Three Books That Will Inspire You and Make Your Job Easier!

Photo by Rachael Sian via Flickr. Used by Creative Commons license
Photo by Rachael Sian via Flickr. Used by Creative Commons license

I am sure I am not the only one that runs out of ideas when the children I care for hit a bumpy phase or conquer a new developmental milestone. I use these moments as an opportunity to brush up on a few new activity ideas. But there are so many books out there with great ideas for kids, so how do you find the ones with ideas that aren’t too old and end up just frustrating your charges? I’d like to offer up my favorites! These books are chock-full of age-appropriate ideas and filled with great development information that will help you become better informed and make your job easier!

The Rookie Mom’s Handbook: 250 Activities to Do with (and Without!) Your Baby!

Heather Gibbs Flett and Whitney Moss Quirk 2008 $11.83

The authors of this book have been friends forever and have five children between the two of them. The Rookie Mom’s Handbook is an extension of their hilarious website for new parents,, where they share their adventures in parenting, dishing tips in their fun-filled quirky tone.

You are probably thinking, “What? A book for moms?” But this book is funny and unique. Yes, there are some activities that are just not going to work for you as a nanny (i.e., #175: Create a family photo wall), but there are so many others that are tons of fun. I suggest starting with #115: Customize a few board books or #218: Have a crawling race!) This book can’t be missed!

Your two-year-old: Terrible or tender

Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D. and Francis L. Ilg, M.D.

Dell 1980 $11.49

Written by the cofounders of Yale University’s famous Giselle Institute of Child Development, this is the second in a series of ten age-specific books. Though the books were considered cutting edge in 1980, I have found all of them to be extremely on point and still surprisingly relevant. Because we nannies are busy enough, you will love that each book is very short (woohoo!) but totally full of amazing insights into your charge’s cognitive abilities, health, and physical development, plus relatable stories and questions from real parents. I make sure to start on the book a couple of months before my charge’s birthday so that I am never surprised by new behaviors and 100% ready with new ideas!

Ages and Stages: Developmental Descriptions & Activities Birth Through Eight

Karen Miller

Telshare 2001 $14.99

Birth through eight in 197 pages!? Wow! Karen Miller has over 30 years of experience as a childcare educator and a background in human development. This book is my go-to guide for sourcing quick, developmentally appropriate play ideas, as well as reminders for milestones and developmental stages. Nannies who really know babies, really know babies, but they all grow into toddlers and preschoolers at some point, right? Brush up on new ages and stages with this awesome book filled with quick skill summaries and lots of age appropriate fun. It’s the perfect book to keep in your bag; you will use it all the time!