Catching up with Flying Sprout: Educational Activities for Kids on the Move

 
Brisbane Flying Sprout Educational activities for kids on the move

mini Majer has always been an advocate for local Brisbane businesses and we were beyond excited to get the chance to catch up with Brisbane-born business, Flying Sprout

Bianca Chopra is a teacher by trade, a busy Brisbane mum of 3-year-old, Jai and the creative mind behind Flying Sprout-- travel-friendly educational kits for kids on the move! 

Flying Sprout was inspired by a Chopra family trip to Europe when Jai was 18 months old. Bianca wanted educational screen-free entertainment for the 20-hour flight. Today, her products have been gaining international exposure with shipments to Singapore, Spain, the US, and Indonesia!

 

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

It’s always different, but Jai and I always start the day with some exercise. We go for a walk every morning. He’ll play with his lego and we’ll do different activities like music lessons or go to a playgroup to make new friends for the both of us. Everywhere we go together, we both enjoy so that makes the day fun for us. 

If I’m lucky, Jai will nap in the afternoon and I can work on Flying Sprout or tutor.

 

 

What do you find most rewarding in running your own business from home? 

Being a part of Jai’s life and getting in the best quality time. I get to watch him explore and learn something new every day, and of course, the cuddles! 

I’ve always wanted to be a mum and it’s awesome! 

 

 

What are your and Jai’s favourite activities? 

Jungle walks. We started going to the hills and the rain forests around Mount Tamborine. It’s great exercise and Jai will walk 2 and a half km. We love it and it really engages him. 

We’re also so lucky to live right next to the theme parks around Brisbane. We have annual passes and they’re great value and a good reward for Jai.

 

 

Do you have a favourite teaching moment?

I just love seeing the capabilities of children. If you give them the chance and the right support, they can do almost anything. I think we assume that children can’t do something because it might be too difficult so we don’t give them the opportunity to try. 

I used to teach grade 5 and 6 and we do this assignment where the kids would design their own breakfast cereals and do the marketing for it themselves. I did this same activity with primary students and I was so inspired by how well they did with it! It’s moments like those that make me love what I do. 

Brisbane Flying Sprout Kids Activities

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

I’m really lucky because I get to work around my schedule with Jai. I do what I have time for and have learned a lot about running a business. I do everything myself from building and maintaining the website, the social media, and creating new on-the-go activities. I still have lots to learn but it’s very exciting. 

 

 

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

I like having music on around the house, and I should really do it more often. It changes the atmosphere of anything you’re doing. Jai and I lately have been listening to the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing and we both have a dance. 

 

 

Where would you like to see Flying Sprout in the next couple years?

I would like to have regular orders and have people love it. I would love to go to a cafe and see someone whip it out of their Flying Sprout kit for their little one. The community around Flying Sprout has been great and very supportive. 

 

 

Do you have any advice for new business owners? 

Don’t expect success overnight, but enjoy the process. 

 

 

What about advice for new mums? 

Trust your gut. If you feel like you should do something your way, do it. Trust what you feel because you know your child the best. 

Be sure to follow Bianca and Flying Sprout on Instagram @flyingsprout

 

Meet Nanny Gemma

 
Nanny Gemma A.k.a Jimjams

It's with great pleasure that the mini team introduce nanny Gemma a.k.a  Jimjams. She’s a full-time Mary Poppins to a beautiful family with 4 children plus a cat and a big dog. 

Gemma loves campervan camping and is a major foodie. She loves to dine out for inspiration to take back into her kitchen where she enjoys creating delicious and nutritious meals from scratch.

How did you get started with mini Nanny Agency? 

It was fate meeting Michelle at a yoga and wellness centre in New Farm. Nannying sort of just made sense for me. Michelle and I connected straight away and had an amazing discussion about our passions. 

I had 10 years of experience running salons and a photography studio which came out of a love of being around people and helping them feel beautiful in their own skin. 

I have always enjoyed working with kids and making them laugh, entertaining them, and having fun. Meeting Michelle and nannying felt like it was all meant to be for me.

What is the day in the life of Nanny Jimjams?

I get up with the sun and am with the family for 6 am. School drop-offs and household duties are part of my morning routine. I make all meals from scratch, keep the house immaculate, and act as a personal assistant to the parents. 

Breakfast has to be nourishing and slow-carb releasing as the kids have such big days! The breakfast winner at the moment is the “avocado smush.” It’s avo and feta on whole grain toast. 

Avo Toast Nanny Diaries

I braid the girls’ hair, tidy the kitchen and check to see that the kids' bed made. At 7:10 it’s a swift exit to the schools and pre-school sports activities! It’s a busy morning, but things start to slow down without the kids around so I do the cleaning, washing, errands and walk the dog. 

What has been your favourite moment as a nanny? 

I can’t get enough one on one time with each child. I love getting hugs and reading books together. The best moments are filled with affection and literally laughing till our bellies ache! 

What has been your greatest challenge as a nanny?

For me, the most challenging thing about being a nanny is creating boundaries and knowing when to step back and when to jump in with both feet.

There’s a lot of learning to do about yourself in the nannying career just as there is to learn about kids and families which makes this role so much more rewarding.

What’s the best thing a parent has done to make you feel appreciated? 

I got a phone call the other night from the kids screaming “love ya! Thank you for everything you do for us!” That was pretty cute! A quiet thank you is always much appreciated

What’s the soundtrack to your life at the moment?

The kids and I love blasting the car stereo to Bruno Mars! 

When you’re not on nanny duties, what inspires nanny Gemma?

My partner and I just bought a camper van, so it’s the gypsy life for me! We love Byron Bay and spend our weekends outside soaking in the ocean spray, paddle-boarding, and winding down the day eating the best slow cooked brisket! 

Beautiful Byron Bay light house 

Beautiful Byron Bay light house 

I train at gym 4 days a week and love yoga and catch ups with friends over food, of course! I’m always keeping an eye out for new restaurants to try. 

Best advice for new nannies? 

A nanny has to understand different personalities in a family and finding the best way to meet everyone's needs to offer the best support. 

I know with teenage boys it’s more of a stern approach. You need to treat them like men and give them that bit of autonomy that they crave. I am there to support them into becoming more independent. With the girls, it’s always more of a trade and compromising. Homework first and baking after. 

With the parents, you need to be able to anticipate their needs to the best of your ability. Be the best support possible and go beyond to exceed their expectations. 

What do you wish parents and outsiders looking in would understand about being a nanny and the nanny field in general? 

The stereotype of the nanny life is that we just play with kids all day, but in reality, nannying requires a lot of emotional support to the parents, diplomacy, and patience

There are days that are tough and mentally draining, but there more days that you feel like you made a difference than not. It's a lot of hard work, but it is definitely rewarding.

Since you're such a foodie, what are your favourite Brisbane restaurants and what should I order? 

Depending on what you enjoy, Katrina, my fav restaurant in Brisbane is Survey Co in the city. Survey co is all about the fresh locally sourced produce and excellent service- the owner takes your order! It’s a little expensive, but it’s the best I have been too! 

On a weekend, I love Miami Marketta.  Marketta is like Eat Street markets but better! It’s full of cocktail bars and has a dance floor. Last weekend, I had the best damn chicken burger of my life!! 

You can’t go wrong with Rouge in Newstead for brekkie dates and cute date nights. The pancakes are legendary!! 

 

Meet Casual Kid-Sitter, Justin

 

By: Katrina Lubiano

mini Majer kid sitter Justin

Let me introduce you to our Canadian, casual kid-sitter, Justin, avid mountain climber, forest forager, and botany hobbyist. Justin studies health sciences at Torrens University in the Valley, works as a freelance web developer, and is the brains behind natural health sciences website, The Sunlight Experiment

 

How did you come across mini Nanny Agency? 

My girlfriend [lucky me] found out about mini first, actually. She started a temp-nannying contract with the Majers looking after their 8-year-old son, Henry. 

We would pick Henry up together after school on Fridays and take the City Cat to Southbank and play Pokemon Go. Henry and I got along really well right off the bat. 

It was really sad when the contract ended for all of us since the Majers became like family to us. Katrina ended up getting another nannying gig, but I still meet him weekly for tutoring sessions. 

 

What do you enjoy most about kid-sitting Henry? 

I like picking his brain. He gives me a fresh perspective, and he can talk about ANYTHING. I ask him all kinds of deep questions and he always has an answer. I don’t think he knows it yet, but the kid is a comedic genius.  

 

What are your and Henry’s favourite activities together?

He loves gaming on his iPod. Henry gets really into them. We talk about Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans a lot. When he was really into Pokemon Go, we would go on adventures and catch Pokemon around the neighbourhood or go to South Bank. 

Katrina, Henry, Casey (our friend visiting from Canada), and I went on a day adventure during summer holidays to Mount Tamborine. We had a good time playing 21 questions in the car, checking out the cool shops on the strip, and walked down to the waterfalls there. He fell asleep right when he got home. 

 

What is the day in the life of Justin look like? 

I go to school and stick around to put in some freelance work. The Power Station cafe in the school makes the best cappuccinos. I’ll sometimes drink 3 in a day if I need to get a lot of work done. 

If I'm with Henry that afternoon, I’ll head to his house for the usual routine. Otherwise, I’ll stay at school the whole day to work and study. 

In the evenings, I like to indoor rock climb at Urban Climb in Newstead or I’ll go for a 10 km run along the river.  

 

Can you tell us a bit about how you started The Sunlight Experiment

It’s was a blog and database to help me organise everything I’ve learned from my experimental botany back in Canada. It has since evolved to include a large database of reference for my health science studies now. My focus has always been on plant based medicine and bioprospecting. It’s a lot of hard work, and it keeps growing, so it’s really rewarding to see how many people actually read it!

 

What do your plans in Australia look like?

I have about a year left in uni. I finish August 2018 and I plan on going back to Canada for a little while. I guess before I go, I just want to learn as much as I can.

My parents are coming to visit soon, and some friends in feb. It will be a lot of fun showing them around, and seeing Brisbane again through fresh eyes.