The Whole “Kitten Caboodle”

The Whole “Kitten Caboodle”– more tips on Nanny kits

Many Nannies on Call bookings recommend bringing a nanny kit, and many nannies have asked about just what that kit should include. We’ve addressed the nanny kit on this blog, but if you’d rather not scroll through past entries, or if you’d just like a little more information, the following entry covers the whole kit and caboodle (or Kitten Caboodle, according to some children).

The primary objective of a nanny kit is preparedness. This means planning for a number of possible outcomes, anticipating the requirements of each booking ahead of time, and knowing what you will need from the client (for instance, what is the bedtime routine, where are the band-aids kept, and so on). Your preparedness also may sometimes include knowing which things not to bring with you. If you are going to a home with three high-energy children, leave out the glitter and glitter glue (or face a sparkling mess that somehow replicates over time and refuses to fully subside after cleaning).

The one thing that EVERY nanny should have at EVERY booking is a first aid kit. It doesn’t have to be fancy or large or come in a box with the red cross on it, but it is crucial to have one of some variety. The first aid kit should include band aids (of a variety of sizes, ideally) and gauze, polysporin and/or cleaning wipes (hypoallergenic), and a packet of tissues. It is also a good idea to keep emergency phone numbers in the first aid kid, like the number for poison control. You should also always carry your ID and your health Care Card.

Some other things to consider including for basic nannying preparedness:

  • a flashlight
  • a smock or old tee-shirt (for crafts or messy activities)
  • a water bottle
  • a snack
  • weather-appropriate clothing
  • an umbrella

Now that you’re prepared for the basics, it’s time to start thinking about entertaining those children!

Some nannies are concerned that keeping a nanny kit is an expensive endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be! Avoid buying things like arts and craft supplies from toy stores, and try the nearest dollar store instead. Here is a list of some things you might want to consider stocking in your big bag of tricks:

  • crayons and markers
  • coloring books
  • construction paper
  • school glue
  • hemp, plastic string, and/or embroidery thread (for lanyards, friendship bracelets, etc)
  • puzzles
  • books (try to have books that cover a wide range of ages)
  • board games (ideally without many little pieces)
  • a deck of playing cards
  • bubbles
  • a ball or frisbee
  • a bucket and shovel (small ones are just as entertaining as big ones in most cases!)
  • your favorite children’s movie

Don’t worry about bringing every item to every booking! Just make sure to double-check your booking to plan accordingly. Have fun!

Written by Zoë:
Zoë moved to Vancouver in 2007 to attend UBC, and has lived there ever since! Her BFA is in creative writing with a focus on screenwriting because she is a big movie fan. She particularly enjoys children’s movies, and hopes to someday write them herself. She has plenty of her own experience as a nanny and believes that keeping in touch with one’s inner child is crucial to happiness!