Spotlight Sunday: Brianna

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Tell us about yourself!

My name is Brianna and I am 25. I am a Christian, teacher, and have been nanning for almost 5 years. I also run an online toy store The Creative Toy ShopAs a nanny I fell in love with the toys that we were sent as gift via Instagram and decided to start my own store.

(Note: You can follow Brianna on Instagram at @notesfromahomeeducator and her shop at @thecreativetoyshop).

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

I am a big believer in play-based learning and following a child’s interest. I now homeschool my 7 year old charge, who is a complete Toy Story addict, and also happens to be non-verbal and have Down Syndrome. My time with the boys has showed me the importance of being flexible. If a planned or spontaneous learning activity isn’t working – stop, make a change, or try something new. I plan a lot of sensory activities, play-based learning activities and always have space for interest-led activities.

What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

No two days are ever the same. Watching the children grow and learn new concepts and develop new skills is special each and every time. I love that we are privileged enough to guide children as they explore the world around them.  

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

At times the long hours can be difficult, but a majority of the time Sunday naps come to the rescue and I am ready for a new week.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nannying career?

Be willing to learn. I love to expand my skill set and have a serious addiction to buying books about teaching, raising children, and different approaches to learning.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I start at 8:30 – dress the boys and finish breakfast. Some days we have music lessons, swimming lessons, or Steiner playgroup. If it is a home day we have a morning learning session. B7 completes his school work and we do at least 1 art activity. This is also the time when I set up some our play based-learning activities. I then prepare lunch while the boys have free play. After lunch and when the baby is asleep, we have another school session. In this time we do activities that would take more time or concentration without bubba running around. The boys then have free play while the I clean up. I then bathe the boys before cooking dinner. The boys the eat dinner and I head home around 7pm.

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

Jeans and a t-shirt. Plus my favourite slippers all winter.

How do you wind down after a long day on the job?

Nextflix!!! I like to have dinner while watching one of my favorite shows before starting the work for my online store and packing orders.

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

Instagram has been one of my biggest sources of inspiration. There is a fantastic play based learning community there who share ideas for activities or play set ups.

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves! What are your favorite children’s books?

I spend way too much money on children’s books, but one of my favorites is In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek. And who doesn’t love Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek. It was the first book B7 learned to read and sign.

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