially so for seniors. By allowing your loved one to remain in their home, you eliminate the stress and even depression with which many seniors struggle when placed in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
- Care can be customized: When you work with a caregiver like the experts at Penelope’s People, you have the opportunity to fine-tune many care options to suit the unique needs of your loved one – an option generally not available in healthcare facilities.
- It’s cost-effective: Nursing home care is costly, which means your loved one’s resources can quickly be depleted. In-home care allows your loved one to retain autonomy and avoid draining a lifetime’s savings.
Penelope’s People is a leading NY nanny agency specializing in skilled senior care. Give a call today at (212) 444-1313 to learn how you can help your loved one age in place and avoid the stress of leaving their home behind.
Being a parent or guardian is hard work, and it is hard to always be there when your child needs help and guidance. Many parents choose to get the support of a nanny in order to see that their children are looked after when they can’t be there. But of course, no one wants to leave their child with just anyone. Many things need to be considered to assure that you are hiring the right nanny for your family.
Setting priorities and identifying expectations is the first thing to consider before setting up interviews with potential nannies. Do you want assurance that television or computer limits will be enforced or that your kids get involved with sports or other organized activities? If so, you will need to make sure that your nanny will abide by your guidelines when he or she is caring for your child.
Safety is always a priority for every parent, so no matter how good of an impression you might get from an interview, before making the final decision it’s important to verify references and the background of your nanny candidate. One way to get help with this aspect of the selection process is to work with a reputable agency, such as Penelope’s People in New York City, that represent a range of caregivers, and do thorough reference and background checks on individuals they are involved with.
Whoever you hire, it is important to develop a strong yet professional relationship with your child’s nanny so that no secrets are kept, and you are always in the loop when it comes to your child’s life. Your own instincts are important as well, if the time comes where a nanny is not a good fit for your family, it’s time to consider other possible options for your child’s care.
In the past few years, the amount of overweight children in the United States has increased dramatically. 20 years ago, around 5% of 4 and 5 year olds were overweight. Today, that number has doubled. Nowadays, for ages 6 to 11, one child in five is overweight. Generally, youth obesity is a result of unhealthy eating habits and a lack of physical activity.
Fortunately, there are steps a parent can take to help their children achieve and maintain a heavy weight. Below, we’ll outline a few helpful hints for parents from our NYC nannies.
- Become an Expert! Research health foods to figure out what your children should be eating. Be sure to have a thorough understanding of what a proper portion size is.
- Clean House! Clean out the junk food in your house (or at least, most of it. A cookie once in awhile is not going to hurt anyone.). Empty calories can cause sluggishness and overeating. It’s best to keep junk food out of sight and out of mind so your children won’t be tempted to indulge.
- Lead By Example! Encouraging your children to live a healthy lifestyle will be easier if they see you doing it. Eat healthy meals and exercise on a regular basis.
The nannies and New York City babysitters at Penelope’s People are devoted to helping NYC parents give their children the best care possible. Learn more about our New York nanny agency by visiting us online at www.PenelopesPeople.com.
Children’s movies have become so much more appreciated in recent years that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began awarding Oscars for the Best Animated Feature in 2001. The 12 winners in chronological order were Shrek, Spirited Away, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Happy Feet, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Rango, and Brave.
Selecting which of the above movies to watch is difficult, but many people who have worked as nannies for Penelope’s People, a nanny agency, have spent enough time with children to know which children’s movies hold their attention. Here are four of the best.
* SHREK (2001): This movie was so good that it has had three sequels. It was so good that it received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, competing with four movies for adults in a category that was won by “A Beautiful Mind.” It was so good that the title character Shrek has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This movie has great computer animation, a great fantasy plot, and great actors, including Mike Myers (Shrek), Eddie Murphy (the donkey), and John Lithgow (the villain.)
* FINDING NEMO (2003): Do kids love cartoon animals? You will find out that they do when the story about them is extremely well written. Nemo is a child clownfish played by Alexander Gould. Nemo is abducted and his father, played by famed comic actor Albert Brooks, and a surgeonfish played by Ellen DeGeneres looks for him. On their respective trips, they encounter sharks, turtles, pelicans, seahorses, and all sorts of other fish.
* RATATOUILLE (2007): “He’s dying to become a chef,” is the tagline on the movie poster. The movie is about a rat played by Patton Oswalt who seeks to become a chef with the assistance of a garbage boy at a restaurant in Paris played by Lou Romano. And yes the rat cooks ratatouille, which is a French cuisine. Also: The movie’s music is so good that the movie received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.
* TOY STORY 3 (2010): This sequel was so good that it became the third animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar following Up and Beauty and the Beast and 262 of 264 movie critics surveyed by the Rotten Tomatoes website gave it a positive review. The plot is about toys who are worried because their owner is now going to college. Hilarity ensues. The primary actors from Toy Story and Toy Story 2 return, including Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), and Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head).
Yes, it’s true. The babysitters at Penelope’s People can write movie reviews!!
Ah, the holiday season. While it’s a great opportunity to connect with your family, the holiday season is a notoriously stressful time of year for parents. Young kids tend to get overexcited during the holiday season, which can cause them to act out or simply become hyperactive. At Penelope’s People, we’re in the business of making the lives of NYC parents as easy as possible. That’s why we’re sharing an idea for a fun, not messy, Thanksgiving activity that will help keep your kids entertained (and quiet!) while you’re preparing for the festivities.
Let the little ones make a Thanksgiving mural! All you need is a poster board, some old magazines, safety scissors, glue, and markers, crayons, or colored pencils. Talk to your kids about what it means to be thankful. You can give them some ideas by suggesting food, friends, family, or their favorite toys or books. At the top of the mural, write “We Are Thankful For…” and have them cut out pictures from the magazines or draw pictures of things they’re grateful for. Depending on how many kids are in the family, or how old the kids are, it might be a better idea to have them make their own individual murals instead of one.
If you’re in need of a little extra help with the kids around the house, either for the holiday season or year-round, find out about the childcare options available from our NYC nanny agency at PenelopesPeople.com.
“Helicopter parenting,” also commonly referred to as “over-parenting,” is a parenting style that became popular in the mid-nineties. It is a style of child-rearing that involves being overly attentive to your children by removing obstacles and solving problems for them. The first generation of kids who were over-parented are beginning to enter the adult world, and studies show that the kids have grown into self-obsessed, nervous young adults who have had trouble dealing with any obstacles that come their way.
What’s so wrong about being invested in your children’s lives? Nothing, as long as you set limits for yourself. Teach your kids responsibility by actively deciding when to let your kids solve their own problems rather than intervene. It’s difficult to let your children suffer failure, but it’s necessary for their growth. Children who fail become more competent and develop more age-appropriate skills than those who don’t. Although it might seem helpful to solve your children’s problems for them, it undermines them and prevents them from realizing their full potential.
At Penelope’s People, we take nanny selection very seriously. As a result, our staff is made up of caring, experienced nannies who see childcare as more than a profession. Our main priority is to make the lives of Manhattan parents as easy as possible. This also means ensuring that our nannies are both affordable and trustworthy.
Every single nanny who works for Penelope’s People has to go through a very intense screening process. We do a detailed review of a person’s past experience, phone interviews, a series of face-to-face interviews, thorough background checks, and an in-depth personality assessment before hiring any nanny. This ensures that any and all of our clients will be matched with an exceptional caregiver.
Most of our caregivers are CPR- and first-aid-certified, with years of experience in the field and a wide range of skills. Varied backgrounds, including music and child psychology, provide unique, healthy environments for your children. Whatever your family needs, the staff at Penelope’s People can provide.
To quote the lovable Ned Stark, “Winter is coming.” And that means some days it’s just going to be too cold for kids to play outside. At Penelope’s People, our NYC nannies and babysitters believe that engaging in imaginative play is important for children. When it’s cold outside, your kids don’t have to spend time watching television or playing video or computer games. Below is a list of fun ways kids can spend their time when they’re trapped inside.
- Slow-Motion Tag: This game is best for the younger set. Simply chase your kids around the house in slow motion. Not only is it safe, kids think it’s hilarious.
- Make a Marshmallow Town: All you’ll need are some marshmallows (you don’t need different sizes, but we find it’s more fun with a combination of jumbo marshmallows and mini marshmallows) and either thin pretzels or toothpicks. Your kids can make buildings, tiny people, or anything they can imagine.
- Set Up a Bowling Alley: All you need are empty water bottles and a rubber ball!
- Build a Fort: This is a classic for a reason. Let kids use their imaginations to create a whole new world with pillows, blankets, and chairs.
The NYC babysitters, nannies, and household managers understand that juggling a career with parenting can be difficult, particularly when the kids are trapped indoors. Learn more about our services by visiting us online at www.PenelopesPeople.com.