Being Mary Poppins in Canada: A Nanny’s Best Tricks for a Rainy Afternoon

Although Mary Poppins used her magic in London, I like to imagine that a bit of it floated over to our Canadian cities: Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Quebec, Edmonton, Victoria.

When nannies are stressed out, they only need to channel a bit of Mary’s magic to make every day “practically perfect in every way.”

These three everyday items can transform the rainiest of days into a nanny’s greatest triumph:
(1) Tissue boxes
After the last tissue has been used, many uninformed nannies toss the box or put it in the recyclables.  Hold on to your boxes, Nannies! You hold in your hand a magical component for transforming a humdrum day into an Olympics celebration of skating.  My daughters spent many winter hours  partaking in this easy indoors activity.

Get your little skaters ready! If they haven’t seen a speed skating event, you may want to show them a clip of an Olympic race to pique their interest. Google “speed skating Team Canada” or “speed skating Vancouver Olympics” for some exciting snippets. After your Olympians are pumped up, place their stocking feet into their “skates” (the empty tissue boxes). Your carpet becomes the ice rink, and your job is simply to become their CBC announcer and biggest fan. Let the games begin!
(2) Beach towels
Bring some sunshine into a rainy afternoon and pull out the beach towels. What could you do?
* Spread out the beach towels and read books.  The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss is a classic book about being stuck inside for the day.
* Have a  beach towel picnic. Simply eating on the floor can provide enough whimsy to brighten everyone’s spirits. Be smart, Nanny Friends: Mary Poppins would never serve messy food on a blanket and neither should you. Spaghetti? No. Tiny sandwiches? Of course. Orange-dyed Cheetos? Never.  Carrot sticks? Indeed.


* Play beach towel volleyball. With two players per towel, enjoy tossing back and forth a balloon or a small, lightweight stuffed animal.  If you have just two little ones, one person can be sans towel.
(3) Painter’s tape
With a roll of this lovely blue tape in your bag, you will be the best nanny in Canada.
With painter’s tape, you can safely make a hopscotch course on any non-carpeted surface. Hopscotch is a splendid way for your children to burn off some extra “I’ve-been-inside-all-day!” energy.

So, the next time the forecast calls for rain, be prepared to enjoy a fun-filled day inside!

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