A lot of today’s working parents have no choice but to leave their kids under the care of a nanny, or yaya, as they are mostly called. Since your children will be spending a lot of their waking hours with Yaya, why not make the most out of their time together and make Yaya one of your kids’ “homeschool” teachers?Here are a few tips to help you out: (But remember, PARENTS are the child’s FIRST and BEST teachers. Don’t use yaya’s willingness to “teach” as an excuse to not spend time with your kids.)
1. Basics of Safety and Hygiene. Teaching our children, especially the younger ones, about basic safety rules at home helps lay the foundation for them to be safety-savvy even when outside the home. Remind your nanny to remind your kids about the basics – no holding or walking around with sharp objects, stay away from electrical outlets, no picking up food after it has fallen on to the floor, no running up the stairs, no handling of hot drinks, etc. This kind of practical education will go a long way in keeping your precious kids safe and healthy.
Basic personal hygiene is also something that yaya can teach the kids, like washing one’s hands before and after meals, after playing outdoors and using the toilet, covering one’s nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with the inner side of one’s elbow (see picture below), etc.
Needless to say though, Yaya herself should practice good hygiene and the basic safety rules. This will help your family be healthier and happier in the long run.
2. Play and Learn. If you are blessed to have a nanny who is fulltime in caring for your kids (i.e. she does not have any other housework to do), encourage her to play games with your children. Classic Filipino games like “Eat.. Bulaga!” (“Peekaboo!” for those who prefer the English version ?), “Nanay, Tatay, Gusto Kong Tinapay” and “Sawsaw Suka” are simple games that stimulate the learning of language and movement of body parts (mostly the hands). If Yaya is willing to learn some English games, songs and fingerplays, this site is a good source: http://www.songsforteaching.com/fingerplays/index.htm.
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