Meet Supermum Vicky from Boppin' Babies

 
Boppin Babies

Babies learn to understand through music long before they understand words. Through
cooing, lullabies, and humming, caregivers communicate with infants through
music every day whether they realise it or not. There have been many studies conducted suggesting that music positively effects linguistic, social, and cognitive development in children, further demonstrating the importance of music in our lives. 

I had the chance to interview Vicky, the founder and director of Boppin Babies in the midst
of her handing in her PhD paper- she's another incredible super-mum and local business
owner mini absolutely loves to support!

Vicky is a Registered Music Therapist and created Boppin' Babies as a music early learning program designed to harness the science of music therapy combined with the spontaneity of music and movement to empower parents to live a musical life with their babies.


What is music therapy, and how does it differ from music education?


I wouldn't call Boppin' Babies either.  We're somewhat in the middle of music therapy and music education. 

Music therapy is a research-based practice using a very specific plan with music as a treatment to sort through social and emotional issues. Music Therapy uses music in a planned way to help people reach their potential. Whereas music education teaches the learning of music. 

Infants are inherently sensitive to music so we don't teach an infant pitch or tonality, but we give parents the confidence to interact with their babies musically. 

I meet a lot of parents who aren't confident to use music. I see my main role is to empower and educate. Humans are engineered to interact musically with their babies. Parents who are attached to their child in a positive way will interact with their child in a naturally musical way without even knowing. 

Helping parents be in the musical moment and take delight in their child's musicality is
what we do. Music is proven to improve milestones in learning as well. You can only win.


How did Boppin' Babies come about?

Babies playing - Boppin Babies


When my daughter was an infant (10 years ago) we went to music programs, but the stuff I
took her to didn't offer the things I wanted out of a music program. There wasn't
anything wrong with them, but it wasn't what I wanted. These programs had more of an
educational focus which was not necessary for a 4-month- old.

Children are innately musical, we don't need to teach them. At Boppin’ Babies, we don't teach music until preschool, and by then they have been surrounded by music for so long they
can sing in pitch and have a great sense of rhythm.

I just wanted a space to be a mum and be musical. I was in a mother's group and brought
my guitar one day to sing to the bubs. One of the mums said it was  "sublime" and told me I
should be charging, so I started a little group, mostly for my daughter, and word of mouth
started to grow and Boppin’ Babies grew from there.


What are some of the activities Boppin' Babies puts together?


Coming from a music therapist background, a lot of what we do is research-based and
focused on parent-child attachment theory and early childhood development
philosophy.

We show how music can support a child's development, and we nurture the parent-child relationship through musical play and interactions.

Everything we do session plan structure, but we let the spontaneity of music and the children lead the program. That way the class is not prescriptive, rather it is but more child-led and flexible in how we use our session and lesson plans.

We use our voices to lead, and our guitars to accompany, and always start and
end the days with hello and goodbye. The class structure is repetitive because children
learn best with structure and like the predictability, but every day will be different.

Our classes have a goal to instil confidence to make music at home. Most of the toddler
and infant development happens at home, not in the one-hour session.
Our job is to
enrich, empower and provide families with a space to practice each week.

Baby drums - boppin' babies


Can you give any advice for first-time boppers coming to a class?


Our program is catered to ages 0-4. My advice for first-time mums is to have the
confidence to sing to your baby. Your baby is hardwired to hear you. They want to hear
your voice, even humming is stimulating physically in its vibration when holding your baby
as well as auditorily. Sing to your baby like no one (else) is listening.


For first-time mums coming to a class, my advice is: We won't over stimulate your baby. I
think there is a focus on "sensory" which has been a buzz word lately. Mums think they
need to do this, but they don't. Kids don't need constant stimulation, they're already
exposed to a lot of stimulation.

Play guitar - Boppin' Babies


I have an article on my website talking about sensory programs.  We're not
a sensory program, we are a music program. But music is still sensory and provides
enough sensory stimulation. We just don't believe in overstimulating. We're more about a
gentle approach with live music and support through multi-modal stimulation.


How do you approach parents that might feel anxiety towards singing if you ever get any?


For the parents who don't feel particularly comfortable singing, we give them many
different resources to help them overcome that, and we'll give them options to make
different music at home like playing or listening to music, making shakers out of plastics. Containers for example, until they feel comfortable to hum and then sing.
 

What is the day in the life of Vicky, RMT/Founder of Boppin' Babies/ mum/ wife?

Depends on which day.  My days are busy but they're fun! Before school, my daughter and I get plenty of cuddles in and she practices her violin. When she's at school, I go to work either running music groups each day, teaching children music, or working on my PhD and research.

I run 11 music groups a week with babies, toddlers and pre-school schoolers at Chermside. A couple mornings a week, I teach music too. When I come home, I do the business administration and work on my PhD.

My husband or I will pick my daughter up and take her to sports, walk the dog together, or
do homework. My daughter goes to bed quite early, so I'll continue with research or work
on my business at night if I need to.

I use my time well. One thing that motherhood did for me was teaching me how to be
extremely efficient- I can get a lot done!

Boppin' Babies and Vicky


How do you find that work-life balance with Boppin' Babies and your family?


I take a day or two a week out just to study, but I have to pull back sometimes, other than
that it's been fine. What I research is closely aligned to what I do, so it never feels like
there's a pull.

My husband works from home, so we're quite flexible and equally parent like a partnership. This helps. I try to take afternoons off most days to be with my daughter, and then work at night when she is in bed.


What are some of your favourite activities to do with your daughter?


We love singing!I help out sometimes with her community choir and I love seeing the
musical side of her. It's becoming a real part of her personality.

She's great at sports. Hockey, swimming, touch football. We also like to go bush-
walking on weekends and camping. We like to get away from our phones and iPads.


Where would you hope Boppin' Babies to be in the near future?

boppinbabies toddlers


Boppin' Babies is turning 10! We're throwing a party in September during school holidays
at Roma Street- so stay tuned for that.

Our business has really grown up in 10 years. We now offer music therapy and music
education to cater for our Boppers as they grow up. And we provide music therapy to
special education settings and adult disability services. I love that we can now support and as our little boppers musical journeys as they grow up.

I see us positioning ourselves to provide greater support to all families through a wider
capacity and more programs. We're running more community groups and holiday programs, as well as events and activities every day.


Do you have any advice for entrepreneurial mums out there?


If you have a passion and want to turn it into a business, my advice is to do a fair bit of
research and to look for something unique or niche to provide to the market.
Go into
classes to get the skills, like social media and marketing that are so important these days,
and then go for it!

It can be overwhelming and stressful, but it makes you whole hearted. It's such a lovely
way to live if you can create an income and support your family from the very thing you're
passionate about. It will be your passion and lifeline.

Music is in our blood, it defines who we are as a family. I love this and would recommend that to anyone, to find their passion and make it their own.

Baby hand and guitar - Boppin' Baby
 

Meet Mumtrepreneur: Stacey of Frankie & Taj “Online store for rad threads for rad babies”

 
Stacey - Frankie & Taj

I met Stacey through Angela, owner of Beautorium - House of Beauty, who we interviewed last week for the blog, and we hit it off straight away. Stacey is so warm, easy to talk to, and just one of those cool mums who is very interested in entrepreneurship and trendsetting.

After meeting with her over coffee, she invited me to her Spring Collection photo shoot where if you follow us on Instagram, probably saw how much fun it was to be a part of. The bubs were adorable and tiny toddlers were energetic and playful- it was a day that definitely kept me on my toes!

Overall, it was incredible to see Frankie & Taj’s new line come together behind the scenes and hang out with the kids while checking out the new limited edition prints and expanding age range Frankie & Taj is stepping into it.  It’s all very exciting for both Frankie & Taj and Mini because we love supporting local Brisbane businesses and seeing mums in action!

How did you begin Frankie & Taj and what is the biggest inspiration for your business?

I worked fly-in-fly-out for oil and gas in Western Australia, and I knew always wanted to start a business, but I never had the confidence to.

I’m inspired by my son, Taj and my early experiences of motherhood. The idea struck me the early newborn days when I had trouble settling him, baby wraps really helped. I wanted to shop for more, but when I was looking around Brisbane and Australia, I couldn’t find any baby wraps that were of good quality or suited my style. Everything looked the same, kind of “babyish,” and I wanted something unique, trendy, and of quality that held its shape after the first wash.

Taj

What’s the philosophy behind Frankie + Taj?

I’ve always enjoyed being asked, “Where did you get that from?” I love unique pieces, finding them really excites me, and I think my ideal mum is a trendsetter who gets excited about it as much as I do.

All my collections are inspired by my childhood and I work with our amazing graphic designer, Ellie Whittaker out of the Gold Coast who specialises in textiles to create these quirky patterns inspired by childhood nostalgia printed on sustainable organic cotton.

What is the day in the life of Stacey like lately?

My fiancee is fly-in-fly-out. Right now he’s working 2 weeks away and my son is 15 months old. The early bird catches the worm! I start my morning at 2 or 3 am to get my work done for Frankie + Taj- answering emails from factories, designers, and general admin.

My son wakes up around 6 am and I want to be present around Taj while working from home, so from 6 am till he goes down for a nap around lunch is quality time. During that time, I get whatever else I need to do around home done, and after that, Taj goes down to bed at 7 pm and I can complete the rest of my work with Frankie + Taj.

It’s a total misconception that working from home gives you more time! I work just as hard as if I were working out of home, and maybe even more so because I’m constantly juggling tasks throughout the day.

What are your and Taj’s favourite activities?

We go to the gym every morning. There’s a playground there and he loves it!

I moved to Australia from New Zealand when I was 18 years old and before we had Taj, my fiance and I were avid travellers. We’ve travelled through South East Asia and Europe. We’re going to take Taj to Bali and see how he goes on that trip, but we would love to travel more as a family and visit the Frankie + Taj factories.  

What do you think is essential in maintaining a balanced work-life relationship?

Finding that balance is something I’m still learning, and it gives me purpose. I’ve always kept busy because I love to achieve, but I think that work-life balance will come when Taj starts kindy.

I have an auntie that lives down the road from us. She’s been such a blessing to have in my life, especially in the first 12 months while I was learning to be a mum. It’s scary. We’re lucky to have lots of friends offer to look after Taj as well. It all helps.

Do you have a soundtrack to your life at the moment?

I’m throwing it back to the old school. My current playlist has Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straights, and the Eagles.

What do you find are really helpful tools, resources, books, podcasts, etc… that have helped you in building your business?

I had a really great mentor when I was working fly-in-fly-out in oil and gas. I never had the confidence of putting myself out there to do my own thing, but I learned to build the confidence after managing a 120-staff shift daily.

My mentor groomed us well in that role and he opened my eyes to what else was possible for me to pursue. It was the first time I had someone who wasn’t family believe in me and taught me everything I needed to know to pursue my passion.

I now work with a business coach because I felt like I needed more direction and guidance and it’s been great so far.

Do you have a favourite entrepreneurial moment?

I was a guest on the Mums with Hustle podcast this year. It didn’t hit me until Tracey (the host) and I were speaking that I thought, “Oh my gosh, people are going to listen to this!”

But it felt really great to share my story with other mums and have my experiences resonate with them. I think we don’t really appreciate our own stories. Our generation is busy looking forward to where we want to be, but we don’t take enough time to look back and appreciate what we’ve done. It’s something I’d like to do more of, and being on Tracey’s podcast and talking to other mums really reminded me to reflect.

Where would you like to see Frankie + Taj in the next couple years?

Frankie + Taj’s a clothing line for 0-2 year-olds,  but I’m currently getting into older kids’ clothing, and launching our 2017 Spring Collection! I would love to get into matching clothing for mum & bub and dad & bub and a shoe collection.

I love the direction we’re currently headed in now- wholesale growing and building up the brand to be more than just a website to buy clothing.

Do you have any advice for new business owners?

Don’t think about it- just do it! When you just jump into it, you don’t have time to psych yourself out. You won’t know what the risks are until you have to cross that obstacle, and we need to make mistakes to learn.

What about advice for new mums?

Listen to your body, slow down, and focus on you and your baby. Don’t try to be the person you were previously. Your hormones can really affect you, so pay attention to how you’re feeling.

Stop trying to live up to the “expectation” of being the perfect mum, because there is no perfect mum.

Motherhood is hard, but we’ve been so lucky to have my fiancee’s parents around to help me with Taj in the first 6 months. Looking back now, I should have let them help me more. It’s a lot of work and I had a lot to learn, so take help when you can!

 

Meet Angela Sanchez of Beautorium- The Ultimate Beauty Destination

 
Angela Mum - Beautorium House Of Beauty

Angela Sanchez is a mum of a busy toddler, and the proud owner of a Brisbane-based beauty business, Beautorium - the ultimate beauty destination. Her studio is located in Taigum, and was built into her home with the dream of running a business from home as a mum in mind.

Beautorium is for the everyday working woman looking to give herself a little bit of time to make herself look and feel beautiful and confident. Angela's clients come number one because she understands the schedule of the working mum and offers appointments to suit that 9-5 lifestyle.

Angela has been a long time friend of Mini's, so Michelle and I caught up with Angela to share with you how her momtrepreneur journey began, and where she is headed next whilst balancing the mum and wife hat.

Angela and her Son Emilio at the beach

A: I've been in the beauty industry for 12 years now.  Reflecting back, my career, so far, comes in 4-year chapters. After finishing beauty college, I got asked to manage the very salon I studied at. I loved it, but I've always wanted more and after a breakup, I decided to go after my dreams to travel the world and do what I loved, so I worked on a cruise-ship for another 4 years practising beauty.

I really built on my skills on the ship because working on a cruise line, you have to put on a fantasy show 24/7. You need to be switched on and creating that experience for the passengers. It was a fast-paced life style and an amazing experience. It taught me to be who I am today and to go after what I wanted, and not be so narrow-minded about what's available to me. I also met my husband on the cruise-ship, he's a musician.

Sanchez Family. Brisbane Mums

Working along side people all day and working up close and personal, how do you keep the conversation going and make your clients comfortable?

I love to educate my clients. It really helps my clients relax, gain that sense of trust, and I feel like I've given them more value by providing the information they can take home into their daily beauty routine. Beauty treatment really starts in the home, and my aim is to make their time out of their busy day to feel appreciated.

 

When did you start your business from home?

After my cruise-ship experience, I came back to Brisbane and worked with Dermalogica for 4 years. I knew I wanted to venture on my own business path and offer professional services to my friends and family, so when my husband and I started building our home, I designed my studio space with the dream to be a work-at-home mum and have that professional status to my clients. It's been 6 years now since I've opened Beautorium, and I am still so excited about what I do.

 

How do you find the work-life balance? Mini's clients have mums that also work from home, so what would be your advice for separating your time from work-mode to family-time?

It's definitely been tough, and it's something I have to work on every single day. But my husband reigns me in because I can sometimes get carried away in my business. As the baby grows, all mums can relate to dinner time being the worst time of the day. Goodbye to the sit-down, candle lit dinners however, we always make sure that by dinner time, we're sitting down at the table talking about our day and letting go of work.

For me, it's about being present and taking it on one day at a time. Sundays are our family time. No work can be scheduled on Sunday because it's our time as a family and it's very important to us.

Time management is key, but I have to say, it might be one of my weaknesses as well.

Emilio on Ipad Beautorium

Michelle always raves about how organised you are!

You have to be, but it's a work in progress.

 

What are some of your favourite activities to do with your family?

We go on lots of walks. We live in such a beautiful neighbourhood, and we're so lucky to be by the water. Walks together as a family are great moments where my husband and I talk about our goals and just enjoy each other's company. Everything seems a lot better when we're walking along the water.

 

Emilio is 19 months old now, what are the best ways you've found to best manage toddler tantrums?

Communication and support. I like to explain why he's having a tantrum, and I just let him deal with it on his own and give him his space. We always let him know that we're here for him and cuddles always make everything better once he's settled down.

 

What do you do to make sure you and your partner make time for each other to be a couple now that you're a mum and running your own business?

We schedule date nights quite often, and we're very lucky to have the support of my family to help with babysitting Emilio. We also make sure we go to bed together and wind down to talk about our day and our goals.

 

What does hubby do?

He's a Latin singer- He can really work a crowd! He's also a woodturning machinery tradesman. My husband brings such amazing valid points to support me and my business and he's an amazing dad!

Sanchez boys at the beach

Do you have any advice for people starting out in the beauty industry that you’ve learned in your career?

This actually moves into my next beauty project as an online platform toolkit for the beauty industry expert wanting to start her own business. I know how difficult it was to basically do everything on my own and I would love to share my experience and knowledge with other women and provide a business platform to give them that leg up.

I think my piece of advice would be to just go for it. I'm a big believer in just getting started!

 

What is your studio like?

It's in Taigum built to be a part of my home. I have a reception desk with 2 treatment rooms. You wouldn't even know you've stepped into my home because we have a separate entrance for my clients to come through and it really is a beauty retreat through and through.

Beautorium - The Ultimate Beauty Destination

What services do you provide?

It's a one stop shop. The ultimate beauty destination. We offer waxing, pedicures, manicures, eyelash extensions, facials, spray tans, and more to come.

I don't think mums don't justify taking the time out to do more things for themselves enough. It's so important. A happy mum is a happy family. You'll be surprised at how much a spray tan can really empower our clients. They feel refreshed, lighter, and ready to take on the world. Looking good is about feeling good and having the confidence to take on your roles because overall, a confident mum is a happy mum.

 
 

Mini’s Science Corner: Flower & Food Dye Experiment

 
Mini Science Corner: Flower and Food Dye

Welcome to mini’s science corner! Have you ever heard someone say “that plant is thirsty” when the leaves and petals begin to look wilted? In this experiment, we’ll take a closer look at how a plant “drinks” water by dying water with food colouring for white cut flowers to absorb. Teach your kids about some of the interesting science behind plants, and maybe learn a thing or two for yourself! 

Cut Flower & Food Dye Experiment 


This experiment is designed to show how plants absorb water. A white flower is placed into a vase of coloured water. After about a day, you will notice the white flower petals beginning to take on the colour of the food colouring. This shows the path the water has gone inside the stem of the plant. We're able to see the change of colour this because the food dye is made up of tiny molecules that are small enough to travel along the capillaries of the plant along with the water. 

You Will Need:

Mini's science corner- white flowers

 

  • Cut white flowers (roses and hydrangeas work very well for this but other species will work as well we used white chrysanthemums and a rose )
  • Some glass vases
  • Water
  • Food coloring (try doing a few experiments with different colours)
Mini Science Colour Food Colouring


How To Set It Up


This is an incredibly easy experiment to set up. Your kids can even do most of it themselves (you will likely need to do the food colouring step and cutting of the flower stems depending on the age of your child, use your discretion). 

Step 1: Prepare the food colouring

Mini Science Corner - Food Dye prep


To do this you simply add warm water into the vase you are using, and add 20-30 drops of food colouring. Warm water is much easier for the plant to absorb, but perhaps try one vase with cooler temperature water and another with warm water to observe the results. We have chosen to do 4 different vases with 4 different colours for our experiment.

We mixed one part red dye and another blue to create a purple! 

We mixed one part red dye and another blue to create a purple! 

 

Step 2: Prepare your flowers

Mini Science Corner - Cut Flowers


You can buy white flowers from any flower shop or sometimes cafe. If you are lucky enough to have some growing in your garden, you can use those as well. Almost any white flower will do, but they do need to be white or you won’t notice the colour change. We had chrysanthemums and roses on hand and wanted to see which flower absorbed the colour better. 

Cut the flower stems so that they fit comfortably in the vase. Cutting the stems at a 45 degree angle will increase the absorption of water and make your petal change faster. This also ensures that the base of the stem is not sitting flush with the bottom of the vase, giving it room to take in water. 

Mini Science Corner - Cut Flowers

Take a look at the stem. Is it dense and fibrous or does it look more like a straw? Stems act like the plant’s plumbing system, conducting water and nutrients from the roots and food in the form of glucose (simple sugar) from the leaves to other plant parts. 

Step 3: Place the flowers into the vase(s), wait, and observe!

We placed the rose in our home-made purple mixture. 

We placed the rose in our home-made purple mixture. 


Once the flowers are in the vase, the next step is simply to wait. It takes time for the plants to take the water up the stems and place them into the petals. 

Observe and make notes like a scientist! 

  • How long did it take for the flower to start changing colour? 
  • Which colour seemed to have the best result in dying the petals?
  • Which type of flower had the best result in changing colour? 
  • What does the flowers' change in appearance tell you about how water moves through them?
This photo was taken after 3 days

This photo was taken after 3 days

 
This rose was starting to turn purple! 

This rose was starting to turn purple! 

EXTRA

  • What happens if you increase or decrease the concentration of food colour in the water?
  • How would you make a multicolour flower? Tip: You could try (1) leaving the flower for a day in one colour of water and then putting it in another colour of water for a second day or (2) splitting the end of the stem in two and immersing each half in a different colour of water.
Comparison of the colour change in the crysanthamums 

Comparison of the colour change in the crysanthamums 

 
Here is the rose next to its un-dyed friends!

Here is the rose next to its un-dyed friends!

How To Explain What is happening To Your minis:


Plants need to drink water. The stem of a plant acts like a drinking straw. The capillaries are millions of tiny straws, each one leading up to the leaves and petals of the plant. When the plant drinks the water, the coloured water travels up the stem and goes into the leaves and flowers. You can see it because the white flower doesn't have any colour to get in the way. 

The water moves through a processes called transpiration, which is when the water from the leaves and and flower petal evaporates. The dye in the water doesn’t evaporate and is left in the petals of the flower. 

 

How to Raise Your Kids to Love Maths (even if you don’t)

 
how to raise your kids to love maths

Maths is that subject that kids either really love, or makes kids and even adults want to rip their hair out. Whether we like it or not, maths extends beyond the classroom into everyday life and developing a strong understanding of the basics of mathematics will be an asset in your child’s development. 

You’ve probably heard the saying “I’m not a maths person.” It’s one of those self-fulfilling prophecies if you find your child repeating the mantra. In a 2007 National Institutes of Health Public Access Twin Study the results estimate that genes account for 32%-45% of mathematical skill at the age 10. [see our article here on how intelligence is inherited from our mothers] This means that 55% to 68% of mathematical skill must come from other factors such as an individual’s interest and effort. These studies prove that inborn talent has much less of an impact than hard-work and self-confidence in higher test results. So if you and your child aren’t “maths people” good news, you can learn to love it and excel at it! 

What makes maths so difficult to grasp? 

Young boy frustrated at maths

Math seems difficult because it takes a lot time and energy to fully comprehend abstract ideas. Abstraction in mathematics is the process of extracting the underlying essence of a mathematical concept and removing any dependence on real world objects and thus generalising the principal for wider applications. This does not come easy to many people, and it’s a skill we need to exercise to strengthen. 

Maths is a cumulative discipline, meaning you need to have a good grasp in one area to understand the next level of maths because the applications build upon each other. Prematurely moving beyond an area leads to a shaky foundation for the next curriculum, and fast-paced classroom environments don’t always have the time to slow down and review concepts with students before opening up the next chapter in the unit making some children feel left behind and discouraged. This is why maths homework and bringing maths into the home beyond the school curriculum is so important for giving your child the opportunity to excel at math. 

 

What can we do to help our children with maths?  

1. Change your attitude about maths

Children mimic our attitudes in all kinds of ways. If you’re a parent who is not fond of math, shift your attitude into a more positive one. We’ve established that statements like “I’m not a maths person” is a self-fulfilling prophecy, so try to refrain from saying it around your children even if you don’t feel particularly good about helping your child with maths. Think about it as something to work on together. 

 

2. Make it fun! 

Maths is everywhere in our day-to-day life. Encourage mind-math games such as adding up numbers on license plates as quickly as possible or try grocery-shop budgeting with your older children. If we can only spend $50 at the grocery shop today, how can we make sure everything in our basket comes to under $50 given our shopping list. Or do some baking together for a tasty lesson in maths! 

Baking for math!

3. Get your child some Legos or other building toys

Lego or block play fosters a wide spread of skills including creativity, motor skills, spatial skills, problem-solving, and communication. When a child is building, they must analyse the parts in front of them, perceive how it fits into a whole and how the pieces fit together. 

For 3-5-year-olds, you can put together a model of three lego blocks and ask your child to recreate your design in order to exercise the importance of counting tips and placing the next part on the proper section of the lego blocks. There is substantial evidence that spatial skills can be improved through play, so kids who spend more free time playing with puzzles or building blocks have increased scoring results. 

 

4. Play online maths games! 

If you have a child who is a gamer at heart, encourage some maths themed games! This website has everything from sudoku puzzles, basketball multiplication, and RPGs using maths to make your way through the adventure. 

 

Here is a list of our favourite iPhone maths games for on the go entertainment. 

Monster Maths

(available for addition/ subtraction and multiplication/ division)

 

Quick Maths Jr.

(Intended for kids aged 3-7)

 

Tricky Test 2: Genius Brain

 

Lumosity

Brain training for adults) 


What are some of your favourite maths games with you minis? 

refer
 

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Best Plants to Grow to Teach Your Children How to Garden

 
Gardening with Children

Children are natural gardeners. They are curious, quick learners through hands-on experience, and love to get a little messy in the dirt. Gardening is a healthy and fun activity for all ages, but it's especially beneficial for kids. Gardening teaches a multitude of skills and fosters an appreciation for science and nature. 

Key findings suggest that when young children are participating in garden and greenhouse activities they are: (1) communicating their knowledge about the world to others, (2) conveying (and learning to process and manage) emotions, and (3) developing important skills (e.g., initiative, self-confidence, literacy, math, science skills) that will help them be more successful in school and better navigate the world. 

 

Benefits of Teaching your Children Gardening Includes:

 

1. Nurtures a sense of responsibility:

Without proper care, their plants will not grow. Gardening teaches them valuable life lessons at a young age. 

2. Reasoning and discovery skills:

Learning how to problem solve. discover science and nature of plants through research and real-life experiments. 

3. Self-confidence:

Gardening gives them the tools to grow their own food and achieve goals.

4. Love of nature:

Inspires awe and appreciation for the outdoors in a safe and pleasant environment.

5. Physical activity:

Gardening gets kids outdoors, using their hands to create.

6. Creativity:

Finding new and exciting ways to grow food and becoming inspired by nature.

Kyle Ellefson - Children garden dirt

Here are some of the best plants to start with kids:

1. Lettuce

Lettuce are quick and reliable crop with fast results. Lettuce likes party shady environments. Lettuce seeds will germinate in 7-10 days and the growing season is about 1-2 months.

 

2. Snow peas

can easily pick right off the vine and eat. 10 days to germinate and mature in about 2 months. They prefer cooler, partly shaded areas in the garden.

 

3. Sunflowers

Stanislav stajer - garden sunflowers

Plant just a few 'confectionery' sunflower seeds (used for food), since sunflowers take up a lot of space in a garden. Their seeds can be dried and roasted for snacks. Be sure to save some seeds to grow the next season too. Sunflower seeds tend to sprout in a week and should be about 30 cm in a month. Harvest your sunflowers when their petals become dry and the green base of the sunflower head turns yellow to brown. 

 

4. Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes enjoy full sun, and if you can, purchase seedlings from the local grocery store rather than seed since they can be difficult to germinate. Plant a pole or a stake about 60 cm tall for the tomato vine to wrap around. Cherry tomatoes add vibrant colour to your garden, and they're a sweet, juicy treat! 

 

5. Potatoes

Linh Pham - Garden Potatoes with children

Potatoes are a versatile vegetable, and can be prepared in many tasty recipes. Red potatoes mature faster than white varieties. Cut seed potatoes into chunks with at least 2 'eyes' per and plant them about 35 cm apart with the eyes pointing to the sky and mound the soil up around the plant as it grows. It's ready for harvest when the plant collapses. 

 

6. Zucchini

Start these seeds in a small container indoors first. You can up-cycle egg cartons and plant the seeds in about 1 cm of soil. Keep the soil moist, and when you have a strong sprout with roots, you can transfer the egg carton directly into the soil outside. Make sure your soil is rich in nutrition, or you can add fertiliser to your soil. 

 

Other interesting plants to grow:

 

1. Avocado Pits

Avocado Grow seeds with kids

Wash your avocado seed and use 3 toothpicks to suspend it broad-end down in a glass of water covering about 2.5 cm of the seed. Place the glass in a warm place indoors out of direct sunlight and replenish the water as needed. You should see sprouts in about 2-6 weeks. 

 

2. Top of a pineapple

Once you bring your pineapple home and are about to cut it up into a snack, save the top to plant just about 3 cm below the leaves then remove some of the lowest leaves from the stalk and cut out the remaining fruit flesh. Plant in your garden or a decorative pot. Keep the plant soil moist until roots develop at around 6-8 weeks. Pineapple tops enjoy bright, indirect sunlight. 

 

3. Venus Fly Traps

Venus Fly Traps

Growing Venus Fly traps from seed can be a tricky, takes about a year, and requires special soil to germinate the seed. You can purchase Venus flytraps at almost any plant store and re-pot them in a terrarium. Place gravel below the soil to ensure proper drainage. Good air circulation is key for these plants and it's best to water with distilled water when caring for these plants because tap water tends to have too many minerals for this sensitive plant. They make for an interesting plant to add to your child's collection.

The fun thing about this plant, is that it actually eats bugs as it's a carnivorous plant! Fun fact: There are 54 species of these carnivorous plant in Australia. Learn how to feed your Venus fly trap here. 

 
Child garden

Gardening teaches children about science and nutrition plus gives them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. There are a variety of engaging activities in gardening your child can participate in such as buying seeds and equipment, planting, mulching, weeding, and cooking. 

Make sure your garden is a safe place. Store sharp tools away from child's reach, use suitable equipment, fences, gates, and paths for children to use. 

 

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Katrina's Mini Trip To Auckland

 
Katrina's mini trip to Auckland

If we haven't had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Katrina and I write for Mini Nanny Agency's blog, manage social media, and am a casual babysitter. I just got back from a short but very sweet trip to Auckland where I was fortunate enough to take my 'office' with me while I checked out Auckland's Matariki Festival, celebrating the MāoriNew Year Te Marama Tamatea-a-io (the first quarter phase of the moon).  

I think it's important to be able to step away from your everyday routine once in a while, whether it's a weekend camping trip or a month-long holiday, with the intention of changing up the routine for the return home to better suit the life you want to live. That's what this solo-Auckland trip was for me anyways, and I thought I would share my top three favourite things about my week. 

 

Number Three: Nature

At Rangitoto's summit

At Rangitoto's summit

Auckland is ranked the 3rd most livable city in the world, and I can see why. Even without a car, I was able to get out of the city on a 25-minute ferry ride to Rangitoto Island, one of New Zealand many islands. Rangitoto was an active volcano about 500 years ago, and today is home to the largest pohutukawa forest. On route to the summit, I saw two kiwi birds (who moved way too quickly for me to photograph), checked out the lava caves, and took in the city skyline of New Zealand's largest city from the top of an old volcano without having to worry about poisonous snakes or spiders (like we have in Australia) or bears and cougars (like in Canada)!  

 

Number Two: Art and Culture

No photographs allowed of the Body Laid Bare exhibit! 

No photographs allowed of the Body Laid Bare exhibit! 

The Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki is a must! The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate is running until July 15, and was the item on my list I was most looking forward to because I studied the themes and some of the pieces curated for this exhibit in my last year of university. At the heart of the show, is Auguste Rodin's most celebrated sculpture, "The Kiss." Rodin is known as the greatest sculptor since Michaelangelo, and seeing "The Kiss" in person amongst works of Matisse, Picasso, and Lord Leighton Frederic was one of the coolest (possibly nerdiest) highlights of my Auckland trip. 

The Matariki Festival: The street party on Federick Street

The Matariki Festival: The street party on Federick Street

The Matariki Festival is on until July 2 with heaps of free activities throughout the city. The street party on Federick Street was a great show with live music and modern Maori inspired cuisine. At the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, AXIS: Anatomy of Space was screening in their 360-degree dome cinema. It was a unique experience watching the film on the circular domed roof, and it was stunning. The piece was choreographed by New Zealand Arts Laureate Daniel Belton and performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

 

Number one: The People

As a traveler, I've found that you can experience the most breath-taking parts of the world, but it's the people who create that charm that will make you fall in love with a place. The Kiwis I've come across have been genuinely warm and laid back, and it's one of the many reasons travellers gravitate to New Zealand. 

Friends!

Friends!

Since I was going to Auckland mainly to set new productivity goals for myself, going out of my way to meet new people wasn't high on my priority list, but I ended up meeting some really amazing people who I'm so grateful to have experienced Auckland with. 

My greatest take away from my little trip has been making new friends and the insightful conversations and stories shared. The trip was intended for a refresh in ideas and a cementing of goals. I don't think I could have taken away as much from my trip without the support from my friends and family in both Brisbane and back home in Calgary, so this solo-trip has truly been a memorable one and I'm so glad I could share some snippets with my Mini family. 

On top of Mt. Eden there's a beautiful 360 view of Auckland!

On top of Mt. Eden there's a beautiful 360 view of Auckland!

 

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Mini Avocado, Hummus and Feta Quesadillas From Yummly

 
Mini Quesadillas

Tacos, burritos, and our favourite, quesadillas come from the Southern regions of Mexico and are traditionally made with a flat circle of cooked corn masa, or "tortilla," folded in half and filled with lettuce, onion, tomato, capsicum, your choice of protein and lots and lots of cheese and toasted in a skillet or a panini press until the tortilla is golden crispy and the cheese is perfectly melted. Quesadillas are one of my favourite go-to, quick meals and great for using up leftover roasted veggies and chicken in the fridge. 

While you can't go wrong with ham and cheese quesadillas with most minis, bring them into the kitchen with you for an easy cooking lesson and encourage them to add more veggies into their meals. 

We love Hungry Happy Healthy's Mini Avocado, Hummus, and Feta Quesadillas posted on Yummly. Avocados are a superfood full of poly-unsaturated fatty acids, great for heart health and our kids' developing brains. Brains are compromised of 60% fat, so a child's developing brain benefits the most from high-quality fats easily accessible from avocados. 

Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, is a good source of plant-based protein to help control blood sugar levels and are naturally high in fibre. For this recipe, we're opting for feta cheese because it's a lower calorie option cheese while still being equally tasty. Feel free to add any veggies or meat you like to this recipe. When we tried it, we stuck to the original, but it would be great with leftover shredded chicken or add fried egg for a breakfast quesadilla to fuel the day. 

 

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 4
4 tortilla wraps (large whole wheat)
2 avocado (thinly sliced)
16 teaspoons hummus (caramelised onion)
4 jalapeno chilies (diced, optional)
60 grams feta cheese
chili flakes (A sprinkle of red, optional)

Image Source: Hungry Happy Healthy (Yummly)

Image Source: Hungry Happy Healthy (Yummly)

 

Directions

1) Stack the tortillas on top of each other and cut out 4 circles, so you are left with 16 circles.

2) Divide the jalapeños between the tortillas and top with the caramelised onion hummus.

3) Divide the avocado amongst the tortillas and then sprinkle the feta on top. Add the red chili flakes on top.

4) Fold the tortillas over so it is a half moon shape and then add to a hot, dry pan and cook for 45 seconds each side.

Serve with your favourite salsa our sour cream. Our favourite sour cream dupe is plain Greek Yoghurt because it has less sugar and natural probiotics for a happy healthy gut. 

Image Source: Hungry Happy Healthy (Yummly)

Image Source: Hungry Happy Healthy (Yummly)

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How mini Makes the Perfect Nanny Match

 
The Perfect Nanny For You

Finding the perfect nanny match begins with you. We encourage families to get tactical when it comes to hiring a nanny and we want to help you make an informed decision. After all, childcare solution is an important matter considering your future nanny will also be partially responsible for raising your children. Weigh your options carefully and make sure it’s a decision your family feels good about.

Every client-family has a different idea of their perfect nanny, and it’s our mission as a nanny agency to uncover both the family and nanny’s values to make that perfect match. You can rest-assured that every nanny we represent has gone through the mini Nanny Agency screening process. We curate your nanny candidate shortlist based on your values and mini's high standards. 

 

Mini Nanny Agencies Nanny Requirements:

 

1. Love for Children

We only entertain the candidates that share our love for children. These people are inherently kind, nurturing, and creative. mini Nanny Agency employs a psychometric test that determines how suitable candidates are to the nannying field. This gives us a better idea of who the candidate is beyond their resume. 
 

2. Responsible

It’s essential for all nannies to have the right skills to make good judgment calls and know how to communicate with their employers. This includes being reliable and taking ownership of their actions. It’s the understanding that nannying is not a glorified babysitter and it’s certainly not a ‘slacker’ job.
 

3. Experience

All of our nannies will come to your short list with First Aid and Blue Card certifications, as required by the state of Queensland. They will also have previous experience working with children although the extensiveness every candidate's experiences vary. 

Preparation from the Family:


Communication 

Every family will have a different version of their perfect nanny. Communication with both your nanny recruiter and your candidates is essential. Tell us everything we need to know about your household and expectations to provide us with insight into what you’re looking for in a nanny. Think about your family’s routines and where you can use an extra pair of helping hands when it comes to supporting your children. 

Values

Consider what your values are. This is mini’s starting point for matching the perfect nanny for our clients. Values are inherently learned in the household and are passed on from generation to generation. These values might look like a family’s structure, function, roles, beliefs, attitudes, and ideals. Values create the foundation of how you want to live your family life and can solidify the bond your family has. We believe the key to a successful match is finding a nanny who shares your values.

 

Age vs. Experience

Both younger and older nannies have their advantages and disadvantages. Younger nannies tend to be livelier and much more energetic which is great if you have active kids. Since younger nannies are looking to gain more experience, they also tend to be the most cost effective option. 
 
The downside to hiring a younger nanny is that they may lack the maturity and experience for dealing with discipline and difficult situations. The university students and traveler candidates might have taken on nannying as a way to make extra cash so their level of dedication and availability might be limiting for your requirements, so keep all of this mind. 
 
While older candidates might lack in energy and relatability to your kids, they make up for in experience, especially moms who have dealt with the same matters as yourself first hand and tend to be much more understanding and can offer a different kind of support to you as parents. 

 

Budget 

Your budget can oftentimes determine the candidates available to you. The more experienced nannies have made a career out of caring for children and come at a higher cost for their services. While we can guide you on how much you should compensate your nannies, it’s really a conversation to be had between you and your nanny. 
 
mini Guide: Nanny Employment Agreement

Trial Period

Once you think you’ve met the perfect nanny for your family, you’ll still need see how you work as a team. It may take 2 weeks to see if you’ve made the right decision with your nanny. Remember to be fair, and give them a chance. After all, it is a new job and new routine for the nanny, children, and you, as parents, to adjust to. Use your instincts to determine if you’ve hired someone whose values don’t quite line up with yours. We will always respect your decision. Our nanny recruitment services include a satisfaction period; we’re determined to get that perfect match. 

 

The information you need to tell your nanny recruiters:

  • When and how many hours will you be requiring nanny services? 
  • What area will you be required a nanny in and what are their expected duties? 
  • Will the nanny need a driver’s license and their own vehicle? 
  • How many children and what ages? 
  • Do your children have special medical requirements, allergies, dietary restrictions that your nanny needs to know about? 
  • Do you have household pets?
  • What is a day in the life like with your family? 
  • Do you require your nannies to have special skills or additional qualifications? Ie. Tutor, child care development courses, speak additional languages, etc.. 
 

What you need to inform your nanny:

  • Be clear on your expectations and scope of work
  • Does your child have any health issues, allergies, or dietary requirements? 
  • Give your nanny a tour of your home and where they can find medicine, first-aid kit, and important contacts
  •  Write down all the children’s habits from everything they like to eat, temperaments, and daily schedule
 

 Try to keep an open mind. Everyone has something unique to offer to the role. We are Brisbane’s favourite boutique nanny agency and finding the right solution to your childcare needs is our specialty. Your nanny is a decision we ultimately want to make sure you feel good about. To ensure the most streamlined process, try to keep these tips in mind when embarking on your nanny search. 
 

 
 

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Catching up with Jeremy and Tim from City-Cave

 
Tim and Jeremy City Cave Blog

Michelle and I caught up with James Street business locals, Tim and Jeremy, owners of floatation therapy centre City-Cave. If you've already had the experience of visiting City-Cave for float therapy and yoga, you're in for a treat at their newest studio in the works in Rosalie. There will be room for more float rooms, a yoga area, cooking space, an outdoor lounge, and on-site health and wellness experts for your guidance opening later this month!

Tim and Jeremy City Cave

Big and exciting things are happening for City-Cave and Mini Nanny agency is excited to announce new collaborations between our two businesses is in the works. With their bigger studio space in Rosalie, Tim and Jeremy are hoping to get more involved in the community especially with the Rosalie local school just across the street. Introducing kids to holistic approaches to health and wellness is one of many new branches that City-Cave is eager to explore with their new location.

 

How did you two get into floatation therapy and where was your starting point for City-Cave? 

J- We started out in the business of retail. It was a very stressful, cut-throat industry. You don't make many friends in it. 

T- I could see myself at 50-years-old now being on death's door because of the stress we were dealing with in our lives from our last business. It was highly stressful and we weren't living. We were living to work, so we sold the business. Everything happens for a reason and we came to the decision to sell our company to take some time off, and really decide on what we want to do. 

J- I've dealt with anxiety my whole life and there was no healthy outlet for me leave it behind. We caught wind of float therapy through by brother. We first tried it in the centre of CBD. Everything is a business to us and it all started from there. 

City Cave Mural

What were your initial goals with opening up City-Cave on James Street? 

T- In the early stages, we spent a lot of our resources educating people. Few people have experienced floatation therapy, but almost everybody has heard about, or know of someone who has floated before. Research and development were huge for us. We did a lot of our research in the States. It always takes a bit of time for Australia to catch on to new trends from America, and we want to be right up there as innovators in Australia. 

J- Our initial goals, and even now expanding into Rosalie, has always been building a brand and culture around wellness. Health should be an ongoing practice, not something people only think of when they need to see a doctor. We're certainly not the first people to think like this, but we just want to be one of the first to implement this and create spaces where people want to be comfortable to hang out and feel and excited about their physical and mental well-being. 

 

What is the most challenging aspect of starting a company?

T- You have to have thick skin and the right mindset.  I rung my mum and told her what I was putting my capital into and she cried because she had no idea what float therapy was because it's so new. But over the last 6 months, I've been getting text messages from her like "ooh, I just saw something on TV. You might be on to something!" I think especially for something new like this, it's just educating people and eventually, it catches wind

 

What are some of the benefits of floatation therapy? 

T- There are so many. Magnesium intake is a huge benefit. Australia is known to be being really low in magnesium. Floating weekly,  I've found a change in my energy levels, my sleeping was 10x better, and if you're going to the gym a lot, you'll find overall improvement in joint and muscle pain. Magnesium is a natural muscle rexalin found in the Epsom salt. It's antibacterial, and great for your skin. That's all the physical stuff. The mental stuff is also another large element. 

 

J- It's a forced meditation. Steph Curry uses float therapy for his mental game. It helps you cope with external pressure, visualisation, and finding that flow state. For high-stress jobs, it helps you step away from stress and regathers thoughts, prioritise, stimulate creativity, and become more efficient. 

Float City Cave

T -  Floating makes me mentally bullet-proof. Brings inner peace. We're not hippies, this is just speaking as two regular guys.You have to learn how to do it, but there's no such thing as a bad float and it get's better the more you practice. It's hard because we juggle a lot of different personalities that walk through the door. It takes time, like anything. You need to learn and give it a change. 

 

Do you recommend kids to try floating and would you recommend it to someone with ADHD?

J- Absolutely. Floating is a great tool for managing your thoughts. I would love to get more kids and especially teens through those doors and open up a world of ways to approach health. It doesn't need to be a sterile doctor's room experience. 

T- Having a psych on board, nutritionists and other experts will really be an added benefit to anyone. Psychs are there help prepare the mind for your float and help you understand your thoughts. I think learning interpersonal skills, switching off, and understanding your thoughts are great tools for anyone especially if you learn them at a younger age. 

 

Do you have a recommended age for kids to float?

T- It's not so much about age, but more maturity. The teenage years are very important developmentally and something like this can really help them cope with gaining more responsibility and managing their emotions.

 

You mentioned wanting to get involved in the communities more especially with children's sports and health. What do you think that that looks like for you guys? 

J- There's so much potential to be had with this space (in Rosalie) and the school across the street. We just really want to get involved in the community at no cost to introduce kids to a holistic approach to health. We have a nutritionist who will be doing cooking demonstrations, kids' yoga, and we'd love to help out on their sports days!

 

What are some personal markers for success in your lives?

City cave yoga

J- A smile. When it comes to success, it's a personal thing--knowing what your success is, know what you want, and achieving it.

T- I don't want to come up to the end of my life and say "cool I have a house a car, and all this money but I spent all my life working in negativity." It's not a nice way to make money. If I can sit back and enjoy the process and enjoy the company of people who have found something valuable in what we do, then I'm happy. 

T - We had a lady come out of a session with tears rolling down her face. She was on chemo for months and was experiencing chronic pain. She was so relieved coming out of her float and thanked us. She said it was the most amazing rest she had experienced in quite some time and she was able to feel relief from her pain. She came back every week. I get fuzzy over it. 
 

 
 
 

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New Study Shows Children Inherit Their Intelligence From Their Mothers

 
Children's inheritance and mom

Genetics have never been so fascinating than when you are measuring who your child takes after the most. Sometimes they can look like your identical minis, and other times their unique features surprise you. New studies strongly suggest that your smarty-pants child might have their beautiful mums to thank for their intelligence! 

It's all in the genes

When the sperm meets the egg, the perfect amount of DNA comes together to create a human. This package of DNA molecules, the chromosomes, are the recipe cards for living things and up until recently, it was believed that intelligence was factored in from both mom and dad. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Robert Lehrke states that most of a child's intelligence does, in fact, have a hereditary component, and it comes from chromosome X. Studies suggest it is far more likely that kids inherit their intelligence from their mothers because women have two X chromosomes. 

DNA childrens intelligence

A 1984 University of Cambridge study was one of the first conducted in uncovering where children inherit intelligence by analysing the co-evolution of the brain and the conditioning of the human genome. This lead to the conclusion that maternal genes contribute to most of the development centers in the brain, most notably the hippocampus. 

Your child's brain

Baby's brain

The hippocampus plays a pivotal role in the limbic system. It's responsible for long-term memory, regulation of emotions, and spatial navigation. Another contributing theory to why children inherit intelligence from their mothers comes from the evidence that the mitochondria are almost exclusively inherited from moms. 

The mitochondrial genes are not the genes directly researched for increased intelligence, but it does have an important role in brain function. The mitochondria serve as the cell's powerhouse and your child's brains are high consumers of metabolic energy supplied by the mitochondria. It is suggested that this may translate into enhanced cognitive function.

I got it from my momma

Mom and Daughter

A study conducted by the Medical Research Council in Glasglow, Scotland interviewed 12,686 people between the ages of 14-22 every year since 1994. The results demonstrated that the best predictor of these young people's intelligence was their mother's IQ. They stated that their interviewee's IQs varied only an average of 15 points from that of their mothers. 

While your genetic blueprints have a lot of responsibility, it's not the only factor for intelligence. It is estimated that between 40-60% of intelligence is hereditary. Meaning the remaining factors vary depending on the child's environment, stimulation, and personality. 

External factors

Intelligence is defined as one's ability to solve problems. Our brains work as a whole, meaning, even though our hippocampus is hard at work organising our rational thinking functions, our intelligence is strongly influenced by intuition and emotions. This is where the child's parental relationships, environment, and personality come into play. 

Kids brains

Emotional support in early childhood is a significant factor for healthy hippocampus and limbic system. Studies of Romanian orphans in institutional care have shown that enhanced early caregiving through placement in therapeutic foster care has a strong positive impact on the child's cognitive, social, and emotional outcome. These studies reveal, that besides genetics, healthy intellectual development in children is formed through physical and emotional contact. Some studies even suggest that a child's secure bond to their mother is intimately linked to intelligence, suggesting that a nurturing caregiver in the early stages of life has proved to be an essential prerequisite for healthy brain development. 

Ultrasound

American novelist, Anthony Doerr wrote:

"We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs, the brain, the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us."

While genetic expression has a lot to account for in children's intelligence. It is with proper nurturing, support, and stimulation that children reach their best potential. So Dads, teachers, and nannies give yourself a pat on the back too! Raising the next generation of care-givers, and thought-leaders is the most rewarding job. 

Sources:

Luby, J. L. et. Al. (2012) Maternal support in early childhood predicts larger hippocampal volumes at school age. Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 109(8): 2854–2859.

Zechner, U. et. Al. (2001) A high density of X-linked genes for general cognitive ability: a run-away process shaping human evolution? Trends Genet; 17(12): 697-701.

Keverne, E. B.; Surani, M. A. et. Al. (1996) Genomic imprinting and the differential roles of parental genomes in brain development. Brain Res Dev Brain Res; 92(1): 91-100.

Gécz, J. & Mulley, J. (2000) Genes for Cognitive Function: Developments on the X. Genome Res; 10: 157-163.

 

A Note to the Hardworking Nannies Out There

 
Hard Working Nannies

Dear nannies, 

What makes a great nanny is not something you find on a CV, but is found in the nanny's story, personality, and values. Many nannies we recruit have post-secondary education in childcare, a long history of experience in professional nannying and are parents themselves, but it's truly your patience, compassion, and ability to anticipate the family's needs that make a great nanny. Every person has a unique set of skills, experience, and outlook they can bring to a family and the great thing about nannying as a career is freedom to let your personality and nannying style shine through. 

Childcare workers are one of the most undervalued career options; It's no doubt a problem in our society. Let's all work together to debunk this conception with a positivity and being informative. Nannying can be an under-appreciated job, and it's probably because most people's general conception of nannying is a glorified babysitter, paid to hang out with kids all day, or thought of as house-cleaners. We know, of course, these people could not be more wrong (have they ever cared for a child all day long?-- it's full on work, physically and mentally draining!) 

Hard working nannies, kids

Never underestimate the significance of your role. As a nanny, you wear many hats in the household. Your role is to shape the next generation through patient guidance and role modelling in your everyday actions. Nannies are the cultivators of our future, chefs for some of the pickiest eaters, the chauffeurs for the kids' busy schedules, the nurses, the story-tellers, the teachers, the counsellors, the mediators, and the cheerleaders. 

When mom and dad are out of commission, it's your job to be the best version of their parents you can be. It's very rare that you're sitting around on the job because there is always something to do around the house to help the family's schedule run more smoothly. Mom and dad have entrusted you with the most important role, and that is being one of the pillars of support in their children's' lives. 

hard working nannies-kid sweater

Caring for children is one of the most rewarding careers. Children look up to you as their hero, their confidant, and run to you in need of comfort. Nannies become honourary family members. The intimacy of caring for children in the family's home is a huge privilege, and families will never forget your commitment and love for their children. 

Thank you to the brilliant, big-hearted, hard-working nannies that make mini Nanny Agency one of the best nanny recruitment agencies in Brisbane. The most rewarding aspect of a recruiter's day at team mini is receiving that phone call from a happy family letting us know that we've found their perfect nanny. 

We have some interviews of some of the mini's best nannies on our blog so have a read! Each nanny has their own unique journey to tell and it's been such a privilege to share these stories and have them represent Mini Nanny Agency to such lovely families. 

Cheers to you nannies! 

xx
Mini Nanny Agency
 

 
 

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Why your older children shouldn't be nannies for your younger children

 
Teens should be nannies for your younger children

It's great to have your older kids and teenagers help you around the house to teach them responsibility. But there is a difference between having your 12-year-old keep an eye on the toddler while you are busy cooking, and another to have them care for toddlers for hours in the day unattended. 

Age and maturity matters when it comes to proper childcare. In Queensland, there are legal minimum age requirements for leaving your children unattended in the home. If you leave a child under the age of 12 for an "unreasonable time" you will have committed a misdemeanour Regardless of this, the level of maturity of the child left unattended is another story.

Mini Nanny Agency Kids

Does your teenager understand the responsibility of caring for children? Are they mature enough to take control of a situation should an accident occur while they are babysitting?

Teaching your children responsibility is one thing, but giving your children too much responsibility can lead to a whole other problem. Solely relying on your teen to nanny your younger children might be putting too much pressure on them, let kids be kids while they can.

It's not the obligation of your older children to take care of their younger siblings at every beckon call. Having your children look after their younger siblings should be an act of love. You don't want to breed resentment in your children for forcing them to take on more responsibility. 

Teenagers should be compensated for their time and not pressured into babysitting their younger siblings. Teens have school work, extra-curricular engagements, social lives and sometimes part-time work on their plate. 

Mini Nanny Agency - Greg Raines

Finding a qualified and reliable nanny in Brisbane through reliable nanny recruitment agencies like Mini is the best childcare option. Nannies are professionals. You can rest assured that your children are in capable hands and will be receiving the quality one-on-one attention that is simply not available in crowded day-homes or with busy teens. 

There are many benefits of hiring a nanny service for your family. Having a professional, qualified nanny will give you that peace of mind and relief some pressure off of you and your older children. 

Your nanny will really get to know your family routines, understand your children's developmental needs, and will be the extra hands you need around the house when you're not there. 

Nannies have more flexibility than hiring your teenager to babysit. With a nanny, you make the schedule and benefit from their flexibility. If one of your little one is not feeling well, you can call your nanny to help you keep a watchful eye on them in the comfort of your home while you work. 

Mini Nanny Agency - Kelly Sikkema

Traveling for work? Find a Brisbane nanny now to help you fill in the child-caring gaps with household management, school pick-ups, and drop-offs, and meal prep and know that your kids are in great care with consistent communication.

Mini Nanny Agency will recruit the perfect Nanny for your household with skills teens don't have. Nannies make a career out of caring for children.  Plenty of nannies have degrees and experience in children's' education who are happy to help tutor in various subjects. You'll find nannies are willing to undergo further certifications and courses to keep up with children's development and special needs care.

Mini Nanny Agency Alvin Balemesa

Each nanny candidate brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience to your household from working with other families that your teenager won't have, and it's our pleasure to help you find the perfect nanny for your family. 

Do you have questions on where and how to search for hiring a nanny service? Read up on some our helpful tips on recruiting a nanny or call the Mini Nanny Agency today to recruit your family a casual, contract, part-time, and full-time nanny and house manager role. 

 
 

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Mini's Guide to Brisbane-Local Mother's Day Gifts

 
Mini Nanny Agency Brisbane Mother's Day

Mother's day is only less than a week away. If you don't already know, Mini Nanny Agency has teamed up with the groovers and shakers from Boppin Babies to put together a Mother's Day Competition with over $400 worth of prizes both mums and bubs can enjoy. 

We shouldn't need a dedicated day to show our appreciation to the beautiful, hardworking super-mums in our lives because we should be showing it often! If you're stuck on a thoughtful Mother's Day gift that will make the wonderful mums in your life feel pampered and spoiled, this Brisbane nanny agency is all over it with our list of unique and local Mother's Day gift ideas. 

Mini Nanny Agency -Brigitte Tohm Mother's Day

Spoil her with luxury chocolates

Mini x My Chocolate Boutique

Is there a sweeter way to say 'I love you' than with chocolates? One of Mini Nanny Agency's favourite super-mums, My Nguyen is the creative genius behind Indooroopilly's luxury chocolate shop, My Chocolate Boutique

Spoil mum with the gorgeous Gold Leaf chocolates, hand-made in Brisbane decorated with edible 24-k gold leaf--because our mums deserve the very best! 

My Chocolate Boutique is full of eye-candy! You can custom make your mum a box full of her favourite chocolates, do a one-stop shop with a beautifully packaged gift-bag, or pick up one of the well-curated collaborations with The Lip Lab Brisbane or Julisa Nail Polish.

 

Custom Makeup

The Lip Lab Brisbane is sure to be the perfect treat for the make-up addicts. Book mum an appointment at the Adelaide Street studio so she can get creative and custom design and name her perfect lipgloss, lipstick, foundation, and concealer with the incredibly knowledgeable Lip Lab team. 

The Lip Lab Brisbane

It's a mesmerising process watching the different pigments mix into each other to create the desired shade. If you do get mum an appointment here, the Lip Lab team recommends you bring some photos of the lip colour you have in mind for inspiration. 

Float Therapy

Treat your mum with some relaxation time with a float at City Cave. They have a beautiful float studio off of James Street-- perfect for busy city-living to tune out and connect to a deep level of relaxation. Float therapy involves spending an hour or more in a complete darkness in a warm bath of Epsom salt.

This therapy is known to reduce stress levels all throughout your body, easy muscle tension, and soreness, decrease anxiety, and depression, and aid in weight loss by helping the mind get into an optimistic mindset. 

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Yoga Passes

Last week, we interviewed another super-mum, Lexi Crouch who owns Ashtanga Yoga Brisbane on James Street and is a mum and bubs yoga instructor at Yoga Everyday in Stafford. The mum and bubs yoga workshops run fortnightly. The class is a gentle yoga flow and post-natal routine for new mums. It's a great opportunity to meet other new mums and join a supportive community. 

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Yoga passes are an excellent gift for anyone. They usually don't expire and gives them an opportunity to try something new if they haven't already committed to an exercise routine or yoga studio.

Mini Nanny Agency Gift Voucher!

Oh, the versatility of this gift! If you need a nanny in Brisbane, Goldcoast, or Byron Bay give the team at Mini a ring. Gifting a family a nanny agency voucher allows for the possibilities of a date night, girls night out for mum, or even an overnight stay at the coast kid-free. 

Mini Nanny Agency Gift Voucher

Our nannies are certified, creative, and all around super-nannies and the kids will be happy to be entertained by them while mum enjoys all the pampering she deserves!