Adventures in Childcare

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100’s of things to do with toilet rolls

When I have some time, I like to browse on pinterest.  I think that if I had much more time on my hands I would be doing a lot more browsing!  If you want to follow me, go here 🙂

After finding a huge stash of collected toilet roll inners, I was wondering what on earth I could do with them besides the usual (I use them to start off my seeds so I don’t disturb the seedling roots when I transplant them like this)  So, Google and Pinterest it was!  I found loads of ideas.  Some of my favourites are these:


Make little owls:  I love owls!

Bird houses:  Could also be made into little fairy houses or somehow incorporate a candle for a pretty night-time effect.

Have your toddlers practise threading:  I’ll be trying this one with my daughter this week.  Use tape to make the end of the wool firm.

Pretty jewelry or decorations:

Stamping:  Make your own wrapping paper 🙂

And these are just gorgeous:



Another link with some ideas:

Aaaah Pinterest! lol




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Chocolate Quinoa cake

OK, so this one I haven’t tried yet, but I have been told by someone I trust to know about these things that it is yummy and I do inted to try it, when I have a weekend free!  So, here it is.  If you’re looking for something grain free, give it  go.  Can easily be dairy and sugar free too if you swap the milk for rice or soya milk and the sugar for xylitol.


Made from quinoa and more like a brownie, this cake is gluten-free and completely delicious.


  • 2/3 c. (150 ml) white or golden quinoa
  • 1 1/3 c. (340 ml) water
  • 1/3 c. (90 ml) milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. (170 g) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 c. (375 ml) white or cane sugar
  • 1 c. (250 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7.5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) salt


  • Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups (500 ml) of cooked quinoa and the butter and blend until smooth.
  • Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the centre oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan before serving. Add icing if desired. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month. Serves 8 to 16.

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Monthly Kit Club thru Edu-Kits

Have you lovely people seen this: Monthly Kit Club

I think it is an awesome idea.  Being at home all day with little ones is tiring sometimes.  Our brains are marvellous  but sometimes they need a bit of a helping hand to think of something fun and creative and educational to do.

When I work with little people, I like to have a theme to follow, these kits will give you an activity as well as supplemental activity ideas depending on the age of the child and the kit you sign up for.  You can build on each activity by adding in activities, outings, crafts, baking etc that will enrich your charges learning.  What a bonus for the parents, not only is their child being lovingly cared for at home, but also learning through fun activities every day.  And once you’re done, may I suggest you make a note of the activities you did and file it away.  Soon, you will have an amazing resource of child-friendly fun at your fingertips.

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10 ways to entertain kids on a rainy day

* bundle up and go for a walk.  Splash in as many puddle as possible!

* go for a drive to find the end of the rainbow.

* use old apple boxes and paper plates to make cars.   Make popcorn, choose a move and go to the ‘drive-in’ in the lounge.

* snuggle up with hot chocolate and read books till everyone falls asleep.

* close the curtains and play with torches.

* build a fort from bed linen and furniture.

* play hide-and-seek on tip-toes

* bake bread

* have an ever-lasting bubble bath.  Add glitter 🙂

* make pizza or soup from scratch


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Back to reality!

Well, it’s the 10th January already, I had hoped to get this posted before but what with recovering from Christmas and getting kids ready for school and getting back into routine and supporting my cousin through the end of her pregnancy and the start of her labour, time just slipped away!


Many aupairs start new positions at this time of year.  Children are going back to school and parents realise that they need an extra set of hands and wheels to manage the busy social and educational lives of their ‘mini-me’s’.  Many aupairs have never done this before.  They might have baby sat or helped out with younger siblings, many are studying, but nothing can really prepare you for the reality of working with young children until you’re in the deep end.

Working as an aupair isn’t just about playing with children. As much as we don’t like to think about it as a job, it is one, and as such we are employees with right and responsibilities.

One of the most important things you should do when considering being an aupair is to make sure your reasons are good.  Not for easy pay, not because you cannot get any other job, but because you truly do like working with children.    You should also make a list of what is most important to you in a job, what age groups are you comfortable caring for, what hours are you happy to work, what type of income do you need?

Then there’s interviews.  ALWAYS interview.  You cannot start a position without knowing something about it and the family you will be working for.  Ask to meet the children.  Ask about the children! (you would be surprised how many people forget to speak about the children!  No point in taking a job if all they want to do is play soccer and you prefer knitting.)  Once you’ve accepted a position, get a contract or work agreement.  This should protect both parties equally.   Your contract should detail your hours, your pay (per hour or salary), your overtime, HOW and WHEN you will be paid, your duties (in detail, and little things like are you expected to answer the house phone? are you expected to sign for deliveries? are you supposed to hand wash or stack dishes in the dishwasher?), your leave (by law, you are allowed paid holiday leave, paid sick leave, paid family responsibility leave etc and don’t forget to have maternity leave written into your contract as you never know what will happen (you’re allowed 4 months unpaid time off and your job waiting for you), your re-imbursement for any job related driving that you do, discipline measures, notice periods, are you expected to use your personal cell-phone for work related calls? If so, how will you be re-imbursed, if you drive a lot for work, will they consider paying for your car to be valeted every few months, will they contribute to your AA memberhip?, if you use their car, what happens if you have an accident? Who pays the deductable?…anything you can think of.

Here is a link to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.  Your contract cannot over-ride these conditions.  And once the formalities are all in place, relax and enjoy being paid to play 🙂 knowing that if an issue crops up, it should be covered by your contract and should be quickly and easily sorted out.