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Podcasts! For Your Children, Nannies & You!

We live in a digital world. It’s 2018 and some can argue that technology now runs our lives. It’s a common idea that too much technology, such as cell phone use or television, is bad for you. Yet, what if you used that same cellphone with children to promote learning instead of a technological dependency? In this blog post we will observe how listening to podcasts with children can benefit them in different ways. Podcasts have recently began to gain popularity according to reports by both Edison Research, Triton Digital and BI Intelligence. Edison Research and Triton Digital have found that most listeners fall in the range of 18-34 year olds. Yet, the topics presented by podcasts range on a broad spectrum, covering something for every interest and every age. The advantages offered can be seen through engaging imagination, strengthening active listening and generating new knowledge, which are great tools to use especially with children.

The hosts paint pictures with their words, allowing a child’s mind to run wild with imagination and creativity. Instead of being over stimulated by pictures, colors and sounds, children are able to relax a bit more and focus on where their creativity takes them. The best way to compare engaging one’s imagination through a podcast would be to think back on a time that you were listening to someone telling a story. They’re providing details about the setting and describing the event, leaving you to do the rest and visualize what is happening. The importance of engaging and activating the imagination should not be taken lightly.

In an article featured on the Global Digital Citizen Foundation’s website, they outline why creativity is as important as knowledge when it comes to education. They suggest that creative thinkers are more likely to think outside the box. They wouldn’t be limited with the possibility of failure. Creative thinkers are able to view the world differently. It becomes full of opportunities as they challenge and explore everything around them. Promoting these skills in children has become easier when provided with podcasts that fit into your child’s routine. They’ll be able to grow their minds without having the stress of a school classroom or lecture. Podcast listening can also help your child become a better active listener.

Active listening is an extremely important skill that can often be forgotten or neglected. Even as adults, many people can lack this because we’re constantly multitasking. If we struggle with this as adults, you can only imagine how hard it must be for children to hone in on active listening when their imaginations and minds are running at a million miles a minute. Podcasts are able to offer one solution to this problem. When listening to a podcast, people are required to focus their attention on the information being pumped through the speakers or earbuds. From what I have observed, an average children’s podcast usually doesn’t exceed around twenty-five minutes. This time frame is great for keeping children engaged without over exhausting their mental focus.

When one is proficient or advanced at active listening they’ll be able to concentrate, understand and respond, to whatever it is that they’re listening to: be it a teacher lecturing or a casual conversation with a friend. Concentration also takes patience and as the saying goes, “patience is a virtue.” This is a quality all too hard to find now in our technological world of instant gratification. Luckily, we’re able to use technology to fight back at the same battles it has created.

I’ve created a list of six podcasts to serve as a sort of “beginners guide” to help you get started. You’ll find a link to each throughout this post. Those listed, range from being geared towards: children, to nannies, and finally mothers. Each podcast listed follows a consistent posting schedule. Aside from looking forward to new content weekly or biweekly, you will be able to back track and listen to any of the older episodes in their series. Additionally, these are all available free of charge. From my experience I haven’t found many podcasts that charge a subscription fee. If they do charge, it’s often for access to exclusive content, or the series may only be available for streaming on paid networks such as Sirius XM.

The first three podcasts I’ll mention are But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids, Wow in the World and Circle Round. All three of these can be found on NPR’s website and on iTunes.

 

  • But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/474377890/but-why-a-podcast-for-curious-kids

The first mentioned, But Why, explores topics ranging from science, to culture and society. What makes it even more unique are that the guiding questions that spark their exploration, are submitted by their audience. This means that if your little one isn’t able to find an episode they like, they can make their own suggestions. That’s pretty cool, right?

  • Wow in the World

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510321/wow-in-the-world

Similar to the previous podcast, Wow in the World combines “scientific research and fun” to create content that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Each episode provides an avenue to explore global science and technology news. It’s a great way for children to learn about the world around them.

  • Circle Round

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/532788972/circle-round

The third NPR podcast, Circle Round, takes a different approach to its content. Rather than focusing on facts, each episode features engaging folktales. These tales are geared towards introducing topics centered around inclusivity. They’re created with the whole family in mind, so everyone can enjoy.

 

The next three listed are not affiliated with NPR.

  • Bedtime.fm

https://bedtime.fm/peaceout

Bedtime.fm offers two different series on their website, Story Time and Peace Out. As you can infer from the name, Story Time creates content for toddlers from two years old up to children nearing their tween years. Peace Out also uses storytelling, but in a different way. Each episode helps children focus on relaxation and mindfulness by using breathing exercises and visualization. Peace Out was my personal favorite, play it for your children right before naptime or bedtime to receive second hand relaxation!

  • Practically Perfect

http://practicallyperfect.libsyn.com/

As advertised on their website, this podcast is created for nannies by nannies. The content covers a range of interesting and relevant topics. One of their most recent episodes revolves around self-care, something that everyone needs more of!

  • The Mom Hour

http://lifelistened.com/category/mom-hour/

Last, but most definitely not least, The Mom Hour was created by two mothers. You can tune in and listen to Megan and Sarah, as they post weekly shows to help you on your journey throughout motherhood. Unlike most other podcasts, Mom Hour is not available on iTunes, but can be downloaded for offline listening directly from their website.

It is no surprise that at times it can be difficult to try out something new with children. This is why one must give some planning and thought when it comes to the question of, “how do I introduce this?”. Here is the point at which you become an excellent marketer. Be prepared with a list of podcasts that may interest them. Luckily we’ve provided a list of four that are geared towards creating fun and exciting children’s content. This list can act as a base point, while the search for the perfect podcast becomes more unique.

Generate interest in the podcasts by giving enough information to spark their attention without spoiling the whole thing. For example, in one of the most recent episodes from But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids, they answer many questions regarding fish and the ocean. You may choose to introduce this episode by posing a question yourself, such as “Hey, I was wondering…how do fish swim while they sleep?”. Their curiosity is bound to take over and that’s when you’re able to swoop in with the perfect solution to the question (aka the podcast)! By the time the episode is finished they’ll want to continue onto the next one, and (unlike binge watching Netflix shows) this can be done guilt free because it provides benefits to its audience.

We’ve tackled the question of how to market and introduce podcasts to your children but there’s another issue that must be addressed. I’ve listed out six podcasts but you may be wondering, “how would I actually listen to these?”. Many podcasts, such as most of the ones listed, are actually easy to access, which means you’ll be more likely to utilize them. Most can be heard using: iTunes, android apps, or are available for download from the main website straight to your mobile device. The ease of access opens up many possibilities of when, where and how to listen. You will be in full control to create a listening schedule for yourself or the whole family; whether you download an episode for offline use on a long car ride, or stream via your home speakers through iTunes. Share how you will be planning to access episodes by commenting below!

As you’ve read, podcasts can offer various benefits and are able to target different audiences to do so. But, don’t just take my word for it! Open up your ears to give them a try and let me know what you think. Remember, the list of podcasts provided in this post are meant to acts as a guide. The only person who knows what your children, nannies, or you would enjoy best, is you! If you have specific interests that the podcasts listed don’t seem to touch on let me know; I’ll make an effort to find what you’re looking for.  Do you think this might be something you’ll likely try on your next long drive or are there any podcasts that you already listen to? Be sure to share your thoughts, questions and comments. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Resources:

Grinapol, Corinne. “Podcast Audience Continues to Rise According to Annual Report.” – Adweek, Adweek, 18 Apr. 2017, www.adweek.com/digital/podcast-audience-continues-to-rise-according-to-annual-report/ 

Meola, Andrew. “Podcasts are becoming more popular among listeners and advertisers.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 6 June 2016, www.businessinsider.com/podcasts-are-becoming-more-popular-among-listeners-and-advertisers-2016-6.

Watanabe-Crockett , Lee. “Why Is Imagination as Important as Knowledge in Education?” Global Digital Citizen Foundation, 13 Dec. 2017, globaldigitalcitizen.org/imagination-important-knowledge-education 

Wund3rKID

At Wund3rKID, we value play. Play that comes naturally to children because that’s what they love to do the most. During my experience as a nanny, I learned that young children play best when they are not rushed from one activity to another. They like to take their time, repeat the steps and then do it all over again! It may be frustrating for an adult to see this but not to the child. This experimental process of play leads to learning. An example of this is when I have observed children with a specific toy, a small wooden house with house numbers and metal keys attached to it. When the child is 1 year-old, they only grasp at the house and not much comes of the exposure. Then, when they are about 18-months and shown by an adult how to insert the keys into the house, they will also attempt to copy the adult and do just this! They may be able to get a key into place but have trouble turning it. Once they are closer to 2 years-old, they begin to recognize the numbers on the house and will begin to try to open the doors for an extended period of time. They may be able to open some doors or none at all! And this is quite alright at Wund3rKID! The play experience we strive to provide to young children is just this type of experience!

Children impress us each day with their changing capabilities. The variety of classes we offer at Wund3rKID are offered to support SCEP- social, cognitive, emotional and physical development. Our two types of Art classes target different skills in children. ArtPlay helps children develop their fine-motor skills and Messy Play! allows children to use their sensorial skills. Teacher Robin from Messy Play! brings various activities including her very own Oobleck which is a wet, gooey substance! Not a favorite of mine but the kids sure love it! Teacher Adrienne from Mini Yoga really gets kids moving in the cutest way! Through downward dog, stretching and a little kid-style meditation- children begin to learn the basics of Yoga. I also love to hear the kids chant “Peace Begins with Me” throughout the week! Spanish for Tots is a popular class among children and families. Along with providing various activities for the children which include sorting vegetables, counting animals and art fun; Teacher Silvia also speaks Spanish to the children for the duration of the class. She has raised her three children to be fluent in Spanish so she knows just how to engage and immerse children in the language. Teacher Chaia brings the fun on Thursday mornings with her guitar and other special instruments for the children! Her latest treasure for the children are hand bells. It was clear the children felt really special to each have their very own hand bell for the class! Teacher Emily remains our first music teacher at Wund3rKID and is admired by the children. Her mix of classic and new songs are so fun and hard to get out of our heads! We have members who remember the lyrics by heart and could probably act as substitutes for her! “Hot-cross buns”, anyone? Each of our teachers have unique traits which make them special to the children. I am grateful for them because they complement the team at Wund3rKID! While learning through explorative play is much valued here at Wund3rKID, classes have shown to be equally important for children. For example, members who attend our class on a weekly basis have seen the benefits. These benefits include increased verbal skills in children and the ability to consistently focus on an activity. We often think children have a short-attention span but it may actually be due to their lack of interest in an activity. This type of cognitive development seen from regular class attendance motivates children to communicate and connect with their caretakers in the classes.

Children also like sticking to a routine. Our classes are designed to help children adjust to a social setting and the more children attend them, the more it will help prepare them for a school setting. For example, a parent of a child who has begun preschool after being a member at Wund3rKID has expressed how much our classes has helped our child settle into his new school setting. The weekly occurrence and consistency of the classes have also familiarized children with our teachers and more.

Our membership program is valued by families to Wund3rKID. And we value our members! There are two different tiers of membership to our center. The Basic and Premium membership covers your entire family for unlimited drop-in play, snacks and also includes 4 hours of drop-off supervised play. The difference between them is with the Premium membership, you receive unlimited classes. That means you can take as many classes as you like! With the variety of classes we offer, each child in your family will find a class they enjoy. In addition to all the fun you just read about, we also host birthdays on the weekends. They are so much fun!

We look forward to seeing you at Wund3rKID for play, a class or for your child’s next birthday celebration!

Of Bullies & Bystanders

When I started The Nanny Love Facebook group I didn’t have a clear vision of what it would become. I knew it needed to be a place of community and camaraderie; one that promoted empowerment and being one’s own advocate.  I wanted it to be more than just social networking – instead, one that is full of love and respect, more like a family.  It also needed to be a safe place for thoughts, experiences and professional advice to be shared among co-workers. Better yet, shared among sisters and brothers.  The Nanny Love community grows by hard work and dedication. I pour myself into it – my energy, my love for people and my love for the nanny career. Along with being a stay at home mom, running The Nanny Love community is my full time job, I love doing it. As The Nanny Love began to grow rapidly I saw the need to make some guidelines to ensure that it stayed a positive and welcoming space, and to recruit a team to help manage it. With membership in the thousands, this meant thousands of ideas, perspectives, backgrounds, locations, minds and energies.  The Nanny Love team is tasked with carefully managing how all of that continues to flow, while trying to ensure that everyone remains kind, validating and supportive.  The Nanny Love is FULL of active, passionate and outspoken individuals.  Each and every one I am so thankful for.  Unfortunately, as with any community so large, both within TNL and beyond it within the larger nanny community, there are people who build themselves up by tearing others down.

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Chiropractic and Kids

As parents, we are on a never-ending quest to make our children healthier, stronger, smarter and more indestructible.  From kale-berry smoothies to kid yoga, what haven’t we investigated and tested on them?

For some of you, chiropractic for kids may be your quinoa. You’ve heard about it, but aren’t sure what it entails. Maybe you think it’s only for older people with back and neck pain.  Or maybe you’ve heard that it’s only for your budding athletes, who are getting a little too roughed up and tumbled on the field or court.

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Are You Ever Going To Get A Real Job?

“A Nanny? Why? Are you ever going to get a real job?”

I’m sure those are questions we are all used to hearing. I could go on about how being a Nanny is absolutely a “real job” and how 99% of the people who ask me that question couldn’t last a week doing what I do – but for now, I want to focus on the part that I came to terms with only a fairly recently: Why?

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Nanny Background Checks: Why TrustLine is the Gold Standard for California

Hiring a nanny is a process usually fraught with anxiety. Ideally, you want someone who shares your ideas on child rearing – everything from feeding times, play dates, naps, and discipline. It’s a big decision.

The more information you can gather about a potential nanny, the more educated your hiring decision will be. The final screening step, the background check, shouldn’t be skipped. The protection it brings your child and the peace of mind it will bring you is more than worth the cost.

The question is what company conducts background checks specifically for caregivers? Surely the background check that is conducted for construction workers is not the same as the one used for caregivers. The threshold should be more stringent.

So what are those background checks screening for?

Unfortunately, this is a question that most of us do not want to think about. We want to trust that the nanny is being honest when he/she says that they have a clean record or that the $29 online background check is thorough enough to flag the ‘really bad infractions’.

What if I were to tell you, research indicates that basic online background checks only have access to criminal information for 29/58 counties in California, and not even the Child Abuse Index?

Half of the counties in California, and not even the Child Abuse Index?

Is that what you thought you were getting? There is only one background check that is considered the gold standard for babysitters and nannies in California, and that is the TrustLine background check.

———If it’s not TrustLine, It’s Not the Whole Picture———

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Love, Honor & Nanny

I’ve always prided myself on being the best Military spouse I can be. My husband and I have literally been together since he started his career in the Navy, so I’ve done everything from writing letters daily in boot-camp, to volunteering on his FRG, to losing 50lbs while he was deployed so we could have one of those “HELL YES THAT’S MY WIFE” moments when he got home. I love being a wife and I love being my husband’s wife.

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Sharing (Y)Our Story

My twins start kindergarten next week.

As we engage in the back to school rituals – buying new clothes, finding the right backpack, adjusting to earlier bed times – my mind rewound the tape of my kids short lives and I lovingly lingered at every moment of their existence.

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My Interview with Jackie- www.faithfullnest.com

I was delighted when Jackie, who runs www.faithfullnest.com, reached out asking if she can interview me. Here is the interview! Please check out Jackie’s AMAZING blog- make sure your Nanny Parents check out her resourceful blog too!
XOXO Marie

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