By Elizabeth Hawksworth
For this week’s nanny confession I asked one of my good friends who works at a daycare center to chime-in on some of the things she wishes daycare parents knew. She mentioned that children often want to bring toys from home to daycare and that it can make the day harder. Here’s what she has to say:
“I don’t mind if a child wants to bring a toy to comfort him during a nap or a rough transition, but special toys at daycare can make everyone’s lives harder. What happens if the toy gets lost or broken? Toys at daycare are often very distracting to our daily rhythm. If a child would like to bring a comfort item for naps, I require the toy to stay in the child’s cubby until nap time. And preferably, I’d like the special toy to stay at home after a reasonable transition time. I don’t want to have to console a broken-hearted child at the end of the day because his favorite teddy bear got ripped or dirty. It helps me when parents are on board with our policies regarding special toys. When we have help to gently persuade the child to leave his favorite items at home or in his cubby, the day runs much more smoothly.”
As a nanny, I can sympathize with not wanting children to bring their favorite stuffed animals or toys with them on outings. I usually allow children to pick out one toy to play with in the wagon or stroller when we’re walking to an activity. But, once the activity begins, it goes into the diaper bag or the bottom of the stroller.
There’s a time and place for special toys – what’s your policy regarding toys from home? How do you deal with a child who wants to bring a favorite toy everywhere? Sound off in the comments!